At our meeting on April 11th 2019 at the Rathbone Pavilion Carolyn welcomed two new members, Linda and Sylvie, bringing our total number of NWWI to 42. Our speakers for the evening were two ladies working at St. Michael’s Hospice, a well-known venue and familiar to lots of families. It serves all families in North Hampshire. Julie Spreadbury is the Director of Patient Services and Daisy Mitchell is the Deputy Head of Fundraising. Julie explained the history and categories of care to us with the help of a PowerPoint demonstration. St. Michael’s Hospice, opened in the summer of 1992, is a registered charity and all its services are provided completely free of charge. Patients, families and carers are provided with specialist palliative care, ‘geared to helping people live life to the fullest and to ensure that their quality of life is the best it can be’. Julie dispelled many of the myths about the hospice. It is not only for cancer patients or just for old people, or just a place for people to die. It is not dark or scary and people should not fear that they will never go home. On the contrary, for example, patients may have heart disease or motor neuron disease. Patients’ ages range from 19 years old onwards and there is always a warm welcome in a safe environment for everybody. Half the patients are under the age of 65 and the average length of stay is 11 days with on-going support. The In-Patient Unit has 10 private rooms. There is a good chef, a weekly hair salon and facilities for families. The average ratio of staff to patients is one to two. Community Palliative Care is given too. The Hospice works closely with doctors, GPs and social workers and it provides many other services such as its Therapeutic Clinic, Physiotherapy Team and MND Clinic.
Daisy, the Deputy Head of Fundraising, described a myriad of fundraising activities arranged by her and many members of the community. Fundraising is essential as only 16% of funding is from the North Hampshire Council. The running costs of the Hospice are £5,000,000 a year. The Community Fundraising has sponsored events such as swimming marathons, cycling competitions, Tea and Cake parties, Bad Hair Days at schools, Quiz Nights, Black tie Balls, Raffles and Challenge Events such as sky-diving and abseiling. Other forms of fundraising include, for example, gifts at celebrations, Corporate Fundraising, Werthers Originals sponsorship, Street and Supermarket Collections and Blue Collecting Tins. There is often free hire of toilet units at events, employees can be sent by their companies to help at distribution centres or events. There are Hospice led events such as walks, runs, golf days, moonlit walks, the Basingstoke 5km and 10km runs, ‘In Memory’ Services and Celebrations, Sunflower competitions, Legacies, Regular Giving, Payroll Giving Trusts, ‘In Memory of’ donations. The St. Michael’s Hospice Lottery was launched in 2008. It has a weekly draw and a top prize of £1000. Altogether there are 740 volunteers saving £770,000 a year. Daisy gave us a very important message. Please recycle everything you can and take it to our nearest St. Michael’s Charity shop, at Brighton Hill. Even better news is that a new St. Michael’s Charity Shop is opening at Kempshott. If you sign up to Gift Aid the profit from your items is increased by 25%. Even if the goods are not reusable they can be bagged as the Charity receives money for the weight of bagged goods. Lesley thanked Julie and Daisy for their cheerful and informative talk and for opening our eyes to the variety of services and fundraising opportunities that we can support or have fun participating in.
May 9th 2019 - AGM and Resolutions, plus a social evening.
June 13th 2019 - our outing to Gilbert White’s House and Garden, High Street, Selbourne. Please arrive in time to start at 7.00pm
July 11th 2019 - our Garden Meeting, venue to be confirmed. Fingers crossed for a glorious summer evening. Please bring a chair, bowl, spoon and glass to enjoy wine and strawberries and cream.
Why not come along as a guest, a potential new member, or as someone who is interested in listening to a particular speaker? We are a cheerful group of ladies and we do have fun! If anyone would like to come along or would like more details please contact Carolyn Brown