SINCE opening its doors in January, 1987, St Wilfrid’s Hospice has cared for more than 12,000 people.
Now, readers across the area are making the most of the chance to give something back by helping to mark its first-ever Love Your Hospice week.
As our way of celebrating, the Observer has spoken to volunteers and supporters and asked why they love their hospice.
Trustee Peter Stoakley started working with the hospice just over two years ago and has never looked back.
“I was very impressed when I first saw it, I asked if I could book a place in advance and was told it didn’t work that way,” he joked.
Peter, who recently celebrated his 70th birthday, was due to take part in the hospice’s Leap for Love skydive on Saturday. The event had to be rescheduled because of bad weather, but a new date has already been set for this weekend.
“My wife actually signed me up because she thought it would be a good way to celebrate my 70th birthday, as well as raising money for St Wilfrid’s,” he said.
“You only live once, so you have to do these things at least once.”
In a bid to raise more money for the hospice, Peter approached Brasserie Blanc manager David Gillard and asked if the restaurant would support his jump.
David agreed and the restaurant is promoting special desserts, asking customers to add an extra pound to support Peter.
“I live about 40 yards away from Brasserie Blanc , it’s one of the friendliest restaurants in town and is very supportive of the local community,” said Peter.
“This is a wonderful initiative by David, Alex and Michael in the management team.”
Peter is keen to emphasise the work of St Wilfrid’s outside the hospice building itself – around 40 per cent of the people it is involved with are never admitted to the inpatient unit, instead supported at home, at the day hospice and in hospital.
Of the 400 people on average admitted to the hospice each year, around 40 per cent are discharged home again.
Summing up why he loves St Wilfrid’s, Peter said: “It is just a fantastic standard of personal care, whether it is inpatient or at home.”
If you would like to sponsor Peter for his skydive, visit www.doitforcharity.com/pstoakley.
All St Wilfrid’s services are provided free of charge, it is not part of the NHS and relies on public support to raise 86 per cent of annual running costs.
Chief executive Alison Moorey said: “At any one time, we care for more than 200 patients at home, in nursing and care homes, in hospital and at the hospice itself. We also provide support to the families and friends of our patients.
“This year, it will cost just under £6m to provide our high-qualilty services without charge to the local community and so fundraising events like Love Your Hospice week really do help us to continue providing our specialist care and support.”
For more information visit www.stwh.co.uk.
We will be publishing pictures from St Wilfrid’s Tattoosday in next week’s Observer. Send your photographs to firstname.lastname@example.org