It is currently the intention to set up My Safe Haven as a charitable trust with the following stated aim:

My Safe Haven provides and facilitates psychological support for terminally-ill patients and their families by means of trained Patient and Family Support professionals (PAFS). Psychological support is provided from diagnosis throughout the journey and at the point of need whether in the home, in a hospital or in a hospice. Assistance is also offered to the patient by means of practical support and appropriate 'home comforts' where considered beneficial by the PAFS staff and where not otherwise available. My Safe Haven aims to provide support proactively but unobtrusively. It operates in the borough of Hillingdon supporting and augmenting the work of local hospitals and hospices.

It is early days and we have a few things to put in place before we are in a position to accept donations. But we are working quietly behind the scenes to ensure that this vision becomes a reality as soon as possible.

I decided to set up My Safe Haven after becoming involved trying to save the Michael Sobell Hospice from permanent closure. I have become aware of how valuable psychological support can be for patients who have just received the shocking news that they are only expected to live a very short time longer. Nobody knows how they will react when given that news but I have received numerous testimonials as part of the Save Michael Sobell Hospice campaign from relatives of former inpatients which have convinced me that Patient and Family Support (PAFS) from qualified professionals is something that the community would wish to have available; this is a void that needs filling. That is why I am trying to set up My Safe Haven as a charitable venture. Its aim is to offer a solid base of psychological support that is proactive but unobtrusive; always there in the background, to be called upon in those dark, seemingly unbearable, moments.

The experiences of others that I have heard about recently struck a chord with me from when my own wife died four years ago. The nursing staff were, as usual, exemplary. But sometimes, especially for people who are on their own, little problems can seem overwhelming. And for people who live on considerably longer than expected with the death sentence hanging over their heads things never get any easier. It is in the dark moments that psychological and practical support can help people hang on to their sanity and dignity and retain some degree of control over what is happening to them. But in the last few days it is often the best option for that control to be handed over to those who are able to offer the best possible end of life care such as can only provided in a hospice. That is a difficult decision, but I can only say that it was one of the best lifestyle choices my wife and I ever made. In the end knowing that one's family will receive the support they need, and calm acceptance of one's fate, can bring peace and tranquility. Professional Patient and Family Support can help turn what can be a period of mental torture and anguish for all concerned into one that lives on in the memory as a time of shared love that should be cherished.

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