Help us care for local families this Christmas

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Can you help us to care for local patients and families in need this Christmas?
Bauble on the xmas tree
Published on: Monday 07 Dec 2015 at 11:38

Our specialist services are in constant demand, and we know there are many more people we could be helping if we had the resources, which is why we urgently need your help so we can be ready to respond when families need us.

Our director of patient care Phillip Ball said: “I’ve been working in healthcare since the late 1970s, and my focus has primarily been hospice care. After decades of work in end-of-life care, I know very well what a huge difference it can make to people at the end of their lives, and importantly, their families too. And when a loved one is reaching their final days near Christmas it can be an extra poignant time.”

Here on our Inpatient Unit our nursing team will make the Hospice look lovely over the festive period as it’s important to us that the Hospice should feel warm and welcoming and as much like home as possible.

There will be the sharing of Christmas stockings with our patients – both here at the Hospice and in their own homes – and our catering team will prepare a traditional Christmas meal for patients and visitors staying with us in our Inpatient Unit.

Phillip said: “Our personalised, adaptive care has a hugely positive impact on people’s quality of end of life, but – of course – it costs money to run our vital services, and yet all of our care is provided completely free of charge. We are not part of the NHS, so we have to raise the vast majority of care costs ourselves. In fact, for every single £1 we spend, we need to raise 66p ourselves through donations, fundraising and other voluntary sources.

“Which is why I am appealing to you today to please support St Clare this Christmas. Can you pay for some of the care we will need to provide to local patients and families – some of whom will live near you – in desperate need of our help?”

Man and woman smiling to cameraChristine Kingham’s husband Phillip spent last Christmas in our Inpatient Unit. “I had no preconceptions about what a Hospice was like, but I was so impressed by what I found,” she said.

“The whole team gathered around to greet him on that first day – a real welcoming committee! They took such good care of both of us and were always asking me if there was anything I needed. It was really like being part of a big, lovely family.

“My husband finally passed away on 5th January and it meant so much to have this team around me, to help me cope. If I’d been home by myself, I really don’t know what I would have done. Even afterwards, they were there for me, helping me process what had happened.

“I’ll be spending this Christmas with some of Phillip’s family. It’s going to be hard, but I know we’ll help each other through. Meanwhile, I know there will be people at the Hospice experiencing what we did this time last year. I’ll definitely be supporting St Clare this Christmas to help them provide more of their essential and exceptional care.”

Smiling woman sat at tableDonald Tuke’s wife Charlotte was able to spend her final Christmas at home with the support of our Hospice at Home team.

“I was especially impressed that the Hospice at Home team actually came on Christmas Day,” he said. “Charlotte’s symptoms had become a lot worse, and so it was such a relief to know that even on 25th December the wonderful nursing assistants would come to the house and see to it that she was comfortable.

“Charlotte left us two days later. She simply slipped away, our children and I by her side. Of course, I know that hospitals do amazing work, but at that terrible moment, I was thankful we were in our own home, rather than surrounded by noise and bustle on a ward.

“After all the care and hospitality Charlotte showed over the course of her life, it is quite fitting that she should have received such impeccable support in her final days. I have become a strong supporters of St Clare Hospice, as I believe that more people should be given the opportunity to die as she did; peacefully, in their own homes.”

You can read Christine and Donald’s full stories here.

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