Our activity programme for July-August 2019 is now available.
Volunteer Callum shares how Clifford House is helping in his mission to retrain as a doctor.
I first got involved with St Luke’s ten years ago when I was at school – I volunteered in the café for two years as part of my Duke of Edinburgh award!
Now I work full time, but I’ve recently started volunteering again at Clifford House. After experiencing some of my own health issues, I was so inspired by the care I received that I decided I wanted to change my career path and become a doctor.
Applying to study Medicine requires a lot of voluntary experience, so I approached St Luke’s again to see how they could help. That’s when I was recommended to come to the evening sessions at Clifford House.
“As I work full time, it’s really helpful that I can volunteer on a Wednesday evening.”
When I first saw Clifford House I thought it was amazing. The clients and staff are so friendly and full of stories. Volunteering here is a great idea for anybody considering a career in healthcare – you meet such a wide range of people, so it’s excellent for your social skills.”
Find out more about volunteering for St Luke’s and Clifford House at www.stlukeshospice.org.uk/volunteer
At Valentine’s Day this year we enjoyed tea and home-made cake in our Make It club while decorating this beautiful vintage tableware donated by the Vintage Tableware Co.
See our pictures from the day below!
One of the most important challenges facing StLuke’s is demonstrating a clear sense of diversity and understanding of our place within the multi-cultural fabric of Sheffield life.
And that’s where volunteers Mahsarat Khaliq and Anum Riaz have an important part to play.
They have been recruited by our Community Engagement Worker Naureen Khan as part of a new Community Liaison team, which in 2019 will be working closely with our Community Nursing team to take our specialist services out into every part of the city.
They have also been providing support at our hugely popular weekly Gupshup Club, at Clifford House, specifically to introduce Sheffield’s South Asian community to the facilities and services available for free to all at St Luke’s.
The weekly mix of conversation and cultural interchange between differing cultures has proved a hit with visitors who enjoy the relaxed opportunity to simply chat and make new friends.
“It’s a very exciting time for us and it’s good to see people getting to know not only about everything St Luke’s has to offer but also experiencing different cultures,” says Anum.
As part of their support role in the wider community, Mahsarat, Anum and their fellow volunteers will provide a vital bridge in encouraging understanding of what St Luke’s is all about.
“I think sometimes people get isolated in their own homes and the Gupshup Club has been a way out of that, somewhere for them to come and meet new people,” says Mahsarat.
“Now I can’t wait to help take out the message into our community that St Luke’s doesn’t belong to any culture or colour, but it is for everyone who needs help and support.”
Clifford House client Terry Batty shared his story of rekindling a lifelong love of art after attending our Art Club.
Terry first came to Clifford House when we first opened in September 2017. He was supporting his wife Kathleen who had cancer, and they both attended our Art Club classes together. Later in the year Kathleen went into the care of St Luke’s, and following her death Terry decided that he wanted to continue attending our classes at Clifford House.
Now when he comes to Clifford House he’s accompanied by his daughter Sheryl, and sometimes even his ten-year old granddaughter Emily comes along too.
“I have painted on and off since childhood, but found it difficult to devote much time to it until my retirement,” Terry explained.
But now, thanks to his Landscape and Mixed Media sessions at Clifford House, he has even had a painting exhibited at Sheffield’s Millennium Galleries as part of the Great Sheffield Art Show.
“I really look forward to coming to these classes. I need Clifford House.” Terry said.
“It’s given me a chance to learn new things – in Sophie’s Mixed Media classes I’ve recently started painting in watercolours which I’ve never learned before.”
Find out more about our creative activities
We have a range of creative activities, including art classes, crafts and creative writing, available for anybody who is affected by an illness with no cure. Read our What’s On for a full timetable or book online at our Eventbrite page.
Biomedical Science graduate Morven shares how volunteering at Clifford House has helped her settle in to a new city and is helping her future career.
“I’ve recently graduated from Dundee, but moved to Sheffield because my boyfriend had found a job here.
I studied Biomedical Science and I’m very interested in healthcare, so I found a part-time job working in a care home. I’ve also done plenty of volunteering over the past three years in Dundee, so I wanted to make sure I was continuing to volunteer too.
“It’s just a great place to be. It’s just so happy here.”
I actually found out about Clifford House through a yoga class. I saw a girl wearing a pink St Luke’s t-shirt, so I asked her if she was a volunteer. She showed me the volunteer opportunities on the website, where I saw the Clifford House role, did some research and decided to get involved.
My role here is Activities Volunteer, so I help out with whatever needs doing; preparing a room for an activity, getting tea and refreshments from the kitchen, or just helping the clients with anything they need and having a chat.
My goal for the future is to go into medicine, so it’s important to get experience working with people - you really need to prove to yourself, as well as to those you’re applying to, that you’re comfortable in these situations.
I’m getting more out of it than just that really. Clifford House has helped me as well. It can be very lonely moving to a new city and not knowing anyone at all.
If I wasn’t a volunteer at Clifford House, I don’t know if I would have stayed. When I was struggling to get a job after my degree, this filled a gap. I got to know people, and everyone is so friendly – the amount of people that have invited me to things is great.
In the end, I don’t think it would matter what degree I’d done – it’s just a great place to be. It’s so happy here!”
Find out more about volunteering opportunities with St Luke’s at www.stlukeshospice.org.uk/volunteer
Our yoga instructors Martin and Toby share why they love yoga and what you can expect from their classes.
What got you into yoga and what does it mean to you?
Toby: I started yoga 16 years ago; after a shoulder injury, my osteopath recommended it as a gentler form of exercise. I fell in love when I realised the changes it was making to me, physically and mentally. Now I want to share those benefits with other people.
Martin: I’d been experiencing severe social anxiety and got into yoga after researching its benefits for mental health. It has completely transformed my life – to the point where I am today where I can lead a class of people.
What benefits does yoga have for those affected by an incurable illness?
Toby: Yoga helps to release physical aches and pains, but also the stress and anxiety that builds on top of that. Yoga gives you practical steps to take, such as breathing techniques and movements, but it’s also about calming your mind and focusing on the time we have now.
Martin: When people think of yoga, they may think of the poses, but actually the breathing techniques are the most important part – it’s about using your breath to bring yourself to a calm and centred state.
What are your classes at Clifford House like?
Toby: My classes are all about gentle, flowing sequences and releasing tension from the body. If you feel uncomfortable, that’s your body saying “don’t do that,” so it’s really about finding a safe and relaxing way for each individual to practise.
Martin: My classes are very gentle – you never have to do something that you don’t want to do. I congratulate people when they come out of a pose, because it’s so much more empowering than forcing yourself into something that doesn’t feel right for your body.
See our full list of health and wellbeing activities in our latest What’s On, or visit Eventbrite.
Our Clifford House Gupshup Club is bringing a little extra warmth to the chill of autumn.
Clifford House is the St Luke’s facility offering support to people living with life limiting illnesses.
One of its most successful activities has been the regular Gupshup Club, which was launched by our Community Engagement Officer Naureen Khan, specifically to introduce Sheffield’s BME community to the facilities and services available for free to all.
The weekly mix of conversation and cultural interchange between many differing cultures has proved a hit with visitors who enjoy the relaxed opportunity to simply chat and make new friends.
And to mark the start of autumn, with its cooler days and darker nights, the group decided to host a special morning of seasonal foods, conversation and entertainment.
“In the autumn and winter people are less likely to get out because it becomes so dark and cold, which can lead to feelings of depression and isolation,” said Naureen.
“Our clients like to be able to come to Clifford House to meet and chat with other people and to join in activities and we felt that a special autumn celebration would be a great reminder that the change of season doesn’t mean that should change.”
Among the treats that had been prepared were dishes made from oranges, parsnips and pine nuts.
“Along with some delicious food we also had a mixture of discussions, singing, music and poetry,” Naureen added.
“We even had one guest came from London with a friend and she was so impressed that she wants to set up a similar group back home!”
Would you like to join us?
Gupshup Club takes place every Wednesday 10am-12pm in the Clifford House lounge. To book, simply click the button below or call us on 0114 235 7650.
Our new, magazine-style What’s On is now available!