Suffolk’s two adult hospices have teamed up to launch the first ever Hospice Care Week, with the aim of dispelling the myths around the services they provide.
It will raise awareness of how St Nicholas Hospice Care, in West Suffolk, and St Elizabeth Hospice, which reaches out to patients in the rest of the county, provide care which emphasises living, not dying.
The week-long campaign, from October 8 to 14, is called Hospice Care, Be Surprised and is being supported by the East Anglian Daily Times and Radio Suffolk.
Throughout the week the two hospices will be getting local communities involved by asking them what hospice care means to them – in one word.
You will be able to write your word on a special postcard, via email, on Facebook or Twitter and staff will be out and about in the county asking people for their views.
St Elizabeth Hospice’s chief executive Jane Petit said: “We realise that speaking about hospices can be a difficult subject. We aim to break that taboo by highlighting the wide-ranging ways we help people throughout Suffolk with any life-limiting illness, not just cancer, to live well until they die and support their families too.”
The campaign will also feature hospice awareness messages on local buses.
Up to 100 hospices all over the UK are holding roadshows, open days, information sessions, and fundraising events during the week.
GIVE US YOUR WORD
Which One Word sums up hospice care to you?
Choice, life, laughter, friends and home are among the thought-provoking words that people have already sent in.
St Elizabeth Hospice’s chief executive Jane Petit said: “Hospice care has different associations for different people – positive, challenging and sometimes very surprising. By asking hundreds of people in Suffolk to choose just one word to represent what hospice care means to them, we are aiming to create a picture of what our work really means to our local community.”
Give us your word by:
Postcard – pick one up from the Hospices’ receptions, their shops or East Anglian Daily Times offices and hand it in to staff there.
Online – fill in the digital postcard on the hospices’ websites or simply email one word to email@example.com. Please put Be Surprised in the subject box.
Social network – post your word on St Elizabeth Hospice or St Nicholas Hospice’s Facebook page walls or use Twitter and tweet your word to @stelizabethhosp or and engage with #hospicecareweek.
In person – Staff from both Hospices will be out and about around the county this week asking for your words. Look out for St Elizabeth Hospice staff at their 14 shops.
The words will be shared at the end of the week with displays at the hospices, on their websites and on photo-sharing website Flickr.
BE SURPRISED BY THESE TEN SUFFOLK HOSPICE FACTS:
. St Nicholas Hospice Care and St Elizabeth Hospice are independent charities
. Care is provided free of charge
. They need to raise thousands of pounds every single day
. Patients are aged 14 upwards
. Care can be given in a patient’s home, at the Hospice or in the community
. A patient may have any life-limiting illness, not just cancer
. Hundreds of volunteers of all ages from 16 upwards help out
. Families and friends get support too
. Patients can self-refer or a family member or health worker can refer them
. One in three people has been touched by hospice care