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Local Hospital & Charity Partnership Leads The Way for End of Life Care

Contact: Liz Pryor, liz@annerobsontrust.org.uk or 07971 817552

Contact: Nicki Harris, nicolette.harris1@nhs.net or 01279 827467


In partnership with The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust (PAHT), The Anne Robson Trust this week is launching a Centre of Excellence for Butterfly Volunteer coordinator training at the hospital located in Harlow.


Half of all deaths in the UK take place in a hospital bed, many of those patients have few or no visitors at all in the last days of life. The Anne Robson Trust works with hospitals to set up and embed teams of butterfly volunteers, led by dedicated coordinators, to support patients and their loved ones at this extremely challenging time.

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Interview with a Butterfly Volunteer

Watch this fascinating interview of Vanessa, one of our amazing Butterfly Volunteers working at The Princess Alexandera Hospital in Harlow.

For more information about volunteering opportunities, make sure you have subscribed to our newsletter here. 

Already subscribed and have a few questions? Check out our Butterfly Volunteer FAQs here.


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Now Recruiting: Butterfly Volunteers at PAH


Are you interested in joining the team of Butterfly Volunteers at The Princess Alexandra Hospital? Would you like to support patients in the last days of their life, and provide comfort and companionship to them and their families? For more information see our Butterfly Volunteer FAQ’s page.

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ART Butterfly Volunteers Won £618 at the February Harlow Soup!

We were very pleased to be invited to join in on a fundraising evening, local to The Princess Alexandra Hospital, called Harlow Soup, on Thursday 28th February.

Jo did a brilliant job with her four minute pitch, and we were delighted to win the money collected on the door – which totalled £618!

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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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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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A Squeezed Hand and a Smile

Our ART Butterfly Volunteers provide compassionate listening, comfort and companionship for patients in the last few days and hours of life, many of whom have few or no visitors, and would otherwise be alone.

Some patients give very little or sometimes no response to our volunteers, so are we making a difference?


“Sometimes I wonder when I’m with a patient who doesn’t seem to be responding if I’m helping, or if they would really like me to be there if they could say.

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Diary of an ART Butterfly Volunteer: Entry 3

We have spent 7 months at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow where our ART Butterfly Volunteers have provided 738 individual visits to 283 patients who are nearing the end of their life. One of the team, Tanya Cotter, has offered to write a short account of each visit. Here are her thoughts after her third shift:

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The impact of ART on Specialist Palliative Care Team at PAH

Gill Hutchinson started working with the Specialist Palliative Care and End of Life team at The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust in May 2018 as Macmillan Clinical lead.

We asked her to let us know how she finds working in a hospital with a group of specialist volunteers on hand to support her team… This is what she said…

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6 Months and Counting

Since starting work at The Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow in mid January 2018 – exactly 6 months ago this week – our fantastic team of ART Butterfly Volunteers have provided:

– 607 individual visits – to 247 patients who are nearing the end of their life
– That averages out at 23 visits per week, to just under 10 patients
– AND they have spent 355 hours by the bedside – which is nearly two hours per patient on average

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