Young Adult Charity Zest Extends Support With Launch of New ‘Zest Days’ Service

Young people enjoying the Short Break service by St Elizabeth Hospice - photo by ST Elizabeth Hospice

Suffolk young adult charity, Zest, has extended its support to young people throughout Suffolk with the launch of its new service, Zest Days.

Opening in July, Zest Days is a new service which will give young adults, aged 18 and upwards living with progressive and life-limiting illnesses, the opportunity to enjoy socialising and inclusive engaging activities on Fridays, between 10am to 4pm, at Zest in Ipswich. 

An addition to the charity’s popular Short Breaks’ weekend and X-Change evening services, Zest Days will enable young adults to enjoy independence away from home through a range of activities provided by coordinators, including cooking, creating music, inclusive sport and visits from entertainers.

Helen Finlinson, who is Head of Inclusion and Development at St Elizabeth Hospice, a role which sees her lead on the development of the hospice’s young adult service Zest, said: “We are so pleased to be able to launch Zest Days as it is something our Zest young adults and their families have been keen for us to develop.

“After leaving school many of the families we support report a lack of suitable options for day services and meaningful activity, due to both their age and complexity their conditions, and by developing Zest Days we will be meeting this previously unmet need.

“As Zest Days evolves we will be co-producing the service with the young adults and their families, to ensure these amazing young people have a regular supported place to meet and have fun together as part of their post education community care provision. If you would like to know more about Zest’s services please contact our team who are more than happy to help.”

Helen Finlinson

Part of the St Elizabeth Hospice Group, Zest is a scheme which sees the independent Suffolk charity work closely with children’s hospices and other services, to ensure young adults have a smooth transition into adult care.

Zest ensures all the young people, under its care, receive specialist support, tailored treatment and services needed to be able to enjoy life to the full.

From its industry unique Short Breaks, which allows young people to take time out from being at home while also providing families with vital respite. Through to its parent support group and monthly X-Change evening social group for patients, Zest enables young adults with challenging conditions to fulfil their aspirations. Whether this is to manage symptoms, access opportunities in the community or reduce loneliness by enabling them to have fun with friends.

“It has been a difficult year for all during the pandemic but especially for the families who use Zest, as they have experienced extra stresses and responsibilities, such as long periods of shielding that for many has meant being at home much of the time with less care support,” added Helen.

“At Zest Days we are able to provide trained staff and a supportive environment that can meet the complex medical needs, learning disabilities, offering age appropriate social opportunities. While it will also be a good opportunity for new users to try and have a taste of what Zest and its wider services can provide.”

To find out further about Zest and to register your interest in Zest Days email helen.finlinson@stelizabethhospice.org.uk or visit www.stelizabethhospice.org.uk/about-us/about-us/zest 

As a result of the development of new services such as the Zest Days and Short Breaks, the Zest team are looking to recruit more Zest Care Assistants to join the Zest community and help make a difference to the lives of the young adults and their families supported by the service.

To find out more about this opportunity please visit www.stelizabethhospice.org.uk/about-us/about-us/work-for-us/vacancies/ for details or get in touch with the team via 01473 707032 or by emailing Helen Finlinson at helen.finlinson@stelizabethhospice.org.uk

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