Dutch hospice raises funds through bespoke postage stamp

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“It started as a playful action,” said Gerrit Jan Smit, chairman of the Foundation of Friends of the hospice.

“As Friends of the hospice, we try to promote our hospice in many ways. We thought it would be nice to create those stamps, just for the use of our own hospice mail.

“But then we got orders from philatelists and other people. So it started to get serious. We have made sheets of ten stamps. We sell them. The additional revenues of the sale will benefit the hospice.”

The first sheet of the hospice stamps was handed over to the mayor of Hardenberg, Peter Snijders.

He praised the wonderful work of the volunteers and wondered whether there were any other hospices in the world with their own stamp.

In Holland, there are two kinds of hospices. A small percentage have their own nurses and docters, while the majority rely on volunteers.

In those hospices, nursing care and medical care is provided by regular homecare teams and GPs.

’t Huis aan de Vecht in Hardenberg (a town of 60 000 inhabitants) is one of those volunteer-based hospices. It has two beds, and it is situated at the floodplains of the river Vecht.

Find out more about ‘t Huis aan de Vecht on their website. 

Rob Bruntink is editor-in-chief of Pallium magazine, as well as Pal voor U, a magazine about palliative care, specifically for patients and their relatives. Along with his wife, he directs Bureau MORBidee, an organisation aimed at starting the conversation about death in Holland.

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