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Our Blog

  • It’s the little things...

    Why do we raise funds through our shops?

     

     

     

    Because in addition to all the hard work our fundraisers do, our shops (both online and on the high street) provide vital funds to help provide incredible care at our centers around the UK.

    Below we hear from Rachel Henry - a nurse at Thorpe Hall Hospice...

    It’s the little things...

    It was a young woman’s pink heaven. I looked around the room, taking in the scent from the many bouquets of  pink roses, the gaily coloured balloons and bunting hearts tied to the furniture. Lara lay in the bed, pale against the delicate pink sheets.

    "I can hardly see you amid all the pink - it’s like candy floss city," ..... I said to her. Lara opened her eyes and smiled weakly back: "It’s my favourite colour. I just wanted to be surrounded by it. Look at all the hearts – my family and friends have each done one. Thank you for helping me have this."

    Lara, who was in her early 20s, was dying from breast cancer. One of her final wishes was to have her favourite pink sheets from home put on her hospice bed, along with her favourite quilt – which we arranged. As she nestled back, looking relaxed and peaceful, it brought home to me again that it is the little things that mean the most to our patients.

    A privilege...

    That’s just one of the reasons why I feel it is a privilege to nurse them – especially amid the nurturing atmosphere of Thorpe Hall hospice in Peterborough. I always say I work in intensive care, because that’s how I see it. It’s just at the hospice it’s ‘intensive’ in a different way, without machines, tubes and wires. We offer true intensive care on a one-to-one basis. We might only have a patient for two days but it is such an intense time, it can seem like a year as we get to know them and their loved ones in a way that is very hard to achieve in a busy hospital ward.
    We look after patients like we would want our family to be cared for and treated. I get such a sense of satisfaction out of that one aspect of my work.

    Wedding...

    Having a terminal illness means you focus on what is important in the life you have. That was brought home to me when I recently helped organise a patient’s wedding. John and Sue had been together for over 20 years though never got round to marrying. He was in his late 50s and was close to death.
    He’d been with us for a few days and was rapidly declining. After a dreadful night when it was touch and go whether he would survive, he was sitting at his bedside when Sue arrived in the morning.
    There and then, he proposed to her. As soon as we heard, we got out the champagne and bunting.

    Kindness of strangers...

    We knew time was not on his side so that afternoon we rang the registry office to sort out the service and legalities, then put out appeals on Twitter and the kindness of strangers soon saw a cake, buffet and a photographer’s services all offered free for the wedding the next day. We even made our own confetti using a hole punch and lots of spare coloured paper!
    The wedding was set for 3.30pm - we rolled out a red carpet in the ward leading to two large chairs where the bride and groom would sit. We helped dress John in a nice shirt and trousers. Though he was in a lot of pain, we controlled that and he looked suitably dapper.
    Two of our health care assistants did hair and nails for Sue and some of the guests. John’s brother, who lived in the Middle East, managed to fly over for the service - they’d not seen each other for years and the two men were thrilled to be reunited.
    The service was lovely and afterwards we arranged the buffet in the day room. Sue and John looked so happy. I think managing to get married to her after all their years together gave him an inner peace. When John died two days later, his bride was at his side, holding his hand.
    It’s such a supportive atmosphere between staff and patients. Some people might find it hard to believe, but families often tell us the stay their loved ones had here was a special time.

    I wouldn't swap it for anything...

    There is no form of nursing like it. One patient told her daughter that I was `like her personal maid’ – it made us all laugh.
    I wouldn’t swap my work for anything. Often when I am sitting, chatting with a patient, I think back to my teenage school days in Bangor, Northern Ireland, when the careers teacher asked me what I wanted to be. I straight away said that I would love to be a nurse.`Oh no, you’ll never make it – you’re in the B Grade,’ she said dismissively. And with that she squashed my hopes and dreams to work in the one job I really wanted.

    Becoming a nurse...

    After I left school aged 18, I began work as a care assistant – at least I was doing something like nursing, I told myself. I met my accountant husband Brian, now 45, and we married when I was 22 and went onto have three children – Simon, now 22, Laura, 20, and Andrew, 16. So my 20s and 30s were spent raising out family.
    Fourteen years ago, we moved to England for Brian’s work and while the children were at school, I worked as a nursing auxiliary at the hospice. I loved it and knew it was my calling, so in between running the home I studied full time and in 2006 I qualified as a nurse.
    My first post two months later was back at the hospice as a ward nurse. I couldn’t imagine now working anywhere else.

    It's an honor...

    Of course, you cannot help but be deeply affected by being here. One of my children’s former teachers was a patient. She was a lovely lady, just 36 with an 18-month-old son. My children had loved her at school so it was quite emotional to care for her. We helped arrange the baby’s christening at the hospice chapel. As I nursed her, she told me she had no regrets and was not bitter at her fate. She was a very gracious lady and I saw looking after her as my way of thanking her for teaching my children. I shed more tears than normal for her.
    Today, I work part-time on the ward and am now a staff nurse but I also train student nurses – sharing my experiences with them. Working here has opened my eyes to all life – and made me grateful for what I have. It is an honour to care for our patients.

    Rachel Henry - Staff Nurse, Thorpe Hall

    To view more Incredible Stories - visit the Thorpe Hall Microsite - http://www.thorpehall.org/

    *Patients’ names have been changed.

  • Handmade Competition...

    handmade-woo-box

    Sue Ryder New Goods launch competition to find new products...

    We are extremely excited to announce this incredibly special competition to find the very best of the UK's handmade gifts to feature on our new Sue Ryder New Goods Website.

    We are going to be scouring the country to find up to ten limited edition products to add to a special featured category - "Handmade" - on the website...

     

    The Opportunity...

    Sue Ryder New Goods are looking for small UK based businesses or sole traders specialising in unique hand crafted gifts.

    Entrants must be able to produce 25 (possibly more depending on demand) unique 'limited edition' products that we can sell to our dedicated Sue Ryder customers through our online shop.

    This is an amazing opportunity for UK crafters who would like their products to feature on a national charity shop’s website and we are now calling for entries for this new category on our website.

    Over the next few months we are going to be inviting entries, holding a national online vote via our Facebook Page, and the top ten products with the most votes will go on to feature on our website as part of this limited collection of handmade gifts...

    Have you got a product people would love?

    Our entry guidelines are below, but what we are looking for are unique products that will compliment our existing ranges.... think vintage inspired, retro goodies, shabby chic, beautiful home and gardening gifts and traditional children's toys and games...

    Visit our online shop to get an idea of what we do...http://shop.sueryder.org/

    Public Vote…

    All winners will be chosen by a public vote via the Facebook page, so it’s down to entrants to bang the drum and get people voting for your products and hopefully get your products and your business featured on our site...

    We believe this is a fantastic way to get your products to a national market and support our charity work here at Sue Ryder...

    To find out more about what we do at Sue Ryder - please visit our main website - http://www.sueryder.org/

    How people can enter...

    Entries are via the competition app on our Facebook page:

    Please include…

    • The name of your business or yourself if a sole trader.
    • A high quality photo and description of the product you are entering with
    • A Recommended Retail Price (RRP) for your product*

     

    *Sue Ryder New Goods will pay the wholesale price of winning products via invoice on a sale or return basis. Please ensure you have this in mind. As a guide the wholesale price is usually around 1/3 of the recommended retail price.

    Key Dates...

    • Entries and voting are open between 9.00am on the 12th March 2014 and Midnight on the 5th May 2014
    • Winners will be chosen by public vote and announced via our Facebook Page on 12th May 2014
    • 25 of each winning product must be received by 26th May 2014
    • Items will go on sale 1st June 2014

    Many thanks

    The Sue Ryder Online Shop Team

     

    Find us on...

    1395761197_pinterest    1395761172_facebook    1395761178_twitter

    Sue Ryder Handmade Competition Rules for Entry

     

     

  • Beautiful Traditional Stationary...

    Don't forget...

    In our modern world of tablets and smart phones, you could be forgiven for thinking that good old fashioned diaries, note books and other stationary  essentials are not really needed anymore...

    Its simply not true...

    There is nothing quite like having a paper diary in your bag and many people still firmly believe a phone is just that - a phone (for making phone calls) and not some super whizzy organiser type thingy...

    This is what traditional stationary is for  - and best of all, you won't ever have to remember to keep it charged up!

    Stationary Essentials...

    Our beautiful collection of stationary essentials for men and women would make gorgeous gifts that anyone would love (or a little treat for yourself to help keep you organised ....)

    Memo Pads & Sticky Notes...

    These handy Memo Pads are perfect if you are a little forgetful...

    They include a lovely array of useful sticky notes and list pads including shopping lists, reminders, to do lists, dinner menu lists and memo peel-able stickers - perfect for booking marking ideas in books and magazines.

    They come in three pretty designs - Paisley, Botanical and Vintage Doily ... and cost just £4.99 each...

    11596-paisley-park-sticky-memo-set 11595-vintage-doily-sticky-memo-pads-lifestyle 11597-botanical-sticky-memo-pads

    Sticky Notes...

    If its just a gorgeous vintage twist on the plain old sticky notes we all love, then this little collection is probably just what you need...

    11674-memo-pad-B Sticky Notes - £1.99

    Notebooks...

    These beautiful, bound classical notebooks come in a range of sizes and designs and are excellent for people who love to jot things down on paper.

    Whether you need to take notes for a class, are an aspiring writer, an avid journal / diary keeper, or even just someone who loves to doodle, there is a notebook for everyone with prices starting from just £2.99...

    Bicycles or Rose printed on fabric covers...

    11473 bicycle notebook11430-floral-rose-notebook

    Summer Rose Large Note Books - Pink or Blue £5.99

    11475-summer-rose-notebook-pink                          11475-summer-rose-large-notebook-blue

     

    Notelets and Envelopes...

    These beautiful notelet and envelops come in sets of 8 and are great to have around the house for sending notes to friends including birthdays, thank yous or just a little note to say hello...

    Prices start from 99p for a set of eight...

    10876      10876d      10876b

    10877d 10877e10877b

     

    Recipe Books...

    These beautiful recipe books are great for storing all your recipes in. They are divided in to six sections for all your different dishes including starters, meat, fish, vegetables, baking & deserts, and come with plastic wallets to store cut outs and clipping in... just £1.99 from the website

    dog cat recipe

    E-reader & Gadget Covers...

    If however you simply can' live without your gadgets, we have these lovely cases in a pale blue bicycle design.... so you can appreciate the vintage patterns on your gadgets.

    11478 bicycle ereader case Bicycle E-Reader Case £4.99
    11469 bicycle felt ipad case Bicycle Felt iPad Case £4.99

    Finally...

    If you didn't get a 2014 diary yet and you need one - we have a selection of 2014 diaries for just £0.49 in the clearance section on our website...

    Clearance 

     

    Follow us on Social Media...

    Also - to keep up to date with all new products, special offers, competitions and deals - we have accounts on FacebookTwitter & Pintrest...

    FB ICON      Twitter Icon      Pintrest Icon

  • Get Crafty This Half-Term

               "I’m bored..."

                         "I'm bored again..."

                                   "I'm still bored..."

     

    It’s nearly half-term, it’s cold, it’s wet and the air will soon be filled up and down the Country with the sound of children saying…. “I’m bored….” Sound familiar?

    Here at Sue Ryder New Goods, we know that children get bored easily... especially when its raining and you have to keep them inside perhaps more than you would like to.

    We have a fantastic collection of brand new arts and crafts supplies to keep boys and girls happy this half-term, with 100% of all profits going to support our Charity aims. Visit the Children’s Arts & Crafts area on our website to take a look….

    Some ideas for younger children….

    For the little ones, we have come up with a great range of arty crafty items to inspire their imaginations and keep little one’s busy for hours….

    Make & Do...

    Our 'Make & Do' range is perfect for your future builders and explorers...

    All of our Find & Make sets utilise left over cardboard boxes and helps turn them into an amazing toy that can be used over and over again - great fun and the ultimate junk modelling experience!

    We have Robots, Cars, Space Pods, Elephants and a Shop to choose from:

    11316 find and make robot 1 Find & Make Robot £7.99

     

    11317 find and make car 2 Find & Make Car £9.99

     

    Find & Make Space Pod £7.99 Find & Make Space Pod £7.99

     

    11318 find and make elephant 2 Find & Make Elephant £7.99

     

    Find & Make Shop £9.99 Find & Make Shop £9.99

    Cup Critters...

    These adorable Cup Critters come in a range of designs and the pack contains instructions and everything else needed to make two Cup Critters, including 19 reusable Make & Do parts to create miniature works of art from the junk around you.

    11315-make-your-own-cup-critter-cow-rooster Cup Critters £4.99 each

     

    For older children….

    To keep the boredom at bay for a while for older children, the following arts and crafts activities require a little bit more skill and patience…

    Ukuleles...

    Our DIY Ukuleles make a great activity for young people... not only can they personalise their Ukulele to suit their own style, it also encourages an interest in music...

    11140 Picture Paint your own Ukulele £18.99

    Vintage Cars...

    These 'Make Your Own' Vintage Car kits come in red or blue and contain 28 'click together' pieces.... the perfect no mess activity and a great activity to improve dexterity in children, as well as looking really cool once they are built.

    Make your Own Vintage Car £3.99 Make your Own Vintage Car £3.99

    Knitting Dolls

    'French Knitting' is a popular and fascinating pastime at any age, the wool is wound round the pegs and produces a beautiful cord. This fantastic value activity kit contains all you need to get started including the doll, wool and instructions.

    Knitting Doll £1.39 Knitting Doll £1.39

    Fairy Dolls

    These adorable Fairy Doll kits are amazing for children wanting to create their very own keep sake doll. The kit includes: felt, fabric, embroidery thread, wool, needle and instructions. Suitable for children aged 7+

    DIY Fairy Doll £4.99 DIY Fairy Doll £4.99

    Get cooking...

    Finally, once they are ready for something else, why not cook up some lovely biscuits or cakes in the kitchen with these lovely little cooking kits for your budding chefs...

    Luxury Baking Set £18.99 Luxury Baking Set £18.99
    Blue Baking Set £9.99 Blue Baking Set £9.99
    Pink Cup Cake Baking Set £14.99 Pink Cup Cake Baking Set £14.99

    Just don't forget the aprons...

     

    Space Boy Children's Apron £3.99 Space Boy Children's Apron £3.99
    Red Polka Children's Apron £3.99 Red Polka Children's Apron £3.99

     

    and that's just for starters...

    On the website we have lots more lovely arty crafty supplies to keep them busy over the holidays... visit the Arts & Crafts section and take a look...

    Otherwise - keep an eye on our social media pages for details of new products, special offers and more ideas....

    Twitter Icon  FB ICON Pintrest Icon

  • Vintage Valentine's Day...

    January is finally over…

    It’s February, its cold and January is finally over… which can only mean one thing… its nearly Valentine’s Day.

     

    Vintage Valentines…

    Inspired by our collection of beautiful, vintage style shabby chic products, we thought we would bring you the best of them and give you some great ideas for Valentine’s gifts for the love of your life - with a small twist...

    Up and down the country people are mostly falling in to three distinct camps…..

    • ‘I just can’t wait….’
    • ‘Really – that time AGAIN?’
    • ‘The Anti-Valentines…’

     

    The ‘I just can’t wait' people are looking forward to Valentine’s day with a vengeance. These romantic souls embrace the love, hearts and flowers and love everything about this magical day.

    The ‘Really – that time AGAIN’ types just grin and bare Valentine’s Day… usually for a partner who falls in to the first category.

    The ‘Anti-Valentines are those that tell people not to bother, they don’t believe in Valentine’s day and it’s all a bunch of mushy nonsense etc etc.

    However…beware of this type. Certain ‘Anti-Valentines’ would actually like a gift on Valentine’s Day, you just have to be more creative to impress these rare creatures..

    So which one are you?

    Whichever camp you or your Valentine fall in to, we have a lovely selection of gifts that might just raise a smile from even the most hardened un-romantic, all it takes is a little bit of shopping and a teeny bit of imagination…

    For the ‘I just can’t wait’s…’

    These pretty little heart shaped tins are perfect for hiding away trinkets (or perhaps even a special piece of jewellery) if you’re feeling brave enough?

     

    Or how about this gorgeous ‘Love’ photo frame? There is nothing more romantic than a personalised gift, so why not add a favourite picture of the two of you?

     

    All beautiful gifts, and perfect for the romantic in your life.

    For the ‘REALLY…that time AGAIN…?’ types…

    You have to be a little bit more inventive here… If you are either one of these, or with one of these, the answer is to sprinkle your purchase with something a bit quirkier.

    Anyone can get a bunch of flowers and a box of chocolates delivered…. standard Valentine’s day purchases that although lovely to receive, just lack that bit of imagination…

    This beautiful set of three vintage style mini suitcases make a lovely gift in this instance…

     

    Not only are they a little bit different, but you could also go that one step further by placing another little gift in each one… maybe some traditional sweets ... we have a great selection on the website with prices starting from 99p - and these sweets make great Valentine's gifts for men too.

     

    These vintage style memo notes are perfect for writing a love note or something romantic on…

     

    The possibilities are endless… have a look around the website and see what you can find…

    Finally - the ‘Anti – Valentine…’

    This is all about knowing your partner and being creative. However whichever gift you choose, when you purchase from Sue Ryder you can be romantic safe in the knowledge you are paying great prices and all the profits go to support the work of the charity. Over the past 12 months, we’ve provided care for over 16,000 people at our hospices, neurological care centres and in the community. So each purchase from our new goods shop literally just doesn’t stop there, so there is no excuse now not to indulge your loved one in something lovely …

    Like this lovely cream ‘Love Hook’, a gorgeous additional to any shabby chic abode.

     

    Or this gorgeous white willow hanging heart?

     

    You are literally spoilt for choice for choice with all the fantastic gift ideas available on the website, and with 10% off your first order and free deliver if you spend over £30.00, you can be romantic, support our amazing charity AND save money… a win win all round.

    And what about the guys? 

    Men are notoriously hard to buy for on Valentine’s day… however, in keeping with our Vintage Valentine’s theme, we have a few ideas for you that are a little different from the norm…

    If he fancies himself as a bit of a musician, how about one of our traditional acoustic guitars?

     

    Or if you are feeling creative, how about personalising this gorgeous, vintage, steampunk style photo frame with images of you both (in sepia or black and white of course) for something really different.

     

    Feeling brave?

    It might not be a leap year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still pop the question, and how funny would that be to do it with this crazy moustache mug ?  Let us know if you do though, we would love to hear all about it!

     

    Don’t have a Valentine?

    These beautiful products are not just for the 14th February, all of them would look lovely in your house all year around, or even make a lovely gift for birthdays or if you have a friend that deserves a treat – a friend to friend Valentines gift is a lovely idea… take a look at shop.sueryder.org

    However you choose to celebrate (or not), we hope you have a lovely day…

    Happy Vintage Valentine’s Day xx

     

    Facebook Competition…

    We also have an amazing competition running on Facebook where we are giving one lucky winner the chance to win all these lovely Valentines goodies…

    products-white-403-x-403 (2)

    All you have to do is pop over and link our page, then like and share the competition post….

    www.facebook.com/SueRyderNew

  • Why play a Musical Instrument?

    Ever wondered why so many children are encouraged to play musical instruments?

    Being a Rock star or musician is rarely considered a sensible career choice so why bother? As a supplier of a wide range of musical instruments it’s a question we get asked a lot, so we decided to pose this question to a range of experts to find out ‘What are the benefits of learning to play a musical instrument?’

    Because Scientists Say So!

    It’s been proven that children who are exposed to music, or those who play an instrument, do better in school than those who don't. Recent research suggests exposure to music may benefit a child's reading age, IQ and the development of certain parts of the brain. Adults can benefit from learning to play an instrument too because it helps the mind to be alert and remain active eventually helping to sharpen the memory.

    It Teaches Discipline

    Learning to play an instrument is like learning to speak another language and it can be challenging at times. One of the qualities musicians possess is discipline. You have to be disciplined in order to master playing your instrument. You have to set time each day to practice, practice and practice some more.

    Playing a Musical Instrument Relieves Stress

    We all have days when we are so stressed out and we just want to take a break from it all. Have you ever noticed that when you hear soft, soothing music you feel more relaxed? Playing an instrument can do that and more, especially if you're the one playing. Music is one of life's simple joys; it helps calm the mind.

    Sense of Achievement

    If you're a beginner learning to play your first piece, it can be frustrating. But once you've mastered it, the satisfaction you'll feel is priceless. Never mind if it's just a simple piece, believe me you'll never forget the first piece you've mastered. You are one more step closer to achieving your goal and that is certainly something to be proud of.

    Playing a Musical Instrument is Fun

    Sure it can be a lot of hard work but there is no denying playing an instrument is fun. Once you get better at it, opportunities will arise for you to share your newly learned skill with your family and friends. Who knows, you may also consider playing professionally in the future. Playing a musical instrument opens up a lot of good possibilities that will surely enrich your life.

    Our percussion instruments are so easy to play and provide rhythm and tone to any piece of music.

    Perfect for schools and educational use and popular with teachers and parents, these instruments help and adults alike learn the basics of sound and rhythm.

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