After being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017, Denise Shippen from Newbury was referred to her local Sue Ryder Palliative Care Hub Berkshire by her GP. As a way of showing her gratitude for the care she is receiving, Denise hosted a charity party to help raise vital funds.
We offer a range of services in Berkshire from three sites: Sue Ryder Duchess of Kent Hospice in Reading, Sue Ryder Wokingham Day Hospice and Sue Ryder Palliative Care Hub Berkshire, which is based in Newbury. There, we provide expert palliative care and support for people at the most difficult times of their lives.
Last year Sue Ryder provided 130,000 hours of support to patients and their families across Berkshire. Our care is free but it costs £4.7m per year to provide across the region, which equates to £13,000 per day.
Denise Shippen lives with her husband in Wash Common, Newbury, and was referred to her local Sue Ryder Palliative Care Hub following her breast cancer diagnosis.
“Because of the friendship and treatment I have received, I wanted to give something back to say thank you,” Denise explains. “I couldn't afford a large donation so I instead brought everyone together to celebrate and help raise money.”
Denise began receiving treatment with a Sue Ryder Physiotherapist in March 2018 who then referred her to the Monday Breast Clinic.
This clinic is a support group for those who are undergoing treatment for breast cancer, and includes advice on wigs and scarves; confidence-boosting skincare and make-up that helps people manage the visible side effects of treatment; aromatherapy; and reflexology.
“Last year I was diagnosed with breast cancer and I am still continuing on my journey to come through it with the amazing support of Sue Ryder,” recalls Denise. “My friends and family have been completely amazing, but I have found it hard to cope with at times; it can be quite lonely and isolating. The Sue Ryder support group has given me the opportunity to meet people and make friends with people who have been through similar experiences, and I am so grateful that Sue Ryder offers this service.
“Before ever visiting Sue Ryder, I thought the charity just dealt with end of life care and didn't realise all the other services they provide in the local area,” she adds. “The team at Newbury are amazing and brilliant; I couldn't manage without them.”
A real community event
Denise’s party went with off with a bang – which isn’t surprising considering she put her heart into it.
“The countdown to the event has kept me very busy as I made my own decorations, chocolate favours and auction flags,” she says. “It was a great night with an Italian singer, buffet, disco, raffle, tombola, sweet shop and more – we had such fun.
“I was overwhelmed with the support of local businesses who donated auction and raffle prizes, as well as the community who got involved and came along to the party,” Denise continues. “A special thanks to Richard Hayman of The Bowler's Arms, who provided the venue and staff; Pete and Jeff Stratton, who hosted the Boogie Nights Disco free of charge; and to local corporate Vodafone, who kindly agreed to price-match the amount of funds raised during the night, bringing us to a total of £7,000.”
"These funds could pay for 70 visits from one of our community nurses"
“Denise is literally the word incredible,” enthuses Sue Ryder Community Fundraiser Hannah Richards. “She is so bubbly, positive and creative. Going through challenges herself, she really has gone above and beyond to raise money for Sue Ryder.
“We truly are so grateful for all her support; this money could pay for 70 visits from one of our community nurses,” Hannah adds. “They work closely with families, GPs and community teams to be there when it matters; ensuring patients receive the expert care they need to help them live the best life they possibly can.”
The Palliative Care Hub Berkshire is part of our Duchess of Kent Hospice.