A letter from our Medical Director, Qamar…
This Christmas-time, St Clare’s Medical Director, Dr. Qamar Abbas wanted to share why he chooses to work Christmas Day each and every year since joining the hospice team over 20 years ago.
“My name is Dr Qamar Abbas and I am the Medical Director here at St Clare Hospice. I’ve had the privilege of working on Christmas Day almost every year since joining St Clare Hospice. It’s an honour to work at the Hospice on Christmas Day, and today I want to tell you why that is.”
“When we think of Christmas, most of us think of spending quality time with our friends and family – enjoying the sense of togetherness. However, when someone is nearing the end of their life, and is aware that it is likely to be their last Christmas spent with family, Christmas traditions become even more important.”
“As a Doctor at the Hospice, I choose to work on Christmas Day because I recognise that I have a responsible role within the team and I like to make everyone feel valued. I know that the nurses and volunteers work hard on Christmas Day, leaving their own families at home – and our patients and their families are often feeling low as they’d rather be spending the day at home. Therefore, I take it upon myself to make everyone happy, spreading Christmas cheer and good will. The nurses also do a wonderful job of making sure that everyone staying at the Hospice feels at home. They cater for everyone’s own personal Christmas-time traditions, ensuring that it is a special day to remember for everyone.”
“On the night before Christmas, the nurses will hang stockings in each of the patients’ rooms, organise Christmas dinner with our kitchen staff, and invite all of the patients’ families in to spend Christmas here at St Clare. Most years, we have families of 3 or 4 eating Christmas dinner together, but we’ve even had a family of 17 joining us before! Our Hospice at Home teams also take gifts out to families who they are visiting on Christmas Day. Nothing is ever too much trouble for our Hospice teams, and we will do anything we can to make sure Christmas Day spent at the Hospice is just like any other Christmas Day for our patients and their families.”
“I have three boys of my own, and we view Christmas as one of the most special times of the year – just like so many other local families. By giving a donation to St Clare this festive season, you will be helping us to make sure that Christmas Day is a happy and special occasion for the many local families we support throughout Christmas-time, including those who may be staying with us on our Inpatient Unit or being visited by our Hospice at Home teams.”
“We want to ensure local families can spend Christmas Day together here at the Hospice – still enjoying Christmas, but just under a different roof.”
“As a charity, St Clare has to raise more than £8,000 every single day to run our hospice services. Therefore, any gift you can give today will always be appreciated.”
£10 could pay for a stocking present for a patient and a family member waking up at St Clare on Christmas Day.
£44 could pay for Christmas dinner for a family of four staying on our Inpatient Unit.
£73 could pay for an entire day of our 24-hour advice line, so that people in our community can get immediate help and advice on Christmas Day.
“On behalf of my team and everyone here at St Clare Hospice, I would like to thank you for your continued support as, without you, we wouldn’t be able to do our job and care for people and their families in your community.”
“With my warmest wishes for a very happy Christmas”
Dr Qamar Abbas, Medical Director