Apologies for the time taken to update this blog, but I can assure you we’ve been hard at work pushing our message, tackling the huge amount of paperwork to apply to become a registered charity, fundraising and even making an appearance at our public event, the Park Lane school fete (thank you FOPLS for including us in that)!
The most important work we’ve been undertaking this last couple of months has been making the decision to officially register as a charity. This decision has come about for a number of reasons. When we initially started this journey, our aim was to supply a syringe driver every year to the Whittlesey, Thorney and Eye nursing team to help make sure that people didn’t have to suffer needless pain waiting for drivers to become available, but the further we went into this journey, we came to realise the scale of issues facing the community, and the CPFT (Cambridgeshire Peterborough Foundation Trust). With the Whittlesey community behind us we’ve made a massive impact, delivering 4 additional drivers to date with more planned, and developing a closer working relationship with the CPFT.
We’ve also has wonderful feedback from the CPFT and nursing team specifically around the difference the new drivers have made to them since they received them. In particular, the email below:
Morning Lee, Just a short note to thank you so much for your help. On the weekend of May 8th/9th Whittlesey required 5 x T34 Syringe Pumps to be running at different locations across the town at the same time, without the extra pumps you had bought, the District Nurses would have been rushing to and fro across Peterborough to find pumps from other areas not being used. Your pumps enabled timely symptom relief to be given.
These drivers have had a massive impact for the district nurses, and we can only imagine the difference this has made to the patient and their families.
Our relationship with the CPFT has enabled us to better understand the issues that they face, but it has also really highlighted the size of the problem across the whole of their area, and in particular, our neighbouring towns and villages. The information we have learned to date has helped inform our next course of action.
The CPFT covers a huge area from close to Corby (the Northamptonshire border), down to Yaxley and Stilton (close to the Huntingdonshire border), across to Thorney, Eye and out almost to March and beyond including all of Peterborough city centre.
Most of the GP surgeries hold 2 drivers for the nursing team to cover their respective towns and Villages. To put this into perspective, here are 2 examples from the areas they have to support:
Wansford has 2 drivers to cover from Wansford to Laxton covering Tixover, Wittering, Collyweston, Stibbington, Barnack, Sutton, and Castor & Alisworth; including all surrounding villages and parishes in this area.
Oundle has 2 drivers and covers as Achurch, Pilton, Lutton, Benefield, Polebrook, and Warmington; including all surrounding villages and parishes in this area which makes the list even larger still.
The CPFT also hold a small amount of drivers centrally at the city care centre, which can be collected and used by the District Nurses from all areas. This is not ideal, as under these circumstances the patient has to wait longer to receive a driver, whilst the nurses need to drive miles to collect them. They are also dependent upon them being available and not already in use elsewhere. The problem is compounded during evenings and weekends when GP surgeries are locked and the nursing staff are unable to obtain ones held there.
There is no doubt that the nurses time is much better spent with the person in need and their families and keeping the patient comfortable.
It’s been noticed and appreciated by the District nurses that the situation in Whittlesey is improving with the addition of the extra drivers. We have now been contacted by District nurses from some of these other areas who are asking if we can help in their communities too. We wholeheartedly want to help increase their numbers if we can as people should not be waiting for these machines.
We now want to expand our campaign to the whole of the CPFT’s region helping other local towns and villages, and also look to the future to make sure there is always a sufficient number of devices available where needed. We will be seeking ways of engaging with these communities to raise awareness and improve funding for their areas.
We are fortunate to have great support in Whittlesey from Facebook discussion and community pages, local webpages such as Whittlesey Street-life and also have the vibrant local magazines such as Whittlesey Discovery and the Fens. We would love to hear from anyone who can help us make a difference in these other communities the same way we have made in our own. We want to set the example for pulling together to really make a difference to those in pain.
Do you have friends or relatives that live in these areas? Could you let them know who we are? Do they know what a syringe driver is, or how invaluable they are in the community? Can you help spread our message? Can you give us any information that could help us to get the message across? This really will help us to make a difference where it’s needed.
We’ve also been really fortunate to have received several donations from some wonderful events over the last couple of months. Firstly, 5 lovely young ladies completed a challenging 48hr sponsored silence to help raise money for more Syringe Drivers in the area.
The girls who were aged 10 go to Hampton Vale and St Botolphs schools who allowed them to complete one of their quiet days at school. They originally set out to reach a £200 target which they absolutely smashed as they raised an incredible £600. It’s fantastic to see that even children understand the importance of these machines and are willing to make a difference. It was a wonderfully thoughtful thing to do and the girls should be very proud. A huge thank you to the girls and all those that supported them.
Next we wanted to say a huge thank you to the Whittlesey Singers who have delivered us a fantastic donation of £500 towards another Whittlesey syringe driver. We cannot thank people enough for their generosity.
Next, we were fortunate to receive a contribution of £950 from Rachael Smith and Michelle Birch following their Motor City Vipers gig at the Ivy Leaf. It was a fantastic evening due to their hard work and organisation, and special mention to the band who were great. We had a great night, met loads of people and put our dancing shoes to work!
Thank you for thinking of the syringe Driver fund and donating. This will go a long way to providing another driver.
We have also been lucky enough to have been awarded grants from the Whittlesey Charity for another Syringe driver. We would like to say a massive thank you to the charity who have been gracious enough to make the award.
On the 5th July, Louise was lucky enough to collect a cheque from Buckles solicitors. Mr Stephen Duffy delivered a donation of £500 to help towards funding a syringe driver for one of our other neighbouring towns and villages. These sorts of donations make a huge difference as it would take us months to raise this sort of money.
Amongst selling various items, plants, honey etc., we also attended our first school fete at Park Lane School and we’d like to thank everyone who visited the fete and our stall. We were so glad we were set up inside the hall, as the heavens certainly opened that day! We made £108 in total so it was well worth the effort. A special mention to Kim Fountain for helping us out and all the FOPLS for organising a great fete.
Finally, on the 6th June, we met with Katy Harrison at the CPFT to hand over 6 lock boxes at the city care centre. These lock boxes keep the syringe drivers as safe as possible while they are being used in the community. They can protect the drivers if they are dropped and also stop anyone tampering with the medication once it's in place.
Drivers can’t be used without a lock box and we always purchase a box with each driver we get, however we have found that these do get broken on occasions. These additional boxes will help ensure the drivers we provided continue doing their job.
Lee, Louise & Sam