Hospice “tweetathons”stir up social media support

Categories: Community Engagement.

Two hospices in particular have made full use of their social media channels, opting for 24-hour ‘tweetathons’ on Twitter.

Both Demelza Children’s Hospice in Kent and St Peter’s Hospice in Bristol have taken the innovative approach of tweeting throughout an entire day, to give followers an understanding of hospice life.

The hospices tweeted during breakfast, from therapy sessions, with the home care team and even from the daily meetings to report on the latest patient admissions: 

Both staff members and volunteers got involved, highlighting the wide range of roles within the hospice. Demelza Children’s Hospice even got their mascot Dotty to do some tweeting:

The tweets opened the doors to very special moments too, as one of the Demelza Hospice patients couldn’t sleep and followers read how the little girl was able to make pancakes:

And the food theme seemed to be a key element throughout the day with a picture of Irene, a cook who was serving lunch to the patients, staff and volunteers at St Peter’s hospice:

Utilising the hash tags #HospiceCareWeek and #HospiceLive, the Twitter community have been able follow the minute-by-minute updates and Help the Hospices, the national hospice charity, has also been tweeting throughout the week to reach the wider community.

The hospices made full use of the multimedia element of the social media site, by attaching images and video clips to showcase their work. St Peter’s Hospice concluded their ‘tweetathon’ with a moving film of a young woman whose husband died at St Peter’s Hospice:

Helen Francis, Demelza communications officer said: “We decided to tweet for 24 hours to give an insight into what happens during a `typical’ day at Demelza Hospice Care for Children. Lots of different departments got involved from catering to volunteering, fundraising to the care team on night shift.

“We ended up tweeting for 25 hours, sending out 152 tweets. We hope this helped raise awareness of Hospice Care Week and also all the different people involved in making our children’s hospice such a special place.”

The annual awareness-raising week has given hospices the opportunity to showcase their work, raise vital funds and dispel myths surrounding hospice care.

There is still time to get involved in Hospice Care Week 2013. Follow on Twitter and Facebook or visit the website.

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