We’re led by a small part-time leadership team comprising of an Executive Director, Head of Nursing Services, Head of Head of Community Fundraising and Head of Operational Support which collectively manage the daily activities of the charity.
Our Executive Director is responsible to the Board of Trustees via an Executive Committee (EXCO) comprising of three Trustees. The Executive Director and the Executive Committee have responsibility for the daily operational management of the charity, together with the planning and execution of our strategic plan.
Early 2020 brought the news that Asia was experiencing the early stages of the COVID -19 pandemic. It was all too easy to think China is a long way away, we have heard it all before with SARS, which did not really affect us here in the UK, so we will be fine.
How wrong was I!
By early March we were fully immersed in developing new protocols, procedures for safe working and increasing our collaboration with NHS Trusts, Sister Charities, and other healthcare partners. Preparing for something you have never experienced, cannot physically see, which often does not manifest itself with identifiable symptoms and can be transmitted by air, fluid and touch is not easy. Best practice and guidance were changing daily, we followed the evolving advice from Public Health England and tried to glean as much information and guidance from the many Zoom and Teams meetings we were now being requested to attend daily.
The fundamentals of everything we did was to maximise the protection of our staff and patients. We invested in and started using the best quality Person Protective Equipment (PPE) we could source with the view that being overcautious was the only approach to take to keep everybody safe.
Apart from the first two weeks after the March lockdown where we tried to restrict visiting patients’ homes to hands-on nursing and symptom control only, our nursing service has operated as normal, albeit with strict risk assessments and lots of PPE. This is truly a testament to the quality of our staff ably guided by Gemma Roberts our Head of Nursing.
During the 2020 calendar year we cared for a total of 162 patients, we fully expected an influx of patients, largely from Hospital discharges, but this did not really happen. What we saw instead, was an increase in the numbers of patients who were now understandably reluctant to enter Hospitals, Hospices and Care Homes and very much chose to spend their final days at home.
Obviously, all community fundraising events were initially cancelled or deferred including our Circus Ball for which a huge amount of planning and organising had been done by the Ball Committee and which was to be the highlight of our fundraising calendar.
Despite the loss of income suffered through not being able to stage events we have been humbled by the incredible generosity of our donors, and supporters during the year. With very few opportunities to stage socially distanced fundraising events our income has been relatively stable through a combination of increases in regular monthly giving, one off donations, legacies, and support from existing and new Trust funds. We also received some grant income from the COVID-19 fund set up by the Government.
Total income for the period ending 30 June 2020 was £372,856, expenditure was £342,309 leaving a net contribution of £24,248. Our Reserves continue to be invested through CCLA Investment Management Ltd, the income from which contributed £29,387 to overall income.
The optimisation of our Fundraising Department was completed in January 2021, the reduction in fixed costs will start to be evident in our 2020-21 Report and Accounts, with annual benefits being seen thereafter.
Our operational continuity plans have survived and continue to survive the COVID test with all non-clinical staff returning to home working since lockdown number two. Although this works effectively by leveraging technology, we are mindful of the wellbeing of all staff during this difficult period and have the necessary support structures in place to identify and manage this.
Moving forward we continue to find ways of delivering our vision of “ensuring that every adult in our community has access to free high quality end of life care at home” while ensuring that has the financial sustainability to deliver this and more.
I firmly believe that the true measure of an organisation is the way in which its people react during a crisis and my thanks go to all staff and Trustees for their unfailing and ongoing support during this period.
Finally, my personal thanks go to you, our supporters, volunteers, and sponsors, for helping us continue to navigate our way through these ever changing times.
Very best wishes
Andrew spent many years in Banking and Finance both in the UK and abroad and took the opportunity where possible to get involved with national and local charities. He became more involved with Shipston Home Nursing in September 2017 following a period where we supported him to look after his late wife.
Andrew subsequently volunteered to help provide management support to us and was asked by the Trustees to review how we did things operationally to understand areas where improvements could be made. Following the review Andrew joined us as our Interim Executive Director in November 2017.
He strongly believes that the patient and family experience we can provide is fundamental and should underpin everything we do.
Gemma Roberts – Head of Nursing Services
Gemma is a Registered Nurse who trained at Coventry University and started her nursing career in Critical care. Soon after Gemma realised her passion was in community nursing and she joined the Shipston District Nursing team.
Palliative care then became her special interest and she then joined the Stratford Evening Nurse Service, where she worked closely with local Hospice at Home services and developed a keen interest in Hospice at home care.
Gemma is committed to giving people choice at the end of their lives and being part of Shipston Home Nursing allows her to make this to happen.
Rebecca Mawle – Head of Community Fundraising
Rebecca lives in Great Wolford and has been working with Shipston Home Nursing since its conception in 1997. The original reason she became involved was due to a strong friendship with Penny Birtwell, the late sister of our Founding Trustee Charlie Wells. Rebecca is well known in our community and works tirelessly to build relationships with supporters, sponsors and donors to ensure that people in need of our Nursing care are well informed and know that help is only a phone call away.
Tracy Brewer – Head of Operational Support
Tracy has lived locally for over 20 years. A book binder by trade until she relocated in the early 1990’s and re-trained in business administration, leading her to her first charity role.
Tracy’s career has been diverse; from Citizen’s Advice Bureau to HM Forces, local authority and Dogs for Good (formerly Dogs for Disabled). She very much enjoys working in the charity sector and ensuring that service users and their families receive the best possible information, support and care.
Tracy joined Shipston Home Nursing in December 2015 and is primarily responsible for our Administration and Support function. She is incredibly proud of the service we offer and the community we serve.
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