So, here I am, fingers poised over my keyboard to write the very first column for HospiceCare North Northumberland.
To say that we – that’s all the team here at the hospice – are super-chuffed to have been given this golden opportunity to write about life at the hospice is probably an understatement.
It certainly had us all whooping with delight.
You see, part of my job as the marketing and communications officer for HospiceCare is to ‘spread the word’ about the clinical services we provide.
However, I’m sure you can appreciate that living in one of the most rural parts of the country as we do, with often sketchy broadband connections, this is not always an easy task.
So when we were invited to write a regular column it was an offer that we simply couldn’t refuse – a local newspaper showcasing a local charity – now that’s a match made in heaven.
Over the coming months, I want to share life at HospiceCare with you – the people who work here, our work in your community, and stories from our patients and volunteers to offer an insight into who we are, what we do and how we meet our costs.
Some of what we do may surprise you.
For instance, did you know that unlike many other hospices, we don’t have in-patient beds, but provide our care in the patients’ homes?
And believe it or not, the hospice building is a wonderfully uplifting and inspiring place to work.
The people and patients we meet through our services are incredibly inspiring, it really is such a positive place to be, and our weekly drop-ins are always full of laughter and fun.
In this first column I wanted to share with you the story behind the teddies that you will see on our clinical literature.
They belonged to my daughter Kitty, who, now all grown up, had them as a child.
The hospice chose the teddies as a primary image because we felt they reflected a sense of warmth, comfort, love and compassion, which pretty much sums up HospiceCare and the services we provide.
These include Hospice at Home, advanced dementia support, bereavement support and weekly drop-in clinics.
We recently appointed Nina Burnett to lead our clinical team following the retirement of Sue Gilbertson last December.
Sue was instrumental in setting up our Hospice at Home services in 2009, and more recently the appointment of our Admiral Nurse. We all wish her a very happy retirement.
In the next column about HospiceCare you can read all about our Hospice at Home services, plus there will be exciting news from our fund-raising team.
So please join me to catch up with all things HospiceCare, and do get in touch if there is anything in particular you would like to read about your local hospice.
You can contact me by emailing email@example.com
For further details about the services we provide, please visit our website at www.hospicecare-nn.org.uk
So, until next time, be kind to yourself.