OCC is very proud to have formed an affiliation with Sobell House, whose dedicated staff have been providing innovative and specialist palliative care to Oxfordshire residents since its foundation in 1976. A proportion of all the funds raised by OCC, via annual subscriptions and kit sales, is channelled towards this venerable Oxford institution.
Sobell House has expanded and developed over the years and 2003 saw the opening of a 20 bed hospice on the current site at the Churchill Hospital in Headington. It is a multi-faceted organisation: as well as providing palliative and End of Life care, Sobell House staff also run an inpatient unit, a day centre, an outpatient clinic, a lymphoedema service, a study centre and a bereavement support unit, along with home visits and a telephone support service. In recent years the hospice has also embraced complementary therapies, such as music and art, chaplaincy work and social care.
The wonderful work of the hospice staff can be summed up by the words of Jamie, the husband of one Sobell patient, Sarah, who reflected: “You do not go to Sobell House to die. You go there to live!”
In 2017 Sobell House announced plans for a new Annex, with space for 6 beds, specifically for patients who may require immediate and urgent assistance, which can be quickly monitored from one central point. The annex, (pictured below) will incorporate staff rooms, a landscaped courtyard garden and the new Sobell Clinic will allow patients, particularly those with lymphoedema, to be looked after in purpose built clinic rooms.
Work on the new wing began in the autumn of 2017, with an expected completion date in spring 2019. Sobell House is still actively fundraising to ensure that the new annex meets the End of Life care needs of those in Oxfordshire for the next 40 years.
It goes without saying that such provision for both patients and their families requires the expertise of a multitude of dedicated, highly experienced staff, coupled with specialist equipment, rooms and buildings.
The money raised by OCC will go some way to helping with their running costs, but Sobell House are adept at raising money in all manner of imaginative ways, including their famous mid-summer Moonlight Stroll, which celebrates its 11th year in 2017, and other sponsored events, including a London to Paris cycle ride, Thames swimathons, sky-diving challenges, and for the very bold, there is even a Firewalk event!
Far more information about Sobell House can be found on their website, but if you want to get a real picture of the wonderful end of Life care they provide, then do take the time to read some of the personal testimonies.
Images kindly supplied by Sobell House and are reproduced with their permission.