To BHBPA Members and Friends,
Many of you may have met me at the monthly network meetings and annual quiz nights. I have been with the hospice in the fundraising team for 4 ½ years and in that time have met so many lovely people and supporters.
I am sure most of you will know what the hospice does, but for those who don’t, the hospice covers an area of Mid Sussex to include the 4 main towns of Burgess Hill, Haywards Heath, Lewes and Uckfield. Patient care is second to none. As one of the nurses calmly told me in my induction ‘ we only get one chance to give someone a good death and we want to get it right every time’. It is incredibly comforting to know that your loved one died peacefully, surrounded by family.
But the hospice is far more than a place where people come to die. It can be a very vibrant upbeat place. Patients are encouraged to take part in many different activities including arts and crafts, yoga, music or simply being there and enjoying the facilities. In addition, it gives ongoing support to the families who have lost loved ones
Last week, one of our patients wanted to see our two mischievous donkeys- Dylan and Dudley. Several of the staff gamely went to walk them round from the field towards the patient’s room. It was wonderful to see the joy on the patient’s face when she spotted them by her bedroom window.
However, most of the care provided by the hospice is in the patients’ own homes. At any one time the hospice will be supporting over 200 patients and the services are provided free of charge to the patients. As we receive less than 20% of our funding from the NHS, we are very reliant on the generosity of the local community to help us raise £2.6 million each year or £7,200 each day.
I have loved my time at the hospice, touched overwhelmingly by the wonderful support we get from the community. I don’t think there has been a BHBPA network meeting that I have attended where I haven’t been offered help by a local business for the hospice.
Although I am heading off, Wendy Agate will be taking over from me and I know she is looking forward to meeting everyone. Neil Taylor, our corporate fundraising volunteer will continue to attend the network meetings and help the department. I wanted to thank you all for the friendship and support that the hospice has received from BHBPA and know it will continue. I hope to see you around in the community in the future.