Terminal illness counselling charity now operating in Ipswich Hospital

Ending Life's Taboo members holding Community Fund picture

Ending Life's Taboo began offering its Ipswich service on June 22 following a successful bid to the National Lottery Community Fund. - Credit: Stefan Peck

A charity providing counselling to those with terminal illnesses is now operating in Ipswich Hospital. 

Ending Life's Taboo is a small charity which offers psychological support to 18-45 year olds facing a life limiting or end of life diagnosis.

It began offering its Ipswich service on June 22 following a successful bid to the National Lottery Community Fund.

The organisation has already been operating in Colchester Hospital since receiving its charity status in May 2021. 

Dr Hatti Roebuck, ESNEFT palliative care consultant and Ending Life's Taboo trustee, said: "All healthcare professionals who work with young adults know how very hard facing a terminal illness is for them and their families. 

"My colleagues are delighted to have this counselling service specifically to support these patients."

The charity was established by Tracy Davies after the death of her 27-year-old son, Ross Saxton-Davies, in 2016.

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Mr Saxton-Davies was diagnosed with malignant melanoma (skin cancer) in later November and died eight weeks later. 

The last four weeks of his life were spent in hospital. 

"Young people approaching the end of their life go through a similar grief process to those left behind", said Mrs Davies. 

"But there seemed little opportunity for Ross to access counselling.

Ross Saxton-Davies with sister, Toni Jolin

Ross Saxton-Davies with sister, Toni Jolin, in Colchester Hospital - Credit: Tracy Davies

"They grieve for the life they thought they were going to have and for the people they will be leaving.

"Ross was put on a waiting list at a local hospice. However, he died before he could access any counselling.

"I know that being able to talk to someone professionally trained would have both improved his mental health and reduced his emotional pain the his last weeks."

Ending Life's Taboo works with Macmillan to offer support to the patient and their families.

The charity only provides their service only when it is needed, ensuring it fits around the patient's lifestyle and treatment.

They currently operate at both the Wellbeing Centre, Colchester Hospital and the John Le Vay Centre, Ipswich Hospital.