10 Years of Support

Tuesday 16 September 2014

The Shakespeare Hospice is delighted to have received a grant from Stratford Town Trust in the 10th year of the Hospice at Home service, with the Trust having supported the project every year since it began in 1994. This recent grant brings the value of the Town Trust’s funding for Hospice at Home to over £530,000 to date.

Helen Munro, Chief Executive of the Town Trust, said, ‘The Town Trust is very proud to support The Shakespeare Hospice and the invaluable work of the Hospice at Home team. We know these nurses and their colleagues provide professional care allied with practical support and comfort to enable dying patients to fulfil their wish to die at home surrounded by their families.’

When Hospice at Home was first launched it was to meet the need for a service in Stratford that would enable more people to choose to stay at home to die. Studies all over the UK show that around 80% of people want to die at home but only 20-30% achieve that wish. For those lucky enough to have Hospice at Home support, up to 70% die at home.

When the Hospice at Home project was first launched it was a daytime only service and although it provided a great help to patients and families during the day, there were still long nights to get through. In 2008 the Hospice launched an out of hours service which covered the anxious night time periods when patients and families often feel most vulnerable.

This year the Hospice has bridged the gap between its day and night services with a twilight service which means for the first time the Hospice’s support is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year. This round the clock care is what the Hospice has been striving to achieve since it was first conceived by Francis Prentice, OBE and his fellow fundraisers in the late 1980s. With the support of Stratford Town Trust and others this has been achieved.

Since it began the Hospice at Home service has provided care to more than 1,400 local families with more than 20,000 home visits.

The Hospice at Home team at The Shakespeare Hospice are all specialists in caring for dying patients and their family members. They help patients to stay as comfortable as possible and always provide care with dignity and respect. Their care allows families to enjoy precious time together without worry about what to do, or how to manage – the Hospice team are there every step of the way.

A family supported by Hospice at Home explained:

‘When my wife came home from hospital, knowing that her leukaemia was terminal, she knew what the outcome would be.  From the start, the Hospice at Home Team were magnificent.  I don’t know how we’d have coped without them.  It wasn’t just the practical care – the washing, the bed changing, the dressings etc. – it was the warmth and compassion with which they treated us.  They felt like friends visiting the house, friends who understood our situation, knew practical things to help us, and friends who would never judge.  They cared for me, too, keeping me grounded and focused and making sure I spent some time looking after myself as well as caring for my wife. The night sits they organised meant that I and my family could at least get some sleep. Knowing they were there, and that they would wake me if the moment came at night, was a huge comfort.
‘Soldiers used to talk about nurses as ‘angels.’  I think that still fits the Hospice at Home Team.  I will be eternally grateful to them.’

To thank Stratford Town Trust for their support of Hospice at Home, The Shakespeare Hospice has made a special video, which is available to view on YouTube.

Referrals to Hospice at Home are increasing every year and the Hospice needs to keep raising funds to continue to provide this vital care to families in Stratford. If you would like to find out more, including how to access this service, or how to support it for future generations, please contact the Hospice on 01789 266852.

Family Support

Our Family Support Services include Children and Family Support Service, Bereavement Support, Counselling, Chaplaincy and Social Work Service.

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Registered Office: Church Lane, Shottery, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 9UL