Devinely United

Last week, over 65 volunteers and staff at Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service all came together for our charity’s first ‘One Team’ day.

A team-building day that as well as celebrating the valuable contributions everyone makes, created an opportunity to build new connections and focus on the future growth of our charity.

The day was brilliantly led by Business Coach Sharon Torpey and kicked off with a discussion around the importance of connections and how working together effectively really enables everyone to do what they do.

The first group activity was all about creating new connections and it certainly got people talking! Everyone deposited one of their shoes in a basket before selecting a different shoe whose owner they had to seek out. Once the owner of the shoes were found, the aim was to share some of the key highlights from their journey with Alexander Devine.

A presentation by Volunteering Researcher and Consultant, Dr Ros Scott provided a fascinating insight into ‘Volunteers in Children’s Palliative Care’. Despite being unwell and unable to attend in person, Dr Ros presented her latest findings in a pre-recorded presentation.  Amongst other things it included: how essential volunteers are to the vision and culture of the charity; the real impact of volunteers in the community and at the hospice; the broad range of volunteer roles; the incredible financial value of volunteer work; the importance of helping volunteers to develop their skills; and, the future challenges around retention.

After lunch, it was the turn of motivational speaker, Mark Rhodes. His focus was on the benefits of a positive mindset, confident communication and dealing with change. With his witty anecdotes and funny stories, he engaged the audience and demonstrated how simple, small changes really can make a big difference not just in individual success, but success for the charity as a whole.

The last group activity of the day was a fun creative challenge. Fuelled by plenty of haribo sweets, each team was asked create a distinct ‘Coat of Arms’ using words and illustrations. The Coat of Arms was split into quadrants for each team to display their talents, a funny fact that connected them all, an Alexander Devine value that inspires them, and also a promise for the future.  To tie it all together, they then had to come up with their own unique team motto.

Feedback following the event has been overwhelmingly positive and everyone is excited about the next one!

“I loved meeting other volunteers and staff members, hearing their stories about what motivated them to join Alexander Devine…Thanks so much for the opportunity to join you, I never imagined that it would be one of the most joyful environments I have experienced.”

“I truly enjoyed the day. It was so lovely to meet everyone who makes such a commitment and gives so much love to Alexander Devine. It was important to show our volunteers how much we care about them too.”

“I think we all learnt how important it is to work as a ‘whole team’ and the importance of upholding the unique values of Alexander Devine in our volunteering. These values really did shine through on the day!”

A big thank you to Sharon, Mark and Dr Ros for all their contributions in making it such a successful and enjoyable day for everyone.

Finally, organising such a fantastic ‘One Team’ day is no mean feat. A huge thank you to Debbie Tonkinson, our Volunteer Coordinator, for working tirelessly in pulling everything together and also creating such an engaging and informative agenda. Everyone – staff and volunteers – will undoubtedly continue to feel the benefits of the day for quite some time.

Need our help?

The word hospice should not seem scary and getting support from us doesn’t have to mean a child’s death is imminent. Helping to enrich the lives of the children and their families is at the heart of our service, our end of life and bereavement support is just a part of what we do.

Our children’s hospice service covers the whole of Berkshire and the surrounding counties. Anyone can make a referral to Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service and if you think your child may be eligible for our services, please do get in touch.

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We wanted to pay tribute to a very special young man who has been part of our Alexander Devine family for the past six years. A few weeks ago we had our final home visit with him before he transitions to an adult hospice.

This extraordinary young man has has brought so much joy, laughter and love to us all Alexander Devine. Amongst many things, we will miss his cheeky sense of humour and love of singing!

Here's to you Tomi, our superhero!
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Thank you so much to Naomi from Wild Heart Yoga for helping to raise money for us. Naomi is streaming live yoga sessions for free and asking students to make a donation to Alexander Devine Children's Hospice Service. Head to her page for details of all her classes.First live stream class done! That was really scary for me but so glad I did it. Was wonderful to see all my lovely students, Miss you all so much! Shoved everything out of the way, had a big roll of carpet in front of me, a step ladder, paint and my dog moaning but it was lovely all the same 😂
I’ll be teaching more classes next week - details to follow. Classes will free but I’m asking people to donate money to charities. My suggested is @alexanderdevinehospice but the choice is yours.
Let’s use this as a chance to give something back! Much love ♥️💫🤪🙌🏻 #yogaonline #zoom #wildheartyoga #charityyoga #stayhome #yoga #spreadlove

Ps. Message me to book onto classes
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On this day 13 years ago, Fiona Devine established Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service after her son Alexander tragically passed away.

Today Fiona has published an Open Letter in response to the Covid-19 crisis, urging our supporters and local community to help us. You can read the letter in full here.

To each and every one of you, please give what you can to help us maintain our much-needed and valued service. We need your help now more than ever.
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Inspected and rated Good by Care Quality commission
Registered with Fundraising Regulator
Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service is the operating name of Alexander Devine Children’s Cancer Trust. A company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales No. 5757493

Copyright © 2019 Alexander Devine Children's Hospice Service. UK Registered Charity No. 1118947.