Why We're Supporting Tynedale Hospice at Home at Our Christmas Fair
Living North's chosen charity for this year's Christmas Fair is Tynedale Hospice at Home. We're delighted to be supporting this Hexham-based charity which provides vital end-of-life care and support to patients in their own homes
‘Our job is to give patients the best end-of-life care they can possibly have, at home with family,’ says head of care, Chris Orife. ‘We ensure that patients who chose to die at home can do so with their family at their bedside. A lot of the families tell us that it’s the most special thing to them to have our support at the end of their family member’s life and to be able to spend time at home as they approach the end of their life. We can be there day or night to provide nursing care and emotional support to family members for as long as needed.’
Their nursing care services team is made up of trained palliative care nurses and hospice support workers who work closely with local GPs, district nurses and other community services, and the patient transport service provides free transport to and from appointments. ‘Part of our holistic approach to healthcare are the complementary therapies which we launched just this year,’ says marketing and communication manager Emma Edwards. ‘We offer a range of complementary services which again follows our ethos of giving people the best end-of-life care. We promote wellbeing as much as possible.’ These therapies help ease physical symptoms, promote relaxation and reduce stress (massage, reflexology, reiki and relaxation therapies), and can take place at home or at one of the community wellbeing hubs.
To continue offering their vital work in the community, fundraising is key. ‘I’ve been looking at how the charity has changed over the past couple of years,’ says Emma. ‘Lockdown for a lot of charities was a difficult time. But we came out of it quite well and I think we’re in a strong position because people really felt like they wanted to support us as key workers. Coming into the last couple of years, we’ve had the cost of living crisis, with the rise in costs of goods and energy bills. It was a general feeling that people have been tightening their belts and that seems to have a created a bit of a shift, but on the other hand those who can afford it are still keen to help out. Challenge events are one of our biggest fundraisers, for example people taking part in a sponsored walk or sponsored run, but these haven’t been as popular recently and that’s not just in Tynedale, it seems to be across the board with charities regionally and nationally. Maybe it’s because people aren’t finding them as interesting or challenging, or they might be worried about asking their friends and family for donations. While this has impacted on our funding, we have managed to increase funding in other areas.’
There are various ways in which to support Tynedale Hospice at Home, including making regular donations, taking part in an event, and leaving a gift in your will.
Visitors to Living North’s Christmas Fair (26th–29th October) can find out more about fundraising and the services Tynedale Hospice at Home offer at their stand. ‘We’ll have a few things on sale, so visitors can support us by purchasing charity Christmas cards. We’ll also have “Light Up a Life” remembrance “stars” that can be personalised with a dedication. Visitors will be able to take this home or hang on our remembrance tree at the Fair.’ says Emma. ‘There’ll be a raffle and more things visitors can get involved in on the day. It’s also important that our stand gets the information across in terms of what we do and how people can access our care. Many of us will know someone – a partner, friend or relative – living with life-limiting illness or progressive disease who may be struggling.’
Tynedale Hospice at Home’s Light up a Life remembrance service takes place in Hexham each Christmas. ‘It’s a chance for people within the community to come together and remember loved ones,’ says Emma. ‘Not everyone is able to attend so the dedication stars are available to supporters who would like them for their own homes. We also have a virtual “Night Sky” on our website for donors to leave a dedication in memory of a loved one this season.’