This is what it takes to provide hospice care for the people of east Kent
Hospice Care Week 5 – 11 October 2020
Hospice Care Week is an annual opportunity for the UK’s 200+ hospices to showcase the incredible work they do. This year, with COVID-19 restrictions limiting our face-to-face events, Pilgrims decided to make a film to show just what it takes to provide hospice care for the people of east Kent.
We hope this film shows the breadth of our services, helps to overcome the taboo that still exists around discussing death and dying and shows the dedication of our workforce and volunteers.
If you ask people what they understand about hospice care, most will refer to our wards where we look after people at the very end of their lives. This is certainly a key part of what we do, but we do so much more.
Hospice Care Week might look a little different this year, but the 200+ hospices throughout the UK know that is all the more reason to recognise and celebrate the incredible work that they do.
Pilgrims Hospices care is far more than just buildings where people go to die. Much of the care happens in people’s homes and within the community. When Pilgrims care for someone at the end of their life, they are helping them to make adjustments and changes, learn to live with their illness, manage symptoms and live well in every moment.
The challenging times of COVID-19 have captured headline news for all organisations across the country and the world, it brings challenges to the charity’s care and resources too. The nurses and staff on the wards continue to provide 24-hour nursing care for those who need a bed on one of the hospice wards. While the community teams remain at the heart of the community, supporting patients and their families to be cared for at home if this is their wish.
Underpinning Pilgrims care are a team of occupational therapists, counsellors, physiotherapists, and many more who support patients to understand their conditions and provide the necessary equipment and techniques to manage pain, breathlessness and anxiety to support their quality of life.
We have 1,500 volunteers dedicating around 150,000 hours per year which makes a significant difference to our services. They make a contribution in around 30 different roles across our services which include retail, administration and fundraising. We celebrate their dedication and work to offer them the best volunteer experience with Pilgrims Hospices.
Jeff Southon – Volunteer Services Manager
Pilgrims Hospices community is wide and diverse; supporting the front line clinical team are researchers, catering, retail, domestic, education, fundraisers, administration teams and the most amazing support of 1,500 volunteers. The charity supports over 2,500 patients each year coping with life-limiting illnesses.
Recently Pilgrims Hospices have developed and adapted their services to provide continued support even when the pandemic has restricted face to face services. They have overcome the challenges and offer a business as usual service via online technology, telephone and YouTube where there’s access to many support videos which include fitness, wellbeing and creativity.
The range of care which included complementary therapy the nurses and occupational therapy allowed Ann to fulfil her wish to stay at home.
Kate Love – Volunteer and service user
As a celebration of all the work that goes on every day of the year; Pilgrims has compiled a video of just some of the incredible people that help the charity to be there for anyone who needs their specialist care in east Kent. You can watch on Pilgrims Hospices website.
Mandy Williams, Pilgrims Head of Education, who narrates the project said: “We felt it was important that people know we offer far more than just a hospice bed or a place to die.
“The video is a small insight into the work of so many compassionate
people, whether as an employee of the charity or as a much valued volunteer.
“We hope you will watch and enjoy our celebration of the work Pilgrims Hospices does in east Kent.
“We are dedicated to providing quality comfort and care for our patients, and support for families and friends when a loved one has died.”
Each year Pilgrims Hospices give care and comfort to over 2,500 people in east Kent who are coming to terms with an illness that sadly cannot be cured. The charity support patients to live life as well as possible until the very end, free from pain and distress.