Introducing: Tina Hedges
Company name: Saint Michael’s Hospice
Company website: https://saintmichaelshospice.org
Social Media: @saintmichaels

With their ‘Light up a Life’ services coming up in a few weeks’ time, we caught up with Tina Hedges at Saint Michael’s Hospice to see how you can get involved, either as a volunteer, or by attending the events…

When was the company founded and how has it grown?

Saint Michael’s Hospice grew from the dedication and passion of the community of the Harrogate district, who were concerned that local people with terminal illness were living and dying in pain and without the respect and dignity they deserved.

With no radical change to the health service on the horizon, they decided care and support needed to be available locally for people in this situation and set about raising the money needed to fund such a service.

In 1987, Saint Michael’s was officially constituted, and the charity welcomed its first inpatient in 1989. Today it is delivering a network of services and also raising the millions of pounds needed annually to fund them.

As a result of these efforts, Saint Michael’s is improving the lives of more and more families every day.

Why do you stand out from your competition?

Our charity has more expert staff and trained volunteers dedicated to supporting people with terminal illness than any other local organisation.

Our values help us to maintain the highest quality care and support at all times: we are caring, compassionate and personal in our approach. 

We also have eleven shops across the Harrogate District at the heart of our communities selling fantastic pre-loved items.

Anyone looking to shop sustainably, find a bargain or discover some hidden gems must pop in and see us!

Tina Hedges, St Michael’s Hospice

How has Covid affected your business and how did you cope?

A pandemic is about pulling together and doing everything possible to help one another, and we’re really proud that our team did just that. We worked hard to maintain and continue to develop our existing services, Then, we looked outward to support fellow hospices, care homes and our NHS.

In the past year, our family of services has cared for 120% more people than before the outset of Covid-19, with more care than ever before being delivered at home.

In response to the pandemic, we also created a number of new emotional wellbeing support services for our community locally, including ‘Hear to Help’ – and frontline workers nationally through our Hospice UK Just ‘B’ helpline. 

Undoubtedly there have been changes and challenges in the way we have been able to raise funds. Our shops – which provide an incredible amount of vital income for patient care – were not able to open their doors during national lockdowns. However, we are back with enthusiasm and raring to go. It’s brilliant to see our amazing teams and loyal supporters return.

Who would you most like to have a drink with and why?

The children’s author, Julia Donaldson to thank her for her wonderful gift in telling stories to children. Reading a book or three to our 2-year-old daughter before bedtime is the highlight of my day.  

What advice would you give the next generation starting their careers?

Volunteer. You can develop new skills, meet new people and gain valuable experience to enrich your CV. You can also explore areas of work that interest you, or try something completely new.

We have volunteers in every area of our work at Saint Michael’s – they are the vital to our organisation and outnumber staff six to one. To find out volunteering with us, please email hr@saintmichaelshospice.org.    

Why do you like doing business in Yorkshire?

With our charity at the heart of the local community, I love meeting the wonderful people who support us in so many incredible ways, whether it’s volunteering, visiting patients or taking on a fundraising challenge.

Our shops are fabulous community hubs where people in Harrogate, Ripon, Knaresborough and Boroughbridge can always find a warm welcome.

Tina Hedges, St Michael’s Hospice

Do you have any events planned for Christmas?

Our very special Light up a Life services will be taking place in
– Pateley Bridge on 26 November
– Ripon Cathedral on 5 December
– Harrogate on 12 December and also online on this date

Anyone missing someone special is most welcome to join us for an evening of music, readings and time for reflection.

You can dedicate a light on our Christmas tree to your loved one at visufund.com/saint-michaels-light-up-a-life-2021 or by calling (01423) 878 628. 

Name your favourite local business and explain what makes them special.

We have many amazing local businesses which support the charity, it’s hard to choose one!

To name but a few, The Serious Sweet Company, Northern Energy and Bettys all been extremely generous. Froneri, a local ice-cream maker donated hundreds of lollies for our patients, volunteers and staff to enjoy while Vantage kindly gifted our team cars to use when visiting patients at home.

We’re so grateful to these businesses and are always keen to hear from any other local companies who wish to support us.

Would you like to feature your business in the Your Harrogate Business Focus? Email Claire Strachan (claire@clairestrachan.co.uk) for your chance to get involved.

Read more local stories from Your Harrogate here.