What role does the hospice play in the local community?
by Murray Easton Hospice Fundraising Manager, Glasgow
I could write a whole essay on the role the Marie Curie Hospice, Glasgow plays in the local community but you’ll have to settle for this blog instead.
First and foremost the hospice plays a huge role in the local community by providing world class end of life care to people with a terminal illness and support and respite for their family and friends. The depth of support and the gratitude we receive for it is almost immeasurable. Doctors, nurses and volunteers go out of their way to provide people with a positive experience. It can be interesting to listen to how a hospice is perceived by different people. It isn’t a place that you go and ‘never get out of’. The hospice links well with our Nursing Service and we do try to ensure people are cared for at home if at all possible, that is where most people want to be at the end; at home, with familiar surroundings and hopefully with loved ones. Sadly people do require extra care and attention at times and that is where the hospice comes in. We have 30 beds at the Glasgow Hospice and we also have an incredible Day Therapies Unit where people can come for a day to take part in classes designed to help them live with their illness. So the hospice plays a huge part in supporting people in the community with a terminal illness. We receive a lot of support in return.
Volunteers play a huge part in the running of the hospice, in turn providing members of the local community with opportunities to use, gain or enhance skills and the chance to support the charity through offering something incredibly important – their time. Volunteers work throughout the hospice: people on the reception desk, drivers to bring people to day therapies, hairdressers, masseuses, complimentary therapists, kids from the local school who come in to go round the ward with the ‘Tuck Shop’, Expert Voices – people who have experienced the support of Marie Curie Cancer Care and now come in to use their experience to allow us to provide even better care in the future... the list goes on. In fundraising we have interns that come in a few days a week to work on larger projects like the Great Daffodil Appeal and Blooming Great Tea Party . We also have volunteers that come in to count donations, collect cans, make phone calls and help with admin support. I should check how many volunteers we have working in the hospice – you can take it as quite a lot from this list! Volunteer support is extremely important to the charity and we ensure we look after them like members of staff. We are extremely grateful to anyone who gives up their time for the charity, we are all a team and when things go well we celebrate as a team.
Marie Curie helps a lot of people throughout the local community. In turn, we receive huge support from all walks of life; schools, police and fire stations, colleges, universities, pubs, restaurants, shops, businesses... people holding race nights, fancy dinners, fancy dress nights, quizzes, discos, or jumping out of planes (with a parachute on!), holding a tea party, taking part in a walk or run, buying a daffodil, signing up for an overseas trek... The variety of ways in which people fundraise for the charity is truly inspirational and I always say to people that support the charity that ‘the first three letters in fundraising spell FUN’. They are doing it for a very serious cause, one which many of them hold close to their heart, but it is important to have fun when fundraising and to give people a good time whenever possible. If someone goes to a good fundraising night, then they will probably spend/donate more money. See how you can raise funds for our hospice . To summarise, I guess what I am trying to say is that we provide people with the opportunity to come together – a very important part of any community.