To mark Hospice Care Week (9-15 October 2023), MPs from across the areas of Herts and Bucks that we serve have been shadowing our staff to understand more about the role they play in funding hospice care in the area.
The visits were part of a national initiative by Hospice UK to marks its Hospice Care Week. MPs across the country visited their local hospice during the annual celebration. This year Hospice Care Week’s ‘We Are Hospice Care’ theme aimed to shed a light on the people who make up a hospice, celebrating the breadth, diversity and excellence of the hospice workforce. From clinical staff to bereavement counsellors, kitchen staff to shop volunteers, the people who make up a hospice are what makes hospice care so special.
Over 40,000 people work in charitable hospices across the UK. Hospices support more than 300,000 people every year and work across the system to reduce pressure on the NHS and train and support heath and care workers. But right now is a challenging time for hospices, and the need for hospice care is growing. The cost-of-living crisis has seen their costs soar, making fundraising for the majority of their income increasingly challenging. At the same time, recruiting, retaining, and paying their dedicated staff a fair wage has never been tougher.
The week started with Daisy Cooper MP visiting our shop on Victoria Street in St Albans. While there she spent time getting to know the staff and volunteers, learning about the operations of a charity shop and even browsing the rails to see what items she could find.
The following day saw Dean Russell MP visit our Peace Hospice site in Watford. While there he shadowed staff and volunteers at an outpatients’ exercise class and therapeutic art session, as well as visiting the staff and volunteers supporting the Peace Hospice Inpatient Unit. You can watch a video about his visit here:
The week ended with two further shop visits. Sir Mike Penning MP took a trip to our shop on Maylands Avenue in Hemel Hempstead where he spoke to staff and volunteers and had a good look around the site. On the same day, Rob Butler MP visited his local shop in Bedgrove, Aylesbury where he spent time checking out the items for sale and learning more from staff and volunteers about how their roles contribute to the running of the charity.
“It was a pleasure to welcome each of the MPs to their local site or service and give them an opportunity to meet some of our staff and volunteers. Our staff and volunteer workforce is broad and varied with every role just as important as the next when it comes to delivering hospice care for people in our area who are living with a life-limiting illness. Hospice Care Week gives us a great opportunity to shine a light on the work that is being done by everybody from our shop volunteers to nursing teams and everybody in between.”
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