Help St Clare Hospice raise £70k in seven days to ensure it is Always There
Charity / Fri 17th Nov 2023 at 12:50pm
ST Clare Hospice is aiming to raise £70,000 in seven days – the cost of over a week’s care – to ensure it can be Always There for those receiving the devastating news that they have a condition that cannot be cured.
The ambitious fundraising campaign comes at a time when the Hastingwood-based charity faces increased demand for its expert, compassionate care and support, as well as rising costs to deliver its range of specialist services.
Between 22nd and 28th November, St Clare is calling on its communities across West Essex and the border of East Herts to dig deep and give what they can to help it reach £70,000 in a single week – the equivalent of funding just over a week’s worth of care, whether that is in the Hospice’s Inpatient Unit, in people’s own homes, in care homes, providing emotional and practical support to grieving relatives, or simply answering a call to the St Clare 24-hour Advice Line from someone in distress.
Rosie Knowles, St Clare’s Director of Income Generation, said: “In the past year alone, we have had over 1,000 people call our First Contact Service asking for help from St Clare – and that number is only set to increase.
“We know that the life-changing care St Clare Hospice provides is of huge value to the people who we are able to support, because that’s what they tell us. It is what every person being told that they have a long-term, progressive or incurable illness, or who is facing the end of their life, deserves. It is the kind of skilled and compassionate care that we would wish for our loved ones, and ourselves.
“We want to ensure our specialist doctors, nurses, healthcare assistants, therapists and counsellors can continue to be Always There when it feels like your world is falling apart. But, while our care and support is free to everyone who needs it, it comes with a cost to deliver.
“Unfortunately, the ongoing cost-of-living crisis has put our charity under increasing financial pressure, meaning we are reliant now more than ever before on the generosity of our supporters to help us raise the thousands of pounds that we need every single day to keep our services running.
“Raising £70,000 in just seven days is a big ask. But, it can be done with the support of our community and those who share our passion for exceptional palliative and end-of-life care. Which is why, between 22nd and 28th November, we are calling on everyone to help their hospice by getting behind our Always There campaign, and spare whatever you can.
“Anything you can give – big or small – will contribute towards guaranteeing the future of our services, helping us to reach even more people who we know could greatly benefit from what St Clare can offer at such a difficult time in their lives.”
The Always There campaign is being backed by Harlow woman Michelle Crooks and her family, who have experienced first-hand the life-changing difference St Clare’s specialist care and support can make when someone you love is living with a life-limiting or terminal condition.
Michelle, 35, was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour almost six years ago. After chemotherapy failed to stop the growth of the tumour, Michelle and her family turned to St Clare for support, initially attending St Clare’s Living Well programme, which provides people with the skills and knowledge to live as well as possible with their condition as well as offering the chance to connect with others going through something similar. Later, when her health started to deteriorate further and she lost the use of one leg and an arm, Michelle then started receiving visits from the charity’s Hospice at Home team.
Her mum Debbie said: “When Michelle was diagnosed, our world was turned upside down. Everything we thought we had to look forward to in life disappeared overnight. Replaced instead with endless worry over what the future might now hold.
“Facing the unknown is very hard. Not knowing exactly what’s going to happen to Michelle is a constant shadow hanging over us, which is way we are so thankful to have St Clare always there at our side as we navigate this overwhelming time. They are the people we can count on when it feels like everything else is unravelling.”
Debbie added: “For our family, the support we have so gratefully received from the Hospice team has been an absolute blessing. Which is why we are throwing our support behind St Clare’s Always There campaign. Having access to the specialist help and support that Michelle needs has made all of our lives easier, calmer and happier. Visits from the Hospice at Home team took the strain of caring for Michelle off our shoulders, allowing me and my husband to simply be Michelle’s mum and dad again. Something that she desperately wanted.
“Michelle has developed such a wonderful bond with the St Clare nurses and healthcare assistants who come out to wash, dress and make her feel like herself again. They are just fantastic, delivering care where it counts and doing everything they can to ease people’s pain and bring comfort. They have so much empathy for the people they care for and hearing them chatting and giggling with Michelle is just wonderful. We couldn’t ask for more.
“When it feels like your world is falling apart, St Clare is there to wrap you up in their arms. They have been a calming, steadfast presence for us all in what can at times feel like a sea of turmoil. As part of Michelle’s fight with this terrible illness, we’ve all had tattoos – a grey ribbon for brain tumour awareness alongside a white butterfly in memory of her two grandads and the words ‘I’ve got you’ because that’s what we – and the St Clare team – always say to her. I think that’s a wonderful sentiment.
“We know we are the lucky ones to have the Hospice by our side. And when the time comes, and if there is a bed available for her, Michelle has already told us that her wish is to die at the Hospice, surrounded by the love of the St Clare team who have made her feel so safe, comforted and in control. But there are many more like us who are not so fortunate. They too deserve the skilled, compassionate care that only St Clare can give.”
You can make a donation to the Always There campaign between 22nd and 28th November via stclarehospice.org.uk/alwaysthere. Alternatively, call the St Clare fundraising team on 01279 773750 to make a donation over the phone. Giving just £30 could give another person like Michelle their wish of being cared for in their own home by one of St Clare’s Hospice at Home nursing assistants.
Maybe they should take a look at how much they pay their senior leadership team, 160k a year for the ceo is quite excessive for a charity