Health and wellbeing

Funding level: £1,001 to £5,000

Supported by: McClarrons Ltd


Herriot Hospice Homecare - Respite Sitting

Established by local people in Northallerton in 1992, Herriot Hospice Homecare has since been providing free personalised palliative care to to enable people to live independently, comfortably and with dignity in their own home during the last weeks of their life. Each year we support almost 600 people in the Hambleton and Richmondshire area through services including end of life care, bereavement support, respite care and a driving service. This support would be impossible without the dedication of over 150 hospice hero volunteers.
“It is a pleasure to be able to help people in their own homes in their last weeks and days of life, build up a relationship with them and support them to have as much choice and control as possible. It truly is an uplifting role - everyone I support is different, each person has their own story, and we often get to know patients and their families.” Vanessa Howarth, a healthcare assistant.
The need
Last year, The Dimbleby Cancer Care study revealed that carers spend on average 70 hours a week caring for someone in the last three months of their life. The physical demands of caring may become more exhausting as the person’s condition progresses and their physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs become heightened or more complicated, making it harder to cope.

Social isolation and loneliness are particularly serious issues for our area with a growing proportion of older residents and a very low population density. According to the “Later life in rural England” report by Age UK in 2013, rural communities are growing and ageing faster than urban communities. Demographic change is putting them at the centre of tackling the challenges of an ageing society.

Respite Sitting Service

Herriot’s Respite Sitting Service provides weekly companionship for people living at home with a terminal illness to give carers a break from their caring responsibilities and reduces social isolation. It supports the local Whitby, Hambleton and Richmondshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s “Fit 4 for the Future” vision, initiated in 2014 that ensures carers are being supported so they are in a better position to look after those they are caring for, as well as maintaining their own health and wellbeing.

A respite sitter greatly benefits both the carer and the person they are caring for. They provide time out to restore a carer’s sense of balance and help them maintain a strong relationship with the person they are caring for. The free time enables carers to find a renewed sense of purpose, maintain their sense of self and offers peace of mind. For the person they care for it offers a welcome change of scenery and new friendship.
Volunteers attend a one day induction training course led by our Service Coordinator. Induction training courses run twice a year for up to eight volunteers. Topics covered include bereavement support, palliative care, listening skills, dementia awareness and moving and handling if the patient becomes ill. The service coordinator matches people to volunteers based on similar interests to ensure fulfilling relationships.

Our volunteers are in regular contact with the service coordinator to evaluate visits for example what activities they did, how the patient was feeling and to confirm the date and time of the next visit. The service coordinator will ring the patient after the first visit to check how it went and will complete regular reviews with the patient. Feedback is used to assess the success of the service and make any necessary improvements
We currently have 41 volunteer sitters actively supporting 26 people. 81% of people supported are over the age of 65. Last year volunteers made 226 visits with an average of three referrals per month. Your support would enable us to continue running this invaluable service over the coming year, increase our bank of volunteers and awareness of the service to befriend even more people.

Project Video

Herriot Hospice Homecare

Moment of Pride

Herriot Hospice Homecare offer invaluable services to vulnerable people in remote areas of North Yorkshire. Their Volunteer Sitting Service is vital, without it the impact would be catastrophic for individuals in isolated areas. McClarrons are extremely proud to support Herriot Hospice Homecare.

Location: Northallerton