SWAN end of life Girlguiding comfort bags recognised by the Queen

1st Pendlebury Guides March 19 web
SWAN end of life Girlguiding comfort bags recognised by the Queen
20 June 2019

Congratulations to Girlguiding Greater Manchester West who work so hard making up comfort bags for relatives staying with our end of life patients in our hospitals in Salford, Oldham, Bury, Rochdale and North Manchester.

Girlguiding Greater Manchester West have won the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award given to UK volunteer groups, equivalent to the MBE.

The idea for introducing the comfort bags at out hospitals was championed at the NCA by Assistant Director of Nursing Fiona Murphy MBE who worked closely Pat Mayle from Girlguiding GMW on the idea. Pat then took the idea back to her county who all agreed it was something Girlguiding members, from Rainbows to Trefoil, could all get involved with.

The scheme started in Greater Manchester west in September 2015 and today has spread around the North West and beyond. Members in Girlguiding North West England have now packed over 12,000 bags. 

Fiona said: "It is hugely important that we celebrate this award given to Girlguiding GMW for the comfort bags they make for us. What a fantastic achievement, and thoroughly deserved. The comfort bags make a massive difference to relatives who have a much loved family member nearing the end of their life."

The Swan model of end of life and bereavement care is used to support and guide the care of patients and their loved ones that we care for at the end of life and after they have died. Find out more on our website here: https://www.pat.nhs.uk/patients-and-visitors/swan-model-of-care.htm 

 Swan offers dedicated support to patients in the last days of life and to their families into bereavement and beyond.

The Swan scheme is a national scheme which is present in 47 Trusts up and down the country. It was set up by Assistant Director of Nursing, Fiona Murphy MBE.

 Swan Comfort bags contain travel size toiletries and essentials for end of life patients, their relatives and those important to them.

 Recognising that relatives and friends may not want to leave their loved one to freshen up, these bags are gifted as a gesture of compassion at this difficult time.

Girlguiding GMW have received messages of thanks from recipients. One recent message said: 

"Thank you so much! Our family have received comfort bags during emergency overnight stays. It's a little gesture that has been a life line to us."