Willow Burn Hospice sets the ‘One Word’ challenge
Willow Burn Hospice in County Durham is asking people to say what hospice care means to them – in just one word.
The one-word challenge is part of the first-ever Hospice Care Week (8-14 October) which aims todispel myths about hospice care and get people talking about what hospice care means to them.
From Saturday, Willow Burn Hospice will be increasing its work to raise awareness of hospice care and address the misconceptions that people may have about what hospice care is as volunteers and staff make themselves available to answer questions, provide information and take part in fundraising events as people throughout Derwentside answer the question “What does hospice care mean to you?”
Celebrities including Ewan McGregor, Michelle Mone, and Lorraine Kelly are backing the One Word challenge and some of Willow Burn Hospice’s own stars have revealed what hospice care means to them.
Helen Mills, Chief Executive of Willow Burn Hospice explained: “Hospice care has different associations for different people – positive, challenging and sometimes very surprising. By asking thousands of people to choose just one word to represent what hospice care means to them, we are aiming to create a picture of what our work really means to our local community, and across the UK.
“Words including ‘choice’, ‘life’, ‘laughter’, ‘friends’ and ‘home’ are among the thought provoking words that people have already sent in. For me, hospice care means ‘treasuring’ to represent the way we at Willow Burn Hospice treasure the lives of those we support.”
Willow Burn Hospice was opened in 1989 and provides vital in-patient and community services from its base in the grounds of the former Maiden Law Hospital in Lanchester. The hospice occupies former hospital buildings and temporary offices while it raises £5.7 million to build a new hospice on its site.
The design of the new hospice takes on the appearance of barns, reflecting the rural nature of North West Durham, with the buildings appear to emerge from the landscape while maximising the uninterrupted views from the south of the site. The new hospice will see the number of in-patient beds increase from four to six, and include additional well-being facilities, such as a sun room, health spa, dance studio and therapy suite created.
Susan Jones, Corporate & Capital Campaigns Manager at Willow Burn, is leading the fundraising campaign for the new hospice. She added: “For me, hospice care means embracing.”
Glyn Davison, a senior partner at Harlands in Consett chairs the hospice’s Capital Fundraising Campaign Board. He added: “safe.”
Glyn’s One Word was joined by “supporting” from Nigel Cook, Managing Director of Elddis Transport (Consett) Limited, “shelter” from architect Warren Barnett of Barnett North LLP in Newcastle, “support” from Paul Jackson, Chairman of MIS Environmental Ltd in Consett, “cocooning” from Professor Roy Sandbach , of Proctor and Gamble, and “compassion” from Ruth Shepherd, director of Results Communications in Humshaugh, all of whom contribute their time and expertise in their work with Willow Burn Hospice.
Janet Ridley, Clinical Services Manager at Willow Burn Hospice said “Hospice Care Week is an important opportunity to challenge the myths surrounding hospice care and show people that it is about living, not dying. Many people think that Willow Burn Hospice only provides end of life care, but are often surprised to find out we also care for many more people in their own homes through our Hospice at Home service, in Day Hospice care and through counselling and Family Support.
We will be collating all of the One Words people send to us, and a gallery of people’s words will be shared on the photo-sharing site Flickr. Willow Burn Hospice has a Twitter account and we’d love people to Tweet their word during 8 to 14 October, followed by @willowburnhospice, and email email@example.com tell us what the one word that shows what hospice care means to them.”
Hospice Care Week kicks of on Saturday 8 October, which is also World Hospice and Palliative Care Day – a unified day of action to celebrate and support hospice and palliative care around the world.
Every two years, Voices for Hospices, a global musical marathon of simultaneous concerts for hospice and palliative care is held on World Hospice and Palliative Care Day, with the next marathon taking place on Saturday. The theme of this year’s Voices for Hospices event is ‘Many diseases, many lives, many voices – palliative care for non-communicable conditions’.
Willow Burn Hospice will be hosting a ‘Musical Medley’ evening at the Hermitage School in Chester le Street, with performances by the North East Solo Singers Academy and the Chester le Street Theatre Group with stirring music from various musicals including West Side Story and Mama Mia! Tickets available on the door and cost £6.00 (£5.00 concession). Doors open at 7pm.
The Musical Medley is one of thousands of events and activities taking place in approximately 70 countries every year, bringing together patients, families, health professionals, policy makers and funders to support hospice and palliative care.
The aims of World Hospice and Palliative Care Day are to share the vision of increasing the availability of hospice and palliative care throughout the world by creating opportunities to speak out about the issues, raise awareness and understanding of the needs - medical, social, practical and spiritual - of people living with a life-limiting illness and of their families, and raise funds to support the development of services around the world.