St Clare Hospice: Help Victoria go the extra mile for families in Harlow

Charity / Sat 11th May 2024 at 11:20am

WILL you help your local Hospice go the extra mile for people navigating life’s toughest journey?

That’s the plea from St Clare Hospice as the end-of-life care charity appeals to supporters to help it meet the rising cost of keeping its specialist team on the road, so they can continue delivering their expert care and support to people in their own homes and communities.

Each week, the St Clare team travel hundreds of miles across Harlow, Epping Forest, Uttlesford, Bishop’s Stortford and Sawbridgeworth, bringing their compassionate care and support where it is needed. But it costs the charity more than £32,000 in fuel each year to do so.

Hospice at Home healthcare assistant Victoria Martinez said: “Although our Inpatient Unit is based in Hastingwood, our caring work takes us far and wide. Whether it’s caring for patients in their own homes, bringing people together at our Wellbeing Hubs and Café Clare coffee mornings, visiting the lonely, isolated and frail through our Compassionate Neighbours initiative, or supporting those who are grieving at our Bereavement Cafés, we go where we are needed.

“But as a charity, keeping our Clinical Nurse Specialists, healthcare assistants and therapists on the road comes with a cost. And with our running costs and fuel prices remaining high, we need the support of our local community more than ever before to help us raise the thousands of pounds we need each week to keep our services running.”

Last year, St Clare’s Clinical Nurse Specialists supported almost 500 patients in the community, making more than 880 home visits. While the charity’s Hospice at Home night sitters cared for 150 patients overnight in their own homes, giving their loved ones much-needed respite from their caring duties.

Victoria added: “For people who are living with a terminal illness, and their families, the road laid out in front of them is never easy. It can be difficult and overwhelming and right now, there are patients out in our community who desperately need St Clare’s dedicated, compassionate end-of-life care.

“Supporting our patients to die with dignity and in peace, surrounded by the people who love them, is what motivates our staff to go the extra mile. We want to continue being there for local families so they have St Clare to turn to when their lives change direction. But we need your help to ensure our caring team can be by their side every step of the way.”

The money raised through St Clare’s Extra Mile appeal will ensure the Hospice can walk alongside people who have a condition that can’t be cured – whatever direction their illness takes.

When a persistent cough turned out to be small cell Stage 4 lung cancer, dad-of-four Bob Melia and his fiancée Emma turned to St Clare for support. Emma said having the St Clare team come out to support them at home during the final stages of Bob’s illness was a “godsend”.

“Even before it was confirmed, Bob knew something wasn’t right,” Emma said. “His bones hurt, his muscles hurt and he even began telling people he had cancer before we knew for sure.

“Having the support of St Clare Hospice was a godsend. I’ve called them at my lowest, when I’ve been sobbing on the floor and they were amazing at caring for us as a whole family. Everyone was so supportive and I really don’t think we’d have coped so well otherwise. I think we would have really struggled, with Bob in a lot of pain and us not knowing where to turn to for help.”

Bob, 49, died with his loved ones by his side at the Hospice in April. Emma said: “Having St Clare involved took a lot of the struggle away. It made things easier in a lot of ways when we didn’t have a clue what we were supposed to do, or who we asked for help. It was an absolute lifeline.”

To make a donation to St Clare Hospice’s Extra Mile Appeal today, visit stclarehospice.org.uk/extramile. Alternatively, you can donate over the phone by calling 01279 773750.

Donate now: stclarehospice.org.uk/extramile

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