Pride of Paisley Roars into Life
Over 80 people from local and national businesses, public sector and local community groups gathered in Paisley’s historic Museum and Art Gallery to launch the “Pride of Paisley” public arts project.
Set to take place during the summer of 2016, Pride of Paisley will be the largest mass participation public art event to take place in Paisley and will see a magnificent trail of some 30 full sized, colourfully painted lions across the town centre. Paisley follows Hamilton and Aberdeen in staging such a project last year, and will encourage thousands of people to become a “tourist in their own town”, showcase the town’s creativity, heritage and architecture. It will engage the area’s artists’ community too in an event that will re-engage with the local community. The project will ultimately raise valuable funds for two local charities, the Accord Hospice and St. Vincent’s Hospice.
David Wallace, Director of Paisley First, stated
“ The ambition is high to deliver sustainable change with an approach that is based on partnership in action, breaking new ground along the way. “ Pride of Paisley” is one such example, a unique project to engage the Renfrewshire community with Paisley Town Centre, attract tourists, increase footfall for the benefit of local businesses, and raise valuable funds for our Charity partners, the Accord Hospice and St Vincent’s Hospice.
This is a truly innovative project inspiring a close collaboration between the business community, education providers, and charities to boost civic pride across the generations and showcase the best artistic talent that the region has to offer.
For more information, please call our Fundraising Team on 01505 705635 or email
Our Community Garden Opens
We were delighted to welcome all our friends and supporters to a gloriously sunny event at which our new Community Garden was formally opened by Ally McCoist.
Thanks to our staff and volunteers - particularly our friends at SSE - the garden was looking lovely for the opening ceremony. The event began with a welcome from Eunice Muir, the Chair of our Board of Trustees, who told the assembled audience that the creation of the project had been a labour of love for Kate Lennon, our Chief Executive, and the staff, patients, families and volunteers at the Hospice.
Ally McCoist then planted a beautiful pink rhododendron at the entrance to the garden. Ally, who had completed the Arran Cycle Challenge for St Vincent's despite atrocious weather the previous weekend, spoke warmly of the wonderful work done by the Hospice - which he, as a local man himself, was particularly aware of. He then asked everyone to raise their glass (of mocktails, of course!) and proposed a toast to the success of the new garden.
So, our garden is now open for everyone in the community to use and enjoy. It currently looks beautiful but, like all gardens, it is a work in progress.
There are still many things we would like to do, like planting more trees, flowers and bulbs; more lighting, bird tables, hand-rails, etc - all of which depend on funding and help from our supporters.
How you can help:
- Dedicate a tree, rose or other plant in celebration of someone special
- Make a donation to our 'Garden Fund'
- Join our 'Garden Squad' - we aim to form a team to help develop the garden, nurture it, encourage other volunteers and make sure that new plants are in the right place.
Call 01505 705635 or email for futher information
We are delighted that so many of you have taken such an active interest in our Community Garden Project.
As you will have seen from our previous blog posts, we are now at the planting stage, the stage where our garden really comes to life. We need your help to continue work on our Community Garden. If you would like to support St Vincent’s Hospice by purchasing a tree, a bush, or a plant, perhaps in memory of a loved one, you can do so by texting SVHG00 followed by the amount you would like to give to 70070.
If you would like to buy a plant for our garden, please text SVHG00 £5 to 70070
If you would like to buy a shrub or a bush for our garden, please text SVHG00 £15 to 70070
If you would like to buy a tree for our garden, please text SVHG00 £40 to 70070
Without your help, we cannot continue to provide our services to all in the community. Thank you all for your generous support. We look forward to welcoming you to our garden this summer.
Those of you who have been following the progress of our Community Garden will notice a huge difference with these pictures.
On the 28th of April, our supporter Wilson Major helped us plant the first tree – a strawberry tree, planted in memory of his late wife, Joyce, who was cared for at St Vincent’s Hospice.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t the best of days weather-wise, but we went out this morning and took these photographs in the sun. Obviously, we have a lot of planting to do, but the main landscaping work is now finished. What do you think?
2015 Arran Challenge
Participants in this year’s Arran Challenge had their first practice run on Saturday, all under the watchful eye of Kevin from Sport Ecosse (www.sportecosseevents.co.uk).
Their practice wasn’t as challenging as the route they will face when they get to Arran – they cycled 15 miles as opposed to the 42 miles from Brodick to Lochranza – but they all agreed that it was good to get out in the sun and get used to riding again after a long winter.
We currently have 19 riders signed up for the Arran Challenge. We did have 20, but sadly, one participant has dropped out. If you would like to take their place, please contact our Fundraising Team on 01505 705635 or email
This place will be filled on a first come, first served basis. To find out more about the Arran Challenge, please check out earlier posts in our blog.
Scottish Charity Awards
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As members, we are delighted that the Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care is a finalist in the 2015 Scottish Charity Awards. To Absent Friends, a people's festival of storytelling and remembrance, has been shortlisted for the Cracking Campaign category.
Organised by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), the Awards celebrate the amazing work of charities, community groups and people across Scotland who dedicate themselves to making Scotland a better place to live.
Being shortlisted for this award is fantastic recognition of the work of SPPC and Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief members across Scotland.
To Absent Friends provided opportunities for people across Scotland to remember and tell stories about dead loved ones. It was born out of a desire to address some of the social isolation experienced by people who’ve been bereaved.
Martin Sime, Chief Executive, SCVO, said:
“All the finalists have shown that they go the extra mile to help others. So much of that work goes unseen and unheard, but the Scottish Charity Awards shines a light on it so we can all say a big thank you.”
All shortlisted entries will also compete for the People’s Choice Award which will be decided by the public. Winning this award would be a great boost to the profile of the important work underway across Scotland to build a culture that is more open and supportive when it comes to death, dying and bereavement. To make sure To Absent Friends is in with a chance of winning, please go to the SCVO website to cast your vote.
St Vincent's Hospice Garden Project
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As you can see, our community garden project is really beginning to take shape. Our landscapers, John New from Johnstone, are doing a great job, and our vision for the garden is coming together beautifully.
Michael tries his hand at walking on water.
We will soon be starting to plant the unique selection of plants and trees, each chosen for their sensory impact. Our garden will be open to everyone in the community, and will provide a tranquil space for anyone who needs it.
Our Trust Fundraiser Katrina checks out the life in our pond
John and his men hard at work.
Keep checking our website, Facebook and Twitter for updates on our Community Garden Project, including an announcement next week on how you can get involved.
Spaces are filling up very quickly for this year's Arran Challenge, but we still have a limited number of slots available.
If you would like to participate in this year's challenge, or would like further information, please contact our fundraising team on 01505 705635 or by email at
The closing date for entries is April 30th.
St Vincent's Hospice Community Garden Project
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Regular visitors to our website and Facebook will know that we are currently working on a community garden project. The garden, which will open this summer, will provide a tranquil space to anyone who wants one; patients, visitors, staff, and anyone in the community.
While there is a lot of work to be done, the garden is beginning to really take shape as you can see from the photographs below. We can't wait to welcome you to our garden later in the year.
Thank you to our amazing volunteer Hugh for taking these photographs.
Meet Our Team - Gail
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St Vincent's Hospice Nurse, Gail Chalk, in Ghana
St Vincent’s Hospice is full of some very interesting people who work very hard, providing care to people living with life limiting illnesses. On this blog we want to tell you a little about some of those people, starting today with Gail Chalk.
Gail began working as a nurse at St Vincent’s Hospice in 1988 and despite a few breaks to bring up her three sons she is still with us, now working part time.
Gail’s husband Hugh has been the Pastor of Mossvale Community Church for 25 years. It was 10 years ago that Gail and Hugh first became involved in Ghana, West Africa. Over the years they have raised thousands of pounds, which has provide the opportunity to open an orphanage and school there.
This association in Ghana came about through the relationship and friendship they have built with Pastor Osmond Osei Owusu there. Gail and Hugh visit each year, often taking their three sons with them. Their visits have shown them the needs of the children and really focused them on the support that they need.
Gail works hard throughout the year collecting bags of donated clothes that are sold monthly at Govan Market. Gail has been incredibly touched by the people whom she has met on her visits, with a highlight coming when she became godmother to a baby who was named after her.
This connection with Ghana has produced lifelong friendships and helped hundreds of children to start their life with a much improved level of care, support and education.
The Arran Challenge involves a cycle and hike on the beautiful isle of Arran during the first weekend in June. This event is great fun, a chance to get fit, take part in a challenge and raise money for St Vincent’s Hospice.
We are holding an Arran Challenge Open Evening at 6.30pm on Tuesday, 7th April at The Barn Tearoom. Everyone interested in the event is welcome to come, whether already signed up to take part or just thinking about it.
We’ve organised the event to help participants plan and train for the weekend. There will be an opportunity to hear from people who have taken part in previous years and to ask any questions.
If you want to come along to the event just call the fundraising team on 01505 705365 or email
John Lafferty celebrated his 65th birthday at Christmas and, whilst celebrating, he decided to plan a big adventure.
From 9th March, John will cycle from Barcelona to his hometown of Barrhead – 'Barca tae Borrheid’ - a distance of around 1,600 miles. This will be a major challenge for John, but he has got some experience, having cycled around France, Holland, Belgium, Ireland as well as Scotland.
We are delighted that John has chosen St Vincent’s Hospice as one of the three charities that he is raising money for. Just before leaving he had achieved over 60% of his £600 target for the hospice.
John is also supporting Macmillan Cancer Support and Scottish Huntingdon’s Association. Sadly John’s first wife died of cancer, she was cared for by Macmillan Nurses and spent her last few days at the hospice.
Setting off from Barcelona John will cycle across mainland Europe, arriving at Normandy in France where he will stay with his sister. From there he will catch a ferry to Ireland and cycle up through Dublin and then to Belfast where he will board a ferry that will take him to Troon for the final part of the journey.
Along the way John will wild camp and stay with people who are part of the Warm Showers group who offer accommodation free of charge to fellow cyclists. One of the fears that John has got for his experience is loneliness with up to six weeks away from his family and friends. To help everyone keep up to date with his progress he will be blogging about his adventures at: https://barcataeborrheid.
St Vincent’s Hospice Chief Executive Kate Lennon says ‘We are always so grateful when members of the community raise funds for St Vincent’s Hospice. The ways that people like John choose are often extremely challenging, we wish him well with his adventure and look forward to seeing him when he returns’.
You can support John at his JustGiving page www.justgiving.com/JOHN-
To keep track of John's progress, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or visit our website for updates.
Every day at St Vincent’s Hospice we rely upon support from a huge army of volunteers. Over the last few years, we have been exceptionally lucky to work with Hymans Robertson, Glasgow, and the work they have carried out for us has been incredible.
Through their Employee Helping Hands Scheme, Hymans Robertson have raised funds to help us provide a new bath system in our Inpatient Unit, and which allowed us to upgrade our Complementary Therapy room. Over and above this, they have donated funds for various items, from new chairs and kitchen equipment to a snow plough, and Robbie Williams tickets which we auctioned.
As well as supporting St Vincent’s Hospice with much needed funding, Hymans Robertson’s pensions experts spent some time at the hospice, helping us with everything from filing to painting walls.
We would like to thank all of the team at Hymans Robertson for their amazing support over the years, and for raising over £8,000 for St Vincent’s Hospice.
St Vincent’s Hospice benefits from the time freely given by hundreds of volunteers each week, and could not achieve all that it does without them. If you or your company would like to volunteer at St Vincent’s Hospice, we have a wide variety of roles available. Please see the volunteering section on our website, or contact our volunteer co-ordinator, Christine Haddock, on 01505 705635 or by email
St Vincent's Hospice Garden Project - Week 2
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Work is well underway on our community garden project as you can see from these photographs.
Check back for regular updates, or check our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/StVincentsHospice
It’s an exciting day for us at St Vincent’s Hospice as the first digger moves in to begin work on our new community garden.
For more than 15 years St Vincent’s Hospice have been aspiring to create a garden at the rear of the hospice. The cost involved is huge – we need to raise £75,000 to create the structure for this ambitious project.
This point has been reached through the hard work and dedication of our volunteer Katrina Vine. With Katrina’s help we have recently received funding that will allow us to landscape the area from the Landfill Community Fund, through the support of the Malcolm Group, William Tracey Group and Helping Hands Association.
The garden area at St Vincent’s Hospice has not been developed since the hospice was established on the current site in 1993. Currently our garden consists of a sloped grassed area with a large but leaking pond. This project will completely rejuvenate the outside space to create accessible, welcoming tranquil space. The ’creating a tranquil space’ project would see a special garden facility for St Vincent’s Hospice, the entire local community and beyond as Chief Executive Kate Lennon explains.
‘Being a large sloping site it has been a challenge to design it so that it will be fully wheelchair accessible and also dementia safe. It will require altering ground levels, creating wheelchair adequate pathways, building seating areas, creating a terraced seating area, a sensory raised areas and fully refurbishing the current pond. We will be using natural, local materials as much as possible, with extensive use of dry stone walls to give the garden a traditional feel’.
‘This project will create a garden space for patients and families, a space which can be enjoyed, and at the same time used to help support care. However making the garden accessible to our whole community is a big objective for the hospice. The philosophy of the hospice is to care for all in need of our care – we want our garden to reflect this’.
The garden will be open to the public in the summer, and we expect it to be a place that works on many levels, helping people in a number of different ways.
The calls and messages that we love to receive are the ones from people who tell us that have just decided to raise funds for St. Vincent’s Hospice. This blog is by way of a thank-you to everyone who has done just that and to hopefully inspire the ones who haven’t as yet.
Two recent examples that we received include someone being sponsored to eat a 2-½lb hamburger with all of the trimmings and a sponsored walk for dogs! We never know what’s going to come next they all vary considerably, but the one common factor is that they raise much-needed funds for the hospice.
So what could you do? Well the possibilities are endless from taking part in events like The Great Scottish Run or holding your own challenge. Whatever you decide to do you’ll be an St Vincent’s Hero. We couldn’t do what we do without people like you.
Many people who raise funds for us tell us that it was far easier to get pledges for money than they had expected. This has been helped by the arrival of Just Giving pages that are very easy to set-up. Promoting your ideas via Facebook to friend’s works really well. Workplaces can be very generous too where bosses and colleagues are often very supportive.
People that spend some time at the hospice, whilst we care for a family member or are often motivated to raise money for us, which is greatly appreciated, as is the person who just decides that this is a cause that they can support.
We’d love to know how you can help, please let the fundraising team know what you would like to do and if you need any help. Please call us on 01505 705635, we can also promote your ideas on our social media accounts.
If you want to be part of our big summer fundraising challenge, now is the time to commit and then get fit!
The event is the Arran Challenge 2015. It’s on the weekend of the 6th and 7th June and involves a duathlon cycle and trek on the island. This is such a good experience and will help us to raise much needed funds for the hospice.
Three of the St. Vincent’s team completed the event last year and had the times of their lives. We spoke with Christine Haddock (Volunteer Co-ordinator), Julie Mcintosh (Children & Young Peoples Services) and Susan Savage (Day Hospice Nurse) to find out how they got on.
All three wanted to get fit and to raise money for the hospice. They ladies needed to dust down the bikes that had been sitting untouched in their garages for a number of years and get practising.
As Christine backs up the most important thing is training, ‘We started off on cycle paths and then pushed ourselves harder looking for inclines, seeking them out for training’. This training is vital, but also fun as Julie adds, ‘One Saturday all of the participants got together, this was a really good chance to get to know everyone as well’.
Meanwhile their fundraising was well underway. Susan was busy organising a ceilidh and afternoon tea event to bolster her amounts. Christine and Julie were surprised at how generous their friends, family and colleagues were. ‘We had to raise a minimum of £300 and thought that would be incredibly difficult, however in the end it was near £1,300’ says Julie. All used a Just Giving Page, promoting to their contacts and Facebook friends proved very successful.
Onto the weekend itself and as the ferry arrived into Brodick on Arran the rain started. Not that that put the ladies off, in fact they thought it kept them cool and pushed them to do the cycling quicker! That first days cycle was 42 miles from Brodick to Lochranza.
All three mentioned the team spirit that soon developed. ‘People were cheering us on all the way through’, say Julie. They all still keep in touch with many of their fellow participants, apart from the cycling and walking they got to know each other over fish and chips and during rest stops.
The next day saw a 14 mile cycle to the foot of Goatfell followed by a trek to its summit. Some lovely weather for this, although there was some mist at the top.
Thanks to Julie, Christine and Susan for taking part. Susan has committed to this year’s challenge and is busy fundraising.
The event is very well organised and we can help with any questions that you may have. If you think it’s for you please get in touch and register. Please call us on 01505 705635 or email