Conference sees challenges as opportunities for hospices

Categories: Community Engagement.

People from across the country and from various roles within hospice care gathered in Manchester for the Help the Hospices and the Forum of Independent Chairman of Hospices conference, Community engagement: back to our future, on Thursday and Friday last week (29-30 November 2012).

Peter Holliday, Help the Hospices deputy chair, made the honest but poignant statement that hospices need to “get it right for a generation’s time when I may be in need”, highlighting that death is something that everyone has in common.

The current and future need for hospice care was a recurring theme throughout the two days – that more should be being done to extend end of life care to underrepresented groups now and that the ageing population is going to place increasing demand on hospice and end of life care.

Opportunities

Joe Saxton, founder of nfpSynergy and member of the Commission into the Future of Hospice Care, spoke about the Baby Boomers generation and the opportunities for fundraising, saying that people are actually getting richer and that the UK has a strong giving culture.

“I am nothing but optimistic about the opportunities that are in front of you,” Joe said.

In a showcase on Friday, Kate Lee and Ruth Freeman, chief executive and director of income generation and marketing respectively, highlighted how, despite uncertain economic times, Myton Hospices was able to turn their fundraising department around and increase their income over 100%.

A debate between Nick Seddon, deputy director of Reform, and Barbara Gale, chief executive of St Nicholas Hospice Care, also highlighted the opportunities that exist to improve how hospices use volunteers in an effective and strategic way.

Innovation awarded

Earlier in the day, people and hospices were awarded for innovation for projects undertaken to improve hospice care, with the presentation of the Help the Hospices and National Gardens Scheme Awards. 

Sister Frances Dominica, founder of Helen & Douglas House, received the Lifetime Achievement award for the ‘huge difference’ she has made to the lives of countless children and families thanks to her dedication to children’s palliative care for more than three decades.

Evelyn Dalton, of Saint Francis Hospice in Romford, was awarded the Volunteer of the Year for ‘helping make things happen’ at Saint Francis Hospice for more than 25 years.

Chestnut Tree House Children’s Hospice and Hospice in the Weald were joint winners for the Innovation in Income Generation and Douglas Macmillan Hospice received the Innovation in Volunteering award for the use of volunteers in their Community Lodges project.

Presentations from the conference will be available on Help the Hospices website.

Next year’s Help the Hospices conference will take place in Bournemouth from 21-23 October 2012.

Keep visiting ehospice during the next few days and weeks to read more about this year’s conference and some of the project and ideas highlighted during the two days.

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