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Stackyard News Feb 2010

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Farming Businesses Pledge Support for Hospice at Home

Agricultural businesses are among those across Cumbria supporting the vital work of Hospice at Home, Carlisle and North Lakeland, in a new initiative launched on Thursday (February 25).

Hospice chairman Michael Pearson hands over a certificate to Carlisle United Football Club director John Nixon watched by other Business Partners

Hospice chairman Michael Pearson

With limited NHS grant funding, each week the Charity needs to raise £11,000 primarily to provide end of life care for people with life limiting illnesses who wish to remain in their own homes.

Hospice at Home, one of only 15 similar independent services across the country, provides free palliative nursing care for around 300 patients a year in the Carlisle and Eden local authority areas and part of Allerdale, as well as supporting their carers.

The new initiative is offering membership to local businesses who recognise the important work undertaken by the Charity and who wish to support it.

The official launch at Carlisle Racecourse on Thursday was attended by representatives of 21 locally based businesses, including the racecourse, which have already pledged their support.

Businesses can either give direct financial aid or offer services and goods or carry out their own fund-raising activities for Hospice at Home.

Hospice at Home Chairman Michael Pearson said: “As we’re expanding the service with more people requiring our assistance and nursing, I’m delighted to be introducing this new Business Partners venture which involves businesses based in the community and their workforces, some of whom may have experience of what we do.

“With regular commitment from businesses locally we can build on and enhance the vital support we give to people and their families in their own home which is a very special place.

“It also allows businesses to feel involved with our service and that they are really making a difference to these people’s lives,” he added.

Since it was founded in 1997, Hospice at Home has cared for almost three thousand terminally ill patients and their families.

The nursing service has around 25 full and part time nurses and carers in its team headed by Clinical Services Manager Fiona Stobart and their flexible working arrangements provide up to 24-hour cover in some cases for between 20 and 25 patients at any one time.

Fiona Stobart said: “The support from local businesses can only help provide more care for our patients. It is also one of my objectives to extend our service further to provide additional respite care.”

More than 80p of every pound received by the Charity is spent on nursing care. The service provided also includes respite care, complementary therapies and a bereavement support service for carers and occupational therapy and lymphedema specialist nurses to improve the quality of life for patients.

“We were already receiving support from a number of local businesses but we want to both formalise and grow it,” said Hospice at Home Charity Director Sheila Thompson.

“Obviously, we would like local businesses to make an on-going commitment but we also want to give them recognition for their support and to spread the word about what we do to generate more support,” she added.

In recognition of the Charity’s appreciation, Business Partners will receive:

  • A framed membership certificate
  • A listing on a dedicated Business Partners page of the Hospice at Home website with a link to the business’s own website
  • A listing in Contact, the bi-annual in house magazine and the Annual Report
  • A copy of Contact and the Annual Report and Accounts
  • An invitation to an exclusive annual event hosted by the Patrons and trustees of the Charity, giving the opportunity to learn more about its work and meet other Business Partners.

John Baker, Managing Director of Carlisle Racecourse and one of the Business Partners, said: “We have supported Hospice at Home for a number of years, raising money through race days and we will continue to do that as we’re very keen to support a charity that benefits the local community in the way that it does.

“I wanted to participate in the Business Partners initiative to give some impetus to the charity and to spread the word about Hospice at Home. The work it does is incredible and it is hugely important.”

The Charity raises funding from its own events throughout the year which include flag days and collections as well as other specific activities for the public to take part in such as the annual Marmalade Festival at Dalemain, near Penrith and the Santa Dash and Bunny fun runs.

It also has a Charity Shop in Penrith’s Little Dockray which sells good quality items of clothing, bric-a-brac, books etc. Following a recent refurbishment, the shop is now being run solely by volunteers with an even greater emphasis on quality items for sale.

Hospice at Home relies heavily on the generosity of organisations and individuals who raise cash. Individuals also remember the Charity by leaving legacies in Wills.

Further information about the Hospice at Home is available on the website or from Sheila Thompson on 01768 210719.

Local companies who have signed up as Business Partners so far are:

Arc Eden Ltd, Carlisle
Cariget Cowen Ltd, Carlisle
Carlisle, Racecourse
Carlisle United Football Club
Carrs Milling Industries, Carlisle
Clydesdale Bank plc, Carlisle
Cranstons Ltd, Penrith
Cumberland Building Society, Carlisle
Cumbrian Homes, Penrith
Dalemain, Penrith
Dodd & Co, Penrith
Domino Pizza, Carlisle
Eden Housing Association, Penrith
Hoopers, Carlisle
Innovia Films Ltd, Wigton
Jennifer MacKenzie, Armathwaite
John Norris of Penrith
McVitties Group Carlisle
PFD (Carlisle) Ltd
Ullswater Steamers, Kendal
Wm Armstrong (Longtown) Ltd


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Hospice at Home Carlisle & North Lakeland