Hospice takes over Festival Place for awareness week
What does it take for a hospice to provide free, first-class care to people with life-threatening conditions and their families?
Visitors to Festival Place in Basingstoke will have the chance to find out during Hospice Care Week from October 7 to 13, when St. Michael’s Hospice will be ‘taking over’ the shopping centre as part of the annual national campaign fronted by Hospice UK.
The Basingstoke and North Hampshire hospice is partnering with Festival Place for the week, which this year is running under the theme ‘This Is What It Takes’.
During the takeover, Festival Place shoppers can find out more about the work of the Basingstoke and North Hampshire hospice and the vital role its supporters play.
Events will include:
- Hospice staff manning a stand every hour the centre is open
- A 22ft tall projection of a short film highlighting the work of the hospice. This will continue to run for another week after Hospice Care Week ends
- Posters will be displayed around the centre
- Video terminals throughout the centre will display the hospice messages
- The tower outside the centre will be lit hospice blue
- The Festival Place vacancy board will display hospice vacancies
- A £100 gift card donated by Festival Place will be raffled
- On Saturday, October 12, the annual Moonlight Walk will leave and return to Festival Place
Iain Cameron, Chief Executive of St. Michael’s Hospice, said: “Festival Place has given us a really effective way to reach out and show as many people as possible the work that we do.
“While hospice care is provided free for people with life-limiting conditions and their families, it is not cheap and takes a lot of skills, people and resources.
“We want people to understand the kind of work that goes on at the hospice. Too many people think of it as a sad, depressing place, and they also assume that hospice care is funded by the NHS.
“In reality, the hospice is a place of warmth and peace where 42 per cent of patients come in for symptom control and then return home – something which is made possible by our brilliant community team. Only 16 per cent of our work is NHS-funded.
“The story of the hospice is not just the 43,000 hours of nursing care we provided last year but also the 1,739 interactions our occupational and physiotherapists have with patients, the 48 memory boxes we gave to children last year, and the fact that our supporters went the equivalent of twice around the world in the year to keep us going.
“We will use this campaign to not just highlight ‘This Is What It Takes’ but also to thank Basingstoke and North Hampshire for the amazing role they play in making this happen.”
Tracey Bleakley, Chief Executive of Hospice UK, said: “We want to give people a ‘behind the scenes’ glimpse of the sheer diversity of people and resources that goes into the compassionate care provided to people at the end of their lives and why hospices are truly at the heart of their communities.
“This year is proving to be really tough for the hospice sector on several fronts, whether related to fundraising or recruitment challenges, so it has never been more important for people to support their local hospice.”
Centre Director Neil Churchill said: “We are delighted to be able to help St. Michael’s Hospice reach out to as many people as possible.
“The work the hospice does is so important, and this is the second year that St. Michael’s has been our designated charity.
“Last year, our fund-raising initiatives raised more than £10,000, and this year we are aiming even higher with several challenges planned, including their Moonlight Walk on October 12, and the Accumulator Challenge, which is running until the end of November. We have also taken part in a Firewalk event and will be offering the hospice’s Happy Wrappy present wrapping service at Festival Place throughout December.”