One thing that never ceases to amaze me is the kindness of strangers.
The support we get at HospiceCare North Northumberland as a local charity from local people is incredibly humbling, from people wanting to volunteer their time to supporters doing crazy things to help raise funds.
These fund-raising efforts can range from taking on gruelling walking and running challenges to being thrown off the Tyne Bridge on a zip wire.
Would you believe that last year people in our local communities raised more than £80,000 for us – how amazing is that?
Whilst on the subject of fund-raising, we now have our first ever brand new car to raffle, thanks to local business Blackshaws.
Blackshaws has donated the car as part of its 100th year celebrations, and tickets are now on sale for £2 each.
Sadly, employees of HospiceCare and Blackshaws are not allowed to enter, but that hasn’t stopped us all feeling super excited about this amazing opportunity to work in partnership with a local business to raise £20,000 for our clinical services.
There isn’t a day goes by when I don’t reflect on the incredible work of our nursing team and how lucky we are in North Northumberland to have a Hospice at Home service, which is available 365 days a year, day and night.
You don’t even need a GP referral to access this service, you can contact the hospice directly.
Our nursing care makes it possible for people to be at home at the end of their life, instead of being in hospital.
The care we offer is very much person-centred so when we meet a patient for the first time we will ask ‘what is it we can do for you?’
Some answers may surprise you, like the gentleman who wanted to see his little dog walked on the beach one last time – so that’s what we did for him.
Then there was the lady who wanted to create a Memory Box for her unborn grandchild that she would sadly never meet – we did this for her.
And another lady just wanted to be able to buy her own knickers from M&S – and yes, we did that too.
Sometimes it’s the smallest things that make the biggest difference to our patients and their families.
And it is this, and so much more, that makes me feel proud to be a small cog in this large HospiceCare wheel.
As an extension of our nursing care, we’ve just launched a new Information and Advice Hub, based at our Berwick Hospice, Hazel Marsden House.
The hub has been set up in partnership with Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Macmillan Cancer Support.
It offers free practical and social support to people living with a life-limiting illness, as well as their families and carers.
The hub opened on Thursday, February 7, and will be available on the first Thursday of each month.
If you can’t get to Berwick in person you are most welcome to give us a call and we can chat over the telephone.
Full details of this and all of our services can be found on our website at www.hospicecare-nn.org.uk
So until next time, be kind to yourself.