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2018…. We made it through our first year!

Amazingly, it has just been the ninth anniversary of the death of my mother, Anne Robson. I can’t quite believe that it’s been so long… but then I think about all that’s happened in those nine years, and realise that we’ve come quite a long way.


Since setting up the team of Butterfly Volunteers in Hertfordshire in May 2016, we seem to have been on rather a fast paced roller coaster!

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ART Hits the National Press

BEL MOONEY writes a heartfelt but uplifting despatch from the hospital end of line


Bel Mooney is an journalist and broadcaster. She currently writes a column for the Daily Mail and met with the ART Team earlier in the month at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, home to one of our first ART Butterfly Volunteer projects.

Click here to read the article written for the Daily Mail.

“We’re so proud to feature in the national press and look forward to continuing our work across the UK to make sure no one dies alone.” – Liz Pryor, Director of the Anne Robson Trust

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Social Change Awards 2018 Finalists

A message from our Director, Liz Pryor…

“I am writing to everyone involved with ART, and everyone we have trained as a Butterfly Volunteer in 2018 –  we need your help!

Jo and I are only just coming down from our high of winning the Fab NHS Stuff Award last week – and it seems we’re on a roll as far as awards are concerned!

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Job Vacancy: Butterfly Volunteers Coordinator – POST NOW FILLED

We are transforming end of life care at The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust through the role of Butterfly End of Life volunteers. Come and join us.

Do you have knowledge and experience of supporting and enabling service improvement in end of life care? Do you know how to recruit, train, retain and energise volunteers to give the best quality care and support to our patients? If so, we want to hear from you.

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A while ago our work was selected as the ‘pick of the week’ by an organisation called Fab NHS Stuff, which is run by Roy Lilley and Terri Porrett. They run an annual awards event, which took place on 15th November 2018, where all 52 projects (one for every week of the year) are in the running for their Piccalilley Award of the year.

We won!

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Job Vacancy: Volunteer Coordinator for ART Butterfly Volunteers- POST NOW FILLED

We are excited to announce the first in a round of recruitment for ART Butterfly Volunteer Coordinators.

Our teams of Butterfly Volunteers visit patients in hospital who are in the last weeks, days and sometimes hours of their life. They provide companionship and a hand to hold. They support families as they face the imminent death of a loved one.

First to advertise the opportunity is Norfolk & Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – with our Patron, Prof Nancy Fontaine at the helm as Chief Nurse. Here is a link to the recruitment page. NB This post is now filled.

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Spotlight on Professor Nancy Fontaine

Each Newsletter we will be shining the spotlight on someone connected with our organisation, and next up it’s Professor Nancy Fontaine…


  1. Who are you and how are you connected to the Anne Robson Trust?

I am Professor Nancy Fontaine, Chief Nurse of Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals Foundation Trust, Professor of Nursing at the University of Essex and Anglia Ruskin University. This is my third Chief Nurse post and my determination is to achieve consistent, outstandingly safe and bespoke care for every patient and family. That every Nurse, Midwife, Allied Health Professional, Pharmacist & Bio-Scientist realises their true potential; achieves their academic and career aspirations; that they do the job they love every day as I am privileged to do. I am privileged to be a Chief Nurse and serve, communities and the profession; equally I feel privileged to be a Patron of the Anne Robson Trust.


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Diary of an ART Butterfly Volunteer: Entry 4

Reflecting back during my time as a Butterfly Volunteer at PAH, I remember being really apprehensive the first time I knocked on a patient’s room door when there were visitors with them.

Not only do I know how difficult and heart-breaking it is to be at the bedside of a loved one when they are dying, it was important to me that they didn’t feel like I was intruding.

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Actively Dying: What Does it Mean?

You may have listened to the feature about our work on BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours programme, which aired on Friday 14th September, 2018 (listen again here).

A number of people who heard the interview have asked what I meant when I said that it can take people up to 3 days to “actively die”. I thought it might be useful to provide our supporters with some information about this phrase – clearly it is not one that everyone uses…

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