Hospice Care Week, running this year from October 3rd to 9th, is an annual week of activity to raise the profile of hospice care across the UK.
Aiming to change people's perceptions of hospice care, it is a week of celebration and action, now in its sixth successful year. The theme chosen for this year – "Hospice Care is..." – gives people the opportunity to complete that sentence by relating their own experience of hospice care and what it means to them.
Many examples can be found on the website of Hospice UK, the national charity which champions and supports the work of more than 200 member organisations providing hospice care across the UK. On a special page devoted to this year's theme, people tell why Hospice Care is... "... someone to talk to in the night", "... more than tea and sympathy", "... there for my family", "... a home from home", "... a breath of fresh air" and several other inspirational personal stories.
Hospice care seeks to improve the quality of life and wellbeing of adults and children with a life-limiting illness, helping them live as fully as they can for the precious time they have left. Hospices offer wide-ranging, personalised care provided by teams of professional staff and volunteers.
The care they provide is not just to those living in a hospice, but to people in their own homes or visiting a hospice to access various services and therapies. The vital support they provide also extends to the family members, close friends and carers of people with a terminal illness, both during the illness and after bereavement.
Antonia Bunnin, Director of Hospice Support and Development at Hospice UK, said: “Hospice care is incredibly varied, but always places the individual at its heart. There is so much that goes into the compassionate and person-centred care delivered by over 200 hospices across the UK. It is the small, personal touches as well as the expert clinical care that makes what hospices do so special.”
Here at Acorn Stairlifts we have been honoured to work with a number of hospices, most notably the Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice situated close to our head offices in Steeton, West Yorkshire. We have a long association with Manorlands which sees our staff fundraising in a variety of ways, both in-house at Acorn and by taking part in fundraisers organised by the hospice.
After raising almost £18,000 for Manorlands in 2015, we set a target of £20,000 for this year, passing it at the end of September, with three months to spare. Receiving a cheque for £20,463, Manorlands Senior Fundraiser Andrew Wood said it was the largest sum for a single year's fundraising he had ever received in 10 years with the charity. We have also been able to donate around 25 stairlifts to Manorlands patients, enabling them to remain in their own homes while receiving hospice care.
Acorn has also worked with the Marie Curie Hospice at Bradford, which earlier this year led to a new national partnership with Marie Curie, the charity providing care and support for people living with a terminal illness. Through that partnership, Acorn will donate up to 60 stairlifts per year for Marie Curie patients across the UK, allowing them to be cared for in their own homes and easing the pressure on beds in the network of Marie Curie hospices.
We have also donated on long-term loan two specially adapted Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles, one to Manorlands and the other to the Marie Curie Hospice for the West Midlands. Driven by volunteers, these vehicles allow wheelchair-dependent patients to visit the hospices to benefit from various day activities and therapies.
Acorn's company secretary Dave Belmont said: "It's always a joy for us to work with hospices and help support the incredible work they do in communities across the UK. Hospice Care week is a great way of raising awareness of that work and helping people learn what wonderful, positive places hospices are."
For more about Hospice Care Week, click here.