“A hand to hold. A listening ear. The presence of another person. These simple things become invaluable in the final days and hours of life.”
The Anne Robson Trust believes that no one deserves to die alone. Their support programmes aim to reduce loneliness at the end of life. They equip hospitals to establish, train and run teams of volunteers to make bedside visits to patients in their last days. And their free-to-call helpline provides somewhere to turn to for people approaching the end of their life, and their loved ones.
The trust also initiates honest and open conversations about the end of life, and how families can prepare for it, through their ‘Time to Talk’ podcast series and workshops.
“The Anne Robson Trust is so needed. They help restore dignity, so people can experience a ‘good death’. They are the catalyst that helps families normalise the turbulent emotional rollercoaster of grief. Before working with the Anne Robson Trust, too many patients at our hospital were dying alone, and their families simply had nowhere to go. Now we are rated ‘outstanding’ for end-of-life care – an improvement in large part thanks to our partnership with the Anne Robson Trust.”
– Professor Nancy Fontaine – Chief Nurse & DIPC
(Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)
During the past year, against the odds, the trust has increased their capability as an organisation to meet the ever-growing need for their services. Last year, volunteers in their partner hospitals supported more than 1,280 patients and 860 friends and family, with over 2,700 visits, despite restrictions to hospital visitors.
Covid-19 lockdowns prompted the trust to adapt, and they launched a national helpline for those who are dying, and their loved ones. This has been running for over a year and has already provided more than 230 support sessions.
Although the restrictions of Covid-19 have at times meant that volunteers were unable to work in hospitals, the aim of providing on-the-ward companionship remains important to the Anne Robson Trust. They are in discussion with even more hospitals to set up teams of end-of-life volunteers.
“I am immensely proud that our hospital volunteers programme has hit the milestone of 10,000 bedside visits to patients, and that our helpline has celebrated its first year. But we are just getting started. A shocking number of people spend their final days in hospital with no visitors at all. There is very little support elsewhere for people who receive a terminal diagnosis or help for their loved ones. We will not rest until everyone has the companionship they want in their last days.”
– Liz Pryor, Founder & CEO, Anne Robson Trust
Liz Pryor is the founder and CEO of the Anne Robson Trust. She set up the charity following the death of her mother Anne, just hours after she was discharged from hospital. Liz was recently awarded an MBE for services to end of life care. The Anne Robson Trust is based in Hertfordshire and operates across the UK. Find out more about this organisation here.
Anne Robson Trust were awardees of our recent Helplines Fund with Bupa Foundation through the Mental Health Sustainability Programme. Beyond the funds given, they have been able to access webinars and peer support forums through our wider programme offer – as well as complimentary membership to The Association for the year 2022/23.