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#HospiceCareWeek: “They give me the confidence to keep living life to the full”

6 October 2019

For Hospice Care Week this year, we’re sharing the amazing stories behind ‘What It Takes’ to deliver our vital services, as well as ‘What It Gives’ to the people who use them. 

In this blog, we talk to Applause IT – an IT recruitment agency whose big-hearted employees have been fundraising in support of the Hospice. We also chat to Marie, to see how money raised from corporates enables people to receive the vital care they need in the comfort of their own home.  

Applause IT’s story

“We first got involved with Birmingham St Mary’s at the start of this year. The partnership to date has been fantastic and we’re excited for what’s still to come.

With our partnership, we donate £50 to the Hospice for every placement we make. We’ve also run internal fundraising events for staff, such as sweepstakes and cycling challenges, and have taken part in Hospice events, such as an 80ft abseil down the iconic Wesleyan building in the city.

However, our most successful fundraiser has been the charity auction we hosted following our office move. We gave our employees and neighbouring companies the opportunity to bid on office items we weren’t taking with us. This included a bespoke pool table, Chesterton sofas, old cameras, and some really amazing original items from the 50s and 60s. The auction ended up raising £450 for the Hospice which we were thrilled at!

Our whole team is really proud to be supporting the Hospice. In June, we were invited to tour the building and this wonderful experience really opened our eyes to the incredible care and support it provides. It’s good to know that the money our team raises helps to improve the lives of those within our communities, allowing Applause IT to have a real positive impact within our great city.”

Marie’s story

“When my doctor suggested I get in touch with Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice, I really didn’t want to go. I had such a negative perception of what a hospice was and believed that it wasn’t for me. I had no idea what modern hospice care was like and the difference it would make to my life.

It was my husband Brian who eventually suggested I give the Hospice a chance and I’m so glad I did. I currently receive care and support from the Hospice in the comfort of my own home. Chris – my clinical nurse specialist – visits me every few weeks to see how I’m doing and to find out if there’s anything I need. Her knowledge is invaluable. We’ll often talk about any aches and pains that I’ve got and she’ll advise on the best medicine to take. She always makes sure that I’ve got all the correct medication at home too, which is one less worry for me.

Chris also helps with any practical matters too. I struggle to get up and down the stairs quickly and knew having a downstairs toilet would be useful. Chris is helping to arrange this with me and a team at the Hospice is supporting by making phone calls. I had no idea the Hospice could help with things like this and having that extra bit of support is a big weight off my shoulders.

But it’s not just the medical or practical things that Chris helps with. She’s also someone I can talk to about absolutely everything and anything. She understands that I don’t want the topic of conversation to always be about my illness and so we’ll often chat about my family, things I’m concerned about, or things I want to do in the future. It’s so reassuring to have someone I can just talk to – it really does give me peace of mind.

I always look forward to Chris’ visits and feel much more in control and cheerful after she leaves. Without her help and support, I’m really not sure what my state of mind would be like. I am so grateful for her expertise and listening ear and she has definitely given me the confidence to keep on living life to the full.”

Hospice Care Week is a national campaign which aims to raise the profile of hospice care across the UK. This year’s theme, ‘This Is What It Takes’, celebrates the amazing supporters, volunteers and members of staff who provide vital hospice care to people and their loved ones when it’s needed most.