The Community Champion
East and North Hertfordshire Hospitals’ Charity, members of Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, are the National Winners of the Community Champion award at the Chamber Business Awards 2023.
One of the projects the charity funds is the Butterfly Volunteer Service. The Butterfly Service makes a vital contribution to the Hertfordshire community, with volunteers who provide companionship to patients at the end of life at the Lister Hospital, if their loved ones cannot be there with them. In the last 12 months, the Butterfly Service received 573 referrals and made a total of 2,613 visits. In 1,279 of those visits the patient was entirely alone, and 27 patients died during their Butterfly visit. In total, the volunteers gave the service 1,031 hours to offer comfort to those who might face dying alone.
The Butterfly Service has also given talks to local groups to explain the service and to provide advice on what to expect when your loved one reaches the end of life and what plans should be made.
The service has also shared best practice advice with other hospitals around the country.
The service was inspired by a Care Quality Commission (CQC) visit in 2016, which reported that between 15 and 20 people were dying alone at the Lister Hospital each month. This report prompted the foundation of their service and today, the Butterfly volunteers visit about 50 patients per month.
The Butterfly Service relies on specially trained volunteers to be there with patients at the end of their life. Investing in recruiting, training and wellbeing support for the volunteers is essential in this sometimes difficult role.
Other resources that are needed include uniforms and lanyards, equipment such as iPads and DVD players, printed support materials, and items purchased for weddings and other ‘Dying Wishes’ events. These resources help maintain the professional and compassionate nature of the service and help the service retain its dedicated volunteer base. The service is entirely reliant on donations from grateful families and the local community, and the charity has to raise in excess of £45,000 each year to sustain it.
The service receives frequent donations in memory of those it has have supported, and also benefits from funds raised through fundraising activities from those who wish to say ‘thank you’ to the volunteers for being there with their loved ones at the end of their life.
The service has also been kindly supported year on year by local businesses, including those within Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, who have nominated the Butterfly Service as their Charity of the Year. The service has also been fortunate to have backing from local community groups like supermarkets, Rotary clubs and golf clubs, who have fundraised for the service after their members have personally experienced their support.
The service is promoted on social media, in the local press and on other various marketing materials, and receives support through these channels.
The Butterfly Volunteer Service deserves this recognition because it provides such an important and special service with kindness, dignity and compassion to families going through the most difficult and upsetting time. Families that can’t be there at the bedside of their dying loved one will be comforted to know that someone will be there at the end so they don’t die alone. They are excellent winners of the Community Champion Award at the Chamber Business Awards 2023.
On the back of the success of the brewery site and events, Dal then set his sights on expanding both the range of products on offer and the footprint of the business. In December 2021, Dal agreed a 20-year lease on Christchurch Spire in Coventry city centre. The unique venue serves Dhillon’s beers and ales on tap, as well as offering hot drinks and food, to create a family friendly environment.
Dhillon’s next venture was the Sky Blue Tavern, a brand-new sports bar in the city centre, in partnership with Coventry City Football Club. The Tavern is a hub for Sky Blues fans to meet and enjoy a drink, whether on matchdays or non-matchdays, and helps to generate revenue and support for the club. As one of the only dedicated sports bars in Coventry, football and sports fans can watch the latest action on big screens and in individual booths.
Dhillon’s Brewery have now also secured several catering contracts, including with Historic Coventry Trust, where they provide food and beverage operations at the historic Drapers’ Hall, as well as at other Trust locations.
The company’s vision and long-term growth plan continues to be focused on its close association with Coventry whilst securing further locations and contracts, to build a sustainable, profitable business model whilst continuing Dal’s original passion for brewing beautifully crafted beer.
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