Herefordshire Life: St Michael's Hospice is Celebrating 25 Years Of Caring

PUBLISHED: 11:55 14 January 2011 | UPDATED: 15:59 20 February 2013

St Michaels Hospice

St Michaels Hospice

St Michael's Hospice is celebrating its silver anniversary. Geraldine Rose, Head of Marketing and Communications, tells the story so far and offers ideas on how you can help it continue its wonderful work

St Michael's Hospice is celebrating its silver anniversary.
Geraldine Rose, Head of Marketing and Communications,
tells the story so far and offers ideas on how you can
help it continue its wonderful work.

There cannot be many residents of Herefordshire who are not familiar with St Michael's Hospice and its work. Even
if they have not had personal experience of the Hospice, they will undoubtedly know someone who has. 2009 sees St Michael's reach the milestone of a quarter of a century serving the population of Herefordshire and the surrounding
counties; caring for adults who have a progressive life-limiting illness and supporting their families, friends and carers.

What began as a personal aspiration and commitment for founders Freda Pearce and Richard Miller in the late 1970s has become one of the most familiar local charities and the indispensible resource we know today.

From the beginning the Hospice has received outstanding support from the local community; this auspicious silver anniversary provides the ideal opportunity to thank everyone, be they supporters, volunteers or staff. It also provides the possibility to celebrate, to recruit new supporters and to raise much needed funds to ensure the Hospice is able to continue offering and developing its services over the next 25 years and beyond.

Located in beautiful, tranquil countryside in Bartestree on the outskirts of Hereford, the Hospice's wards and rooms (16 beds in total) are all on ground level and enjoy panoramic views towards the surrounding hills. There is a chapel, shop and children's play area and the lack of formal visiting hours means that friends and relatives are always
welcome; a variety of pets have also been known to visit. Limited accommodation is offered on site for visitors who have travelled from outside the area.

From the very first day it opened, St Michael's made a commitment to provide quality care to patients who have progressive, life-limiting conditions and to offer support to their carers and families during the patient's illness and in their bereavement. Over the course of time, services such as our day hospice, family support, complementary therapy, lymphoedema and outpatients services have developed in response to changes in the care and treatment of our patients and to identified needs.

A significant part of the work that we do is to draw on our
knowledge and experience to educate others. In this way and through the advice that we give 24 hours a day, we are able to influence the care of patients wherever they are being cared for. While St Michael's may not therefore be involved directly with someone's care, we may well be making a difference to it in other ways.

St Michael's aims to provide a range of services that are designed to meet the individuals' needs. Care is focused on whatever is important to the patient and family - spiritual care, emotional care, physical care, good pain and symptom control, advice and support with everyday living, information about financial advice, preparation for loss and
bereavement.

The Hospice practices a philosophy that the patients and their family always come first and that if opportunities can be created to promote the patient's quality of life and wellbeing in however small a way, then the staff and volunteers will try to enable this to happen. Patients are encouraged to maintain as much control as possible and families are supported to enable them to give as much care as they are able. We do this through advice, education and support in whatever setting the patient is being cared for. Information is provided to enable patients and their families to make choices about their care and the environment in which they receive care.

Ninety per cent (more than 3 million) of the total care costs is raised by the local community through events, donations, legacies and our shops and warehouses. The remainder is currently funded annually by the local Primary Care Trust.

People may be involved with St Michael's in a number of ways such as fundraising, holding events, sponsorship, donating goods, leaving a legacy or giving of personal time and skills. We would not survive without the contributions of all our supporters. We simply would not have the money or the resources to provide our services year after year.

St Michael's is a charity governed by a Board of Trustees whose members live in and around the community it serves. Each Trustee is appointed for the skills and experience they bring to the Hospice. The role of the Trustee is to ensure that the Hospice fulfils its objectives, is compliant with regulatory standards, is appropriately managed and utilises its funds appropriately.

The Hospice is managed by a team of senior managers who have a good understanding and are closely involved in the day to day work of their departments. We currently have over 700 registered volunteers working in the Hospice, in our support groups and in our shops and we have a hidden immeasurable number who help us quietly behind the scenes, tirelessly and unconditionally. It is estimated that our volunteers save the Hospice an amazing 700,000 per annum. We simply would not be able to operate without
them. Anyone who is interested in volunteering for St Michael's in any capacity should contact Stephen Rabbitts, Head of Support Services on 01432 851000.

To help celebrate the Hospice's Silver Anniversary there are many special events taking place alongside the regular ones. This month you could support the Hospice by taking place in its annual fun run on May 17. Come and join in a great family event for all ages and abilities, have fun and help the Hospice at the same time.

Don't be misled by the title the emphasis is on fun rather than running. You can walk, run, be pushed or carried around a single lap of Hereford Race Course (1.5 miles). For those who prefer a more sedate pace, there is a Flute and Harp concert with the internationally renowned flautist
Karin Leitner and harpist Duccio Lombardi on June 26 at the recently restored Belmont Abbey. The weekend of July
17 to 19 sees a fabulous flower festival staged at Lyde Arundel by kind permission of Mr and Mrs Robert Watkins. There will more than 40 glorious displays, a photographic
and Hospice memorabilia exhibition.

To find out more about these events please contact our fundraising team on 01432 851000 or visit our website
at www.st-michaels-hospice.org.uk

25 WAYS TO HELP ST MICHAEL'S ST MICHAEL'S HOSPICE

1 Join the Hospice Lottery by standing order (for just 4.33 per month you could win 1000 each week)

2 Make and sell 25 cakes, sweets or biscuits in aid of the Hospice

3 Hold a car boot sale in aid of the Hospice

4 Collect 25 unusual stamps for St Michael's to recycle

5 Hold a sponsored something e.g. swim, slim, silence...

6 Tell 25 people about the Hospice and the work it does for local people

7 Hold a Beetle Drive

8 Set up a standing order to give 2.50 per month through our Regular Giving Scheme

9 Hold a Bad Tie/Bad Hair Day at work and donate entry fees to the Hospice

10 Hold a Coffee Morning or 'Tea@3' event

11 Guess the weight of/value of/ name of...

12 Donate 25 days as a volunteer - we'll adapt any skill you have!

13 Hand out 25 Hospice Lottery application forms to your family, friends, colleagues, neighbours

14 Help in one of our 15 Hospice shops or collect and donate 25 unwanted items

15 Hold a mini tennis tournament and donate the entry fees to the Hospice

16 Display a St Michael's collecting tin in reception/staff canteen/counter

17 Hold a Charity Car Wash for the Hospice

18 Support the Hospice's Light up a Life Campaign

19 Make the Hospice your 'Charity of the Year'

20 Enter the Fun Run (17.05.09) and get sponsored for doing so

21 Host a Cheese and Wine evening

22 Sky Dive for St Michael's (29th May, 10th July, 14th August)

23 Shave your head for St Michael's

24 Ask for unwanted books and hold a sale

25 Remember the Hospice in your will

St Michael's Hospice, Bartestree, Hereford, HR1 4HA
Telephone: 01432 851000
Web Address: www.st-michaels-hospice.org.uk
Email Address: info@st-michaels-hospice.org.uk
Registered Charity Number 511179

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