Ashgate Hospice is joining forces with hospices across the UK to launch the first ever Hospice Care Week.
From the 8th to 14th October 2011, Ashgate Hospice hopes to raise awareness of hospice care and address the misconceptions that people may have about what hospice care is.
Speaking on behalf of Ashgate Hospice, Head of Fundraising and Communications, Joanne Edwards said: 'Hospice Care Week is an important opportunity to challenge the myths and misconceptions surrounding hospice care and to show people that it is about living, not dying.
'Many people think that Ashgate Hospice only provide care in our in-patient unit, but are often surprised to find out we also care for many more people in their own homes, in day care, in hospital, and through counselling and family support. I have also met many people over the years who assume that we are similar to a nursing home in that elderly people come here and never go home again. In fact at least 50% of our patients are able to return to their own homes and enjoy a renewed quality of life after having their symptoms assessed and controlled by our specialist care team. Our average length of stay is around 2 weeks and we care for adults of all ages and their families.'
'People are also always pleasantly surprised to discover that we make no charge whatsoever to the people who need our care. However, of course the care is not free to provide; we do actually receive some government funding but still need to raise Â£2.7 Million annually from voluntary giving. Since our original appeal in 1985 the local people of North Derbyshire have been extremely generous in their continued support of Ashgate Hospice, we couldn't do it without them and they are truly amazing!'
How to get involved
To mark Hospice Care Week, hospices across the UK, including Ashgate Hospice are asking their local communities what hospice care means to them ' in one word.
Joanne explained: 'Hospice care has different associations for different people ' positive, challenging and sometimes very surprising. By asking thousands of people 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, and across the UK.'
'Choice', 'life', 'laughter', 'friends' and 'home' are among the thought-provoking words that people have already sent in. Joanne added that her one word was 'dignity'.
A gallery of words will be shared on the photo-sharing site Flickr, and people are urged to Tweet their word during 8 to 14 October, followed by #hospicecareweek, www.besurprised.org.uk
You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org with the one word that shows what hospice care means to you. Whilst you're online don't forget to check out the interactive game on the Be Surprised website ' 'Dash for Cash' ' but be warned, it's addictive!
Look out for the Ashgate Hospice stall on Chesterfield's market next Monday, 10th October. 'We would really love it if people came to the stall to tell us their one word, and to have a look at our range of Christmas cards and diaries. We are offering one of our free 'bags for life' to everyone who comes to say hello. Alternatively if you would like us to come to your place of work, school or club please don't hesitate to get in touch.'
For more information on how to join the One Word Challenge and to find a Hospice Care Week event near you, visit www.besurprised.org.uk
[Source: Ashgate Hospice]
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