A message from our Chief Executive

As another difficult and uncertain year draws to a close, I, on behalf of everyone at St Oswald’s Hospice, want to pay tribute to our incredible community of supporters, patients, families, staff and volunteers who have been by our side throughout.

With Covid-19 restrictions and social distancing in place, our income generation teams had to look to new ways to raise the money needed to keep our services running, while being very aware that everyone has been going through their own difficulties. The response from our supporters and customers has been wonderful. They have embraced virtual challenges and new ways of doing things, with the creativity and determination we have come to expect of our community. Our fundraising supporters have thrown themselves into the new virtual 100k in July challenge, training hard to complete the Great North Run, and choosing to celebrate the lives of the loved ones through Light up a Life at Christmas. We’ve welcomed our retail customers back to our 24 charity shops after the turmoil of shop closures, donations have continued to be gratefully received even when changes were made to how this could be done and customers have embraced buying online through our social media platforms and eBay. It has been humbling to see people support us and take on challenges for us while dealing with their own.

We’ve also seen huge support for our lottery and regular giving schemes as well as from the local business community who have continued to raise funds for us while navigating through extremely uncertain times. We’ve received some wonderful donations, charity partnerships and benefitted from events, fundraisers and collections which have all helped us to reach our annual fundraising target. There are lots of exciting plans and partnerships to look forward to in 2022 which we can’t wait to start.

In March 2022, we plan to hold our first ever Giving Day. This ‘one day to make a difference’ aims to raise funds to keep our doors and hearts open for another year, so that, thanks to the support of North East people, we hope to continue to offer the care we know is desperately needed. Look out for more details of how to get involved in the Giving Day on our website and social media pages soon.

As well as our wonderful supporters we couldn’t do what we do without our family of staff and volunteers. Although we never could have anticipated the challenges faced by Covid-19, I’m so proud of all our staff and volunteers who have put the needs of local people and their families first. They’ve ensured our services have been open throughout, that families could be together at end of life and quickly and innovatively adapted so that we continue to provide the most appropriate, safe and compassionate care.

All of our care and support services have experienced huge changes and we’re proud to have kept our doors open to both our Inpatient Unit and Children and Young Adults Service and continued to offer bereavement support virtually. We’ve even established some new services during Covid-19. Three major developments this year have included a new care service for patients coming to us for planned procedures such as transfusion and infusions during the day. This has freed up much needed capacity in hospitals and offers a much more comfortable and relaxing environment for patients. We’re thrilled to have opened an extra bed in our Children and Young Adults Service enabling us to care for more families who desperately need our specialist service and we recently won Hospice UK’s Innovation in Care National Award for the joint efforts between our Lymphoedema Service and Volunteering Department to maintain and improve patient care during the pandemic. We’re so proud to have won this award and have our efforts recognised nationally.

Finally, in these uncertain times, it still remains our Vision to make sure everyone with an incurable condition, and their families in our region gets expert, dignified and compassionate care when they need it. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to every single person, business, funder and commissioner who has supported St Oswald’s Hospice and had us in their thoughts this year. We couldn’t have continued to improve the lives of local families without you!

With very best wishes,

Steph Edusei
Chief Executive
St Oswald’s Hospice

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