Saint Catherine’s is marking Hospice Care Week 2020, which takes place from Monday October 5 to Sunday October 11.
Every year, Hospice UK – the national charity for hospice and palliative care – organises the event to help raise awareness of the incredible work carried out at hospices and in the community throughout the UK.
However, this year has been no ordinary year. Along with every part of society, hospices have faced huge challenges, both financial and in finding new, innovative ways to deliver their services.
Hospice UK estimates that since the COVID crisis begin in March, collectively hospices have lost in the region of £70 million in fundraised income. Many hospices in England rely on 70% of their funding from public donations through charity shops and fundraisers, which has not been possible during the pandemic.
Saint Catherine’s is no exception. The 24/7 care is provided to patients free of charge, but the wide range of services provided by Saint Catherine’s costs £6 million each year to deliver.
Only 34% of the funding is provided by the Government – the rest of the funds are raised through the generous support of the local community, through fundraising and donations. This equates to a need to raise around £11,000 a day, 365 days a year.
Mike Wilkerson, chief executive of Saint Catherine’s, said: “Hospice Care Week gives an important opportunity to raise awareness of the incredible work being done by hospices the length and breadth of the country. The pandemic has brought about huge challenges and significant change, but what has remained constant is the dedication, hard work and outstanding level of care provided by our teams. I would like to thank each and every one of them – and also a huge thank you to the local community for your continued support.”
Tracey Bleakley, chief executive of Hospice UK, said: “There are more than 200 hospices across the UK that work to support individuals and families with end of life care. With the world dealing with the effects of COVID-19, expert end of life care is more important than ever – and hospices need our support.
“Join us from 5-11 October 2020 and play your part in showing what it takes to give people and their families the care they need and deserve at the end of life.”
What people say about Saint Catherine’s services
Here is just some of the feedback we have received from families during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Today my mum passed away peacefully in her sleep, and I know she was petrified of dying. I promised her that I would be there with her when she takes her last breath, and I’m so grateful that I was allowed to be there at the end, bearing in mind the current situation.
- When our friend learnt her cancer was terminal she chose to come to Saint Catherine’s so she would have a peaceful, dignified end to her life and she was so pleased with the care and treatment she received. You managed so well in the difficult situation with the coronavirus and we were so grateful we could still visit. It means a lot.
- Considering the PPE required, limited visitation and extra quarantine mum required due to her transfer from hospital to hospice, your staff’s compassion and care were 100% throughout. Nothing was too much trouble. You’re superheroes in the guise of nurses and staff.
To find out more about the work of Saint Catherine’s, go to www.saintcatherines.org.uk or call (01723) 351421.