Zest, young adults and Ed

In our final article for hospice care week we look at how St Elizabeth Hospice is looking to increase the care it is able to offer to young adults.

When you think of St Elizabeth Hospice live music, young adults having fun eating Chinese takeaway and a room full of Ed Sheeran memorabilia would most probably not be the first three things you think of but all these elements came together at last week’s meeting of the hospices Xchange Group.

Not many people are aware that the hospice starts to care for patients from the age of 14 and the Xchange group, which meets on the first Tuesday of each month, is just one the ways they currently do it introducing patients that have been cared for in the children’s hospice system to the adult environment.

Increasing young adult care is high on the agenda for St Elizabeth Hospice and to help them do this the hospice has launched Zest, a bold vibrant new brand to raise awareness of the need for young adult care and to engage with young adults to help them deliver it.

Zest can be seen on the high street, the hospice has just opened two Zest shops – one in Ipswich and one in Colchester – it can be seen as events under the Zest banner and very soon it will be seen in what is expected to be an event of international interest – the auction of over 300 of Ed Sheeran’s personal possessions which the singer has donated to the charity.

Ed recently commented “I’m really pleased to be able to help St Elizabeth Hospice with their Zest initiative. The care of young adults living with terminal illnesses is vital and I’m so pleased that the auction will raise both awareness and support for this important cause.”

With the increase in profile, and hopefully money generated from the auction the hospice is looking to increase the young adult services it offers. Later this month a Saturday afternoon drop in is beginning where once a month young adults living with progressive and terminal illnesses will be able to get together at the hospice for activities and a chance to socialise. Also the hospice has just announced that after April next year they will begins trials of supported weekend respite care, something that currently isn’t readily available in our region.

Helen Finlinson, young adult care and transition lead for St Elizabeth told us “The breaks are something we have now committed to delivering from next year and it is a much needed and really exciting opportunity. We are already a centre of excellence in the subject of young adult care and currently share our experience and expertise with other health professionals around the country. The need for young adult care is only going to grow and we are determined to be at the forefront of delivering it.”

To find out more about Zest and the Ed Sheeran auction visit: wearezest.org.uk

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