This two-minute read explains why we should all get behind Hospice Care Week (4 – 8 October).
The nation’s 200 hospices care each year for 225,000 children and adults with terminal or life-limiting illnesses.
And, after an incredibly tough 18 months, they need our support now more than ever.
Where it all started
Dame Cicely Saunders – a nurse, social worker, and doctor – founded the modern hospice movement in 1967, when she opened St Christopher’s Hospice in South London.
Dame Cicely believed that “you matter because you are you, you matter to the last moment of your life”.
She argued that people should die with dignity and without pain. (This may not sound radical now, but it was back then!)
In the early days, most hospice work was carried out in residential facilities. In recent years, there’s been a push to also provide care in people’s homes (where possible) and outpatient clinics.
Getting through the pandemic
Covid-19 caused serious clinical challenges for hospice staff (imagine comforting a dying person while you’re wearing full PPE).
It also created financial difficulties, as hospices rely heavily on fundraising events and charity shop sales to make ends meet. As these activities were curtailed during lockdown, hospices faced a serious shortfall in income.
Do your bit
Hospice Care Week (which kicks off on 4 October) gives us all a chance to support the vital – and often overlooked – job that hospices do.
Here’s how you can support our local hospice: Donna Louise Children’s Hospice.
Wear yellow – Encourage your workmates to wear yellow for a day and ask them to make a donation to the cause.
Organise a fundraiser – Hold your own cake sale, quiz night, or raffle to raise funds. If you’re a runner, cyclist, or triathlete, set yourself a challenge and drum up sponsorship.
Shop local – Pick up a bargain at your local hospice shop. After all, the money is going to a good cause.
Have a clear out – Donate good quality second-hand goods to your local hospice shop.
Volunteer – Share your time and skills for free.
Here at Belvoir Stoke-on-Trent, we’d love to promote your #HospiceCareWeek fundraiser on our social media channels. Give us a shout, and we’ll put the word about.