THE SHAKESPEARE Hospice is issuing a desperate plea for south Warwickshire residents to sign up as regular donors as their operational costs spiral.
The Shottery-based hospice’s yearly operational costs now stand at £3million after being impacted by the cost-of-living crisis.
The hospice receives just 10 per cent of its funding from the NHS and relies on the generosity of the local community to raise the remaining 90 per cent.
In a bid to attract regular donors, or even one off donations, the hospice has launched its “Wherever They Call Home campaign which brings to the fore the role the clinical team has in empowering patients to live life well for as long as possible, through real life stories.
Mel Clifford, day hospice team leader, explains that hospice nurses listen to patients’ hopes and fears and learn what is important to them, so that when the time comes, they can be supported so that they can die with dignity in the place of their choice.
The “Wherever They Call Home” campaign tells the story of a patient called Jim who was supported by the hospice, along with his family, after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2021.
Mel said: “Jim, his wife Julie, and their two young children lived on a narrowboat. After his diagnosis, Jim received palliative chemotherapy to help prolong his life. By 2022, his treatment was no longer working, and his GP referred him to The Shakespeare Hospice.
“Jim discussed his wishes with our team and told them he wanted to receive end of life care at home, on his narrowboat. Our team worked together to make this happen. Sarah, our occupational therapist, visited Jim to assess his practical needs and give advice about the symptoms that he was experiencing, such as fatigue. It was important to Jim to stay active and independent.
“Our children and family support practitioner met with Jim’s children to provide much needed emotional support. These one-to-one sessions would take place at home and sometimes outdoors, in the nearby woodland, where the children felt confident and safe, and able to open up and discuss their feelings and concerns.”
Jim died in his preferred place, at home on his narrowboat in September 2022, five weeks after his 49th birthday. Jim’s family continue to receive post-bereavement support from the hospice team.
Julie, Jim’s wife, said: “The support I received from the hospice nurses was invaluable. They were amazing and not once did they complain about walking down a muddy towpath. They took the time to listen and really worked hard to ensure Jim did things his way right up until the end. The support for the children has been incredible.”
Mel said: “The Shakespeare Hospice has been caring for patients like Jim, and their loved ones, across south Warwickshire for almost 25 years – wherever they call home. It is only thanks to the generous support we receive from our community that we can support families like Jim’s.
“But we must continue to seek their support. The hospice’s operational costs have been impacted by the cost-of-living crisis and we now need to raise even more money in order to continue providing essential care to those who need it most. Regular gifts provide funding we can rely on and help us to support patients and their loved ones now and in the years ahead.”
To make a regular donation to the hospice, or to make a one-off donation, visit TheShakespeareHospice.org.uk or pick up a Regular Giving leaflet in one of the hospice’s six shops.