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#WeAreHospiceCare: How I help others to make a difference

5 October 2017

To celebrate Hospice Care Week’s ‘We Are Hospice Care’, we want to share some of the amazing stories of our staff, volunteers, and supporters and tell you why they decided to join the hospice movement.

Emily Boate is one of our community fundraisers and it’s her role to assist people in organising their own events, helping to raise vital funds and awareness for Birmingham St Mary’s. From supporting someone who is crawling up Snowdon, to encouraging friends and families to ‘gunge’ each other with chocolate – it’s safe to say that no two days are ever the same. Here, Emily tells us a little bit more about her role and what surprised her most when she first started working for a hospice.    

I’ve been lucky enough to work in the charity sector since I left university and I can’t imagine doing a job that I don’t love. As a Brummie born and bred, I wanted to work for Birmingham St Mary’s as it’s a local charity and so it’s fantastic to know that the work I do positively impacts my community.

As a community fundraiser, it is my job to assist all the fantastic people who support and raise money for our Hospice. I’m always overwhelmed by the creativity and passion of our fundraisers – I have worked with people who are crawling up Snowdon, schools who are encouraging pupils to imaginatively run 5k, and family and friends who will be ‘gunging’ each other with chocolate.

Being a fundraiser means that no two days are ever the same. One day I might be stood in the city centre dressed as a fairy, the next I could be coming up with creative concepts for our next big campaign.

However, whilst my job is a lot of fun, the importance of the work I do and how it helps others is never too far from my mind. It may sound cheesy, but I genuinely feel privileged every day to be working with people who put so much time and energy into raising funds and making a difference. Too many people die alone and unsupported, unaware of the difference our Hospice can make. So it really is important that we raise awareness and funds to make sure this isn’t the case. Even if it’s just in a small way, together, we can make such a difficult experience that little bit more comforting.

During my first few months here at the Hospice, I was lucky enough to spend the day with one of our amazing clinical nurse specialists, Mary. Mary invited me down to our Day Hospice and it was inspiring to see first-hand the care and support we provide to others. I got to meet lots of individuals who use our services and it was so moving to hear their stories. In fact, that is probably my favourite part of working at Birmingham St Mary’s – getting to see how the hard work of our fundraisers makes a big difference to other peoples’ lives.

When I first started working for Birmingham St Mary’s, the thing that surprised me most was how much positivity there is here. Too many people think hospices are all doom and gloom but that couldn’t be further from the truth. I was also amazed to see how many things we do that aren’t that visible. We are so much more than the bricks and mortar here at Selly Park – a lot of the care we provide takes place in people’s homes and within the local community.

To me, a hospice is a place that helps people during their toughest moments. Every stage of life is precious and that includes death too. Death is never going to be easy for anyone but with the help of a hospice, we can make sure that no one tackles it alone. Being a part of this movement is incredibly rewarding and I feel honoured that I am making a difference. 

Hospice Care Week is a national week of activity which aims to raise the profile of hospice care across the UK. This year’s theme, ‘We Are Hospice Care’, is an opportunity to celebrate the many faces behind a hospice, honouring their dedication and passion.

If you would like to join our movement and help make a difference to local families living with terminal illness, why not see how you can support us by taking a read here.