BGL’s support helps us be there when it matters

It’s been a year since BGL announced it would support Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice as its chosen Charity of the Year in a special two year partnership. During the first year, the group, which has its head office in Peterborough, has raised vital funds, supported fundraising events and volunteered staff to help with projects across the hospice. It has also funded a dedicated practice educator, helping to us to share our expertise in providing compassionate palliative care with healthcare professionals right across the area.

In this blog post we hear from senior community fundraiser, Nilesh Patel and Practice Educator, Sylvia Reid, about just how vital BGL’s support is.

Sue Ryder Nurses

Staggering support

Nilesh said: “We’ve been really lucky to have the ad hoc support of BGL Group for the past six years. It has made donations to the hospice, donated raffle prizes for events and we’ve had some fantastic support from individual members of BGL’s team too, taking part in the Perkins Great Eastern Run, or organising events of their own to support our hospice.

“After hearing about the break in at our hospice in December 2017, which resulted in the theft of one of our charity boxes from our reception, BGL donated £500 to help replace the lost funds. Everyone at the hospice was absolutely staggered by this amazing gesture, which helped pay for 25 hours of our care.”

In October 2018, following a staff vote, the ad hoc support of BGL became official, as Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall was announced as the firm’s official charity partner until October 2020.

Making a huge difference

Nilesh added: “We were absolutely thrilled to be chosen as BGL’s official charity partner, and during the first year of our partnership BGL has made a huge difference to us. BGL’s people have volunteered their time and skills right across the hospice on corporate volunteering days. BGL’s Executive Committee helped redecorate one of our family rooms on our Spring Wing in the IPU, decorating and furnishing it to make a warm and welcoming space for families who are visiting loved ones in our care.

“BGL people also spent hundreds of hours helping improve the condition of our car parks and grounds around the hospice, shifting tonnes of gravel, painting, weeding and planting.”

Helping to increase our engagement with the wider healthcare community

Through the partnership, BGL is funding the dedicated Practice Educator post at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice for two years, which has led to the greater sharing of best practice in palliative care and increased the outreach education the hospice has been able to provide.

The role is held by Sylvia Reid. She said: “Thanks to the support of BGL, I have been able to increase my engagement with the wider healthcare community in Peterborough and beyond. I am delivering a wide variety of training programmes, education and support to Sue Ryder colleagues and our wider healthcare professionals and partners too.

“Over the past year I’ve been working with Anglia Ruskin University and City College Peterborough to support students accessing the hospice who need clinical experience, held a Palliative Care Seminar at the hospice for 60 local healthcare professionals and welcomed 75 GP trainees into the hospice on a GP Open Day to find out more about the expert palliative care we give and how they can access it.

Teaching new national initiatives and delivering 1,200 hours of training

“I support the training and education of Sue Ryder colleagues right across the hospice, from volunteers in the kitchen – organising training on diet and feeding – to organising dedicated training for our hospice at home team who go out and deliver expert palliative care in people’s own homes.

“Thanks to BGL, I’ve been able to teach new national initiatives to Sue Ryder colleagues and local healthcare professionals too, including the new ReSPECT Guidance which replaces Do Not Resuscitate Orders that came into effect in our local area last year.

“I’ve also been able to raise awareness of the services provided by Sue Ryder, organising roadshows as part of Dying Matters Week in May last year. I talked with hundreds of local residents about our hospice services and the importance of Advance Care Planning, which will make sure people’s wishes are respected at the end of life.

“I teach a wide and varied menu, and over the past year delivered 1,200 hours of training to over 360 people. None of this would be possible without the vital support of BGL.”

We can’t do this without you

As part of the charity partnership, staff from the hospice regularly visit BGL to share information on upcoming events and all the latest news from the hospice. Nilesh and Sylvia quite often attend and there is always one message they share with staff.

Sylvia explains, “We just want to say thank you. Please keep on doing what you are doing. We and the 517 people we cared for last year, and their countless friends and families, are all so very grateful for your vital support. We can’t do this without you. Thank you.”

Caroline Raines, Director of Communications, BGL Group, said: “We are delighted to have made such a big difference to Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice as supporting the community is a core part of what we do at BGL. The success of this partnership is down to the commitment of our people who chose Sue Ryder as one of our five charity partners and they have fully embraced all the fundraising and volunteering opportunities.”

To find out more about all the ways BGL makes a difference to its communities visit:

The care given by our Sue Ryder hospices relies on the support of charity partnerships like BGL to continue. Each charity partnership is bespoke and tailor made to the needs of the individual - just like the care we give. To find out more about developing a dedicated charity partnership with Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice call 01733 225 999 or email

To find a Sue Ryder hospice in your local area to partner with, search for your nearest hospice here.