St Catherine’s Hospice Medical Director, Dr Patricia Brayden shares why we’ve decided to invest in a new look and feel for our hospice.
“Almost 40 years ago, a group of pioneers realised that local people in Crawley, Horsham and East Surrey weren’t getting the expert care they needed when they were dying. There was no local hospice, and hospitals simply weren’t equipped to give the kind of excellent care that people deserved. Instead of ignoring this, they acted and courageously fundraised for, and built a new hospice – St Catherine’s Hospice. Since then, we’ve cared for thousands of people and those closest to them, when life comes full circle.
Why we did it
But, 40 years is a long time. Now, in a year when more people have been referred to us than ever before, we’ve invested in changing the look and feel of our charity. We did this because research has shown that despite serving our community for more than 30 years, local people just don’t know who we are, or how our expert services can help them. At a time when the NHS is stretched, the population is aging and people need us most, our community simply don’t realise that we’re there for them. This also impacts on our fundraising; all our care is free thanks to the generosity of our local community. But if people don’t know we exist, how can they support us? Put simply, something has to change and if we are to reach more people who need our help, we need to raise more money.
What we’ve done
We’ve followed in the footsteps of our founders and made some brave decisions. We’ve updated our patient materials and website, and re-evaluated how we work with our community to make sure we will be able to respond to the ever increasing need for our care. All these changes boil down to one thing; we’ll be there.
We’ll be there at a time when other people don’t know what to say or do. We won’t be afraid to have difficult conversations that other people won’t and we’ll be honest when answering people’s questions. We’ll also be there, being clear about our needs to raise funds from our community, for our community because without St Catherine’s, life would be more difficult for people coping with death and dying.
We’re there to help
At St Catherine’s, we understand that living with a life-limiting illness or caring for someone with one, can be frightening, lonely and sometimes all-consuming but we want everyone reading to know we’re there to help.”