The Prospect Hospice was established in 1980 since when it has provided the only dedicated end-of-life care service for people living in Swindon and the surrounding area. Every year it delivers a range of services to thousands of patients and their families, helping them adjust emotionally to the impact of an incurable illness. Their team of clinical nurse specialists, doctors and therapists supports patients at the Hospice in Wroughton or at the Wellbeing Centre in Marlborough.
Prospect Hospice is a charity and running costs amount to several million pounds a year. Less than a third of its income comes from statutory organisations such as the NHS, the remainder is raised by fund-raising events, activities and its 16 charity shops. In 2019/2020 the shops alone brought in nearly £2m so their enforced closure in the lockdowns has caused a huge funding shortfall.
Our speaker at this meeting was Amy Francombe who is the events and community manager at Prospect. She was supported by her colleague, events and community fundraiser, Abby Benson.
Earlier this year they launched a campaign called “Thanks A Million” to raise £1m by the Autumn. As a part of the campaign a 36-hour challenge was held in April whereby businesses, organisations and individuals were asked to set up their own donation pages and then encourage their friends, family, colleagues and other contacts to either donate or organise a fundraising event. The donation pages were hosted on a secure website with each individual page contributing to the overall event target. As a result there were bake sales, online quizzes, sponsored walks and other events and the phenomenal sum of £170,000 was raised in just 36 hours.
Expanding more on the services that Prospect Hospice provides, Amy said that any patients who prefer to stay in their own home, or care home, for their last days are also supported. There is a 24-hour advice line so that carers and family members can easily access a range of free services. Prospect works in close partnership with other organisations – specifically local health and social care professionals – to ensure that anyone can have the best possible care when they need it. It has a team of skilled occupational therapists and physiotherapists who, together with other staff and a large number of volunteers, give the very best of care to anyone facing the end of their life.
Through outreach work – talking to businesses, schools, GP surgeries and community groups – the Hospice raises awareness about life-limiting illness and end-of-life care, and encourages conversations about death and dying. The aim is to break down any barriers that might stop people from accessing the services.
Prospect Hospice provides an excellent, personalised and compassionate end-of-life care for anyone who needs it and the Rotary Club of Swindon North is proud to have been one of its financial supporters from the very beginning.
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