Date published: Monday 7th October 2019 | 08.32 GMT
This Hospice Care Week we celebrate the contribution of all of our supporters
Hospice Care Week runs 7th-13th October 2019. This year we are using this national awareness week to demonstrate the considerable work, undertaken by a team of unsung heroes, to deliver our expert palliative care, free of charge to all who need it in our local community.
St Clare Hospice is one of more than 200 charitable hospices across the UK taking part in Hospice Care Week, led by the national hospice and end of life care charity Hospice UK.
This year the theme ‘This is What It Takes’ highlights that while hospice care is provided free for people with life-limiting conditions and their families it is not cheap and takes a lot of skills, people and resources.
Sarah Thompson, our Chief Executive, said: “Here at St Clare we have a team of fantastic staff, from cleaners and cooks to physiotherapists and social workers, who work alongside our clinical staff to help people in East Herts and West Essex who are living with a life-limiting illness. But we couldn’t do what we do without the generous support of our volunteers and fundraisers; we need to raise £8,000 each and every day in order to pay for our free, expert care.
“Hospice care is about much more than medical care; we help prevent social isolation, we help people come to terms with their diagnosis and we help our patients live well. These services are all provided free, for people with life-limiting conditions and their families, but it is not cheap and takes a lot of skills, people and resources.
“As a local charitable organisation, the Hospice needs to raise around 60% of its overall running costs, which are forecasted to be over £5m next year. This means that £3m needs to come from donations, legacies, fundraising and our chain of charity shops.”
We are proud to say that in any one month around 2,000 people actively donate to St Clare Hospice. The charity is also amazingly well supported by a team of dedicated volunteers; more than 550 people regularly donate their time, working in the Hospice’s eight charity shops and supporting different areas of patient care. In the last year alone, this added up to more than 100,000 hours of time.
Additionally, hundreds of people have raised money for St Clare in the last year by taking on adventurous challenges including scaling mountains, running marathons and organising community events in aid of St Clare.
Sarah added: “From volunteering in our charity shops to taking on daring challenges, every person who does something for St Clare is helping us deliver our expert care, in the Hospice and in our patients’ homes. We have ambitious plans for the future, to reach more people with our care, so such fantastic support has never been more needed.”
Tracey Bleakley, Chief Executive of national hospice and end of life care charity Hospice UK, said: “Hospices provide incredible care and improve the lives of so many people with life-limiting conditions and their loved ones. During Hospice Care Week, we’d like to give a big shout out to everyone involved in making this happen for over 200,000 families every single year and show just what it takes.
“We want to give people a ‘behind the scenes’ glimpse of the sheer diversity of people and resources that goes into the compassionate care provided to people at the end of their lives and why hospices are truly at the heart of their communities.
“We hope that in Hospice Care Week people will be inspired to support their local hospice in different ways; whether by donating, volunteering or helping to spread the word about hospice care on social media.
“This year is proving to be really tough for the hospice sector on several fronts, whether related to fundraising or recruitment challenges, so it has never been more important for people to support their local hospice.”
There are so many ways people can support St Clare Hospice, this Hospice Care Week. For more information, visit: https://stclarehospice.org.uk/get-involved/. People can also follow the week-long campaign on social media with #ThisIsWhatItTakes.