Appeal to step up hospice support

THE work of the Woking & Sam Beare Hospices is carrying on through the coronavirus crisis, with extra beds being prepared, a recruitment drive, help from local businesses and individuals and morale-boosting efforts among the staff.

The hospice building at Goldsworth Park is to have up to 12 extra beds, for which it is taking on more staff. The existing 20-bed ward has restricted visiting and other safety measures.

Kerry Bennett and Rachelle from fundraising and marketing helping with catering

The vital community work is continuing, including some home visits, and as much communication as possible is being done remotely.

Non-medical staff, including Kerry Bennett, the marketing and communications director, have been stepping in to give extra support.

“We have all been mucking in and doing what we can across the organisation to ensure we can keep our vital services going for some of our most vulnerable patients,” said Kerry, who with her marketing colleague Rachelle and Shaun from the finance department, has been coming in at weekends to help with catering.

Kate with some treats for her colleagues

Sweet treats and toiletries to perk up the clinical team were brought in by Kate, who has raised more than £500 for the hospice after setting up a donation page on Facebook, and Mary Morgan, who has led Light Up a Life Remembrance Celebrations at the hospice.

Help has also come from local businesses, including masks, aprons and gloves sent in by vets, dentists and companies as well as Merrist Wood College at Worplesdon, which has donated all the personal protection equipment from its science department.

Financial donations have included £200 from Emma who is running online Emergy Fit exercise classes in support of the hospice and £200 from The Garibaldi pub in Knaphill from its delivery fees.

The hospice is urgently in need of more staff to work in the extra beds being prepared in existing space. It is not admitting patients with COVID-19 and the new beds will be for those needing end-of-life care.

“We are looking to recruit anyone who has nursing, healthcare assistant or carer experience,” Kerry said.

“In addition, we will need some support roles such as in housekeeping and catering. These are all paid roles, but we are always grateful to those who are able to volunteer.”

The hospice’s shops have had to close and all fundraising events cancelled or postponed, so the charity is asking for donations. Its website contains various ways of helping with fundraising, including giving from savings, ways to fundraise from home, how to play the hospice lottery with a top prize of £1,000, and how businesses can help.

“Now more than ever we welcome and are extremely grateful for the continued generosity of our community,” Kerry said.

For more information, visit www.wsbhospices.co.uk or call 01483 881750.

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