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8 May 2020 Care

Kirkwood reaches for the stars!

The outbreak of coronavirus earlier this year has had a huge impact on all of our lives. And it’s meant that many organisations, including Kirkwood, have had to change the way they provide services, practically overnight. With Kirkwood’s team now spread far and wide across Kirklees (and beyond), Support and Therapy Manager, Mary Tyrrell Place, came up with a unique way to bring the whole Kirkwood team back together and spread a positive message to our local community. Mary tells us all about her fantastic idea, and how she hopes it will benefit others…

“As the Support and Therapy Manager here at Kirkwood, one of my roles is to dispel the many myths about hospice care and I have always been on the lookout for innovative and fun ways to do this! Almost a year ago, I saw another hospice, based in Leicester, had released a fantastic video to a well-known Queen song. This really inspired me to think that we needed to do something similar at Kirkwood!

“Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, everyone has had to adjust to working differently, including many of our colleagues who now work from home. Because of this, I thought it would be the perfect time to create our own video in the hope that it lifts the spirits, not only us here at Kirkwood, but also our local community. We also hope that it will let the people of Kirklees know that we are still here, stronger than ever, and we are still supporting them every step of the way.

“We have chosen the song ‘Reach for the Stars’ by S Club 7. It can be thought of as a cheesy pop song, but when you listen to the lyrics, they are really quite poignant.

"We want to send the message that no matter who you are, or what you are living with, you should always aim high and don’t let anybody tell you what you can’t achieve. This mind-set is key to how we support our service users here at Kirkwood.

Support and Therapy Manager, Mary Tyrrell Place


“Some people think that a hospice is a place you go in your final days, but Kirkwood’s services support so many people to live well and concentrate on what matters. This is a message that we need to shout about.

“Kirkwood enables people to achieve what is important to them. We focus on the person and empower them to reach their full potential. We focus on their individual and personal goals.

“This video shows that there are so many people that help to steer the Kirkwood ship, including IT, the Domestic Team, Catering Team, Clinical Teams, Fundraising, Marketing, the charity shops and many more! We all work together to deliver excellent care.

“Life has changed considerably for us all over the past few months and this has been such an uplifting experience to be involved in. It was a wonderful example of teamwork and despite many of our teams working off site at the moment, it united us all again.

“I haven’t belly laughed so much in a while. I was primed at my office window with my phone ready to catch people are they walked by so I could film them giving me a big ‘reach’!

“Once the ball got rolling and people realised we weren’t looking for an Oscar winning performance, they just got involved; it seemed to have a snowball effect. It has certainly uplifted us all and given us something fun to focus on.”

Sister Nurse, Sonia Tyndall, who can be seen dancing in the music video, said: “I wanted to get the In-Patient Unit Team together to do our part. With all the anxiety surrounding the coronavirus recently, it was something nice to do to bring us all together. Although they were reluctant about being filmed at first, it actually gave us all a few moments of fun and laughter together.”

Sadaf Adnan, our Service Development and Partnership Manager added: "I was inspired to take part in the video as in these strange times it's great to think that we can all still come together virtually to show the amazing work we do at Kirkwood. I never stop being taken aback by the all the different ways we help people and it really is a special place to be a part of"

Mary added: “There will be one moment I will never forget. We found some rainbow ribbons in a cupboard and Wendy, and Auxiliary Nurse at Kirkwood, chased our Community Services Manager, Jo, around the garden to the line in the song ‘Follow that rainbow’ – we all laughed so hard!

At Kirkwood, we know that everyone has different goals and wishes. Whatever they are, we encourage all those in our care to 'Reach for the Stars'. Click below to watch our Reach for the Stars video:

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