Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Visit to St Wilfrids

Half way through this crazy challenge and the reality of the demand is sinking in. After such a sick feeling post Peterborough Half Marathon it became apparent that next two races are going to be tough. With that in mind it seemed a good idea to visit the Hospice I am raising money for.

On Sunday 16th October Zoe and I went to visit the Hospice and met with Charlotte one of the nurses there. It was lovely to walk into the Hospice again. Zoe was very nervous having last been there visiting her terminally ill grandfather. Despite this it was a pleasure to visit the Hospice. This is true credit to the environment. It generates such a relaxing atmosphere. It would be wrong to say you forget the residents are dying. What the environment does seem to do is give people an opportunity for some tranquility, reflection and a sense of living.

I have taken time to read up on the website of the Hospice, but it was lovely to hear from Charlotte about everything that St Wilfrids are doing for terminally ill patients, their families and the community.

St Wilfrids are well known for their 10 bed hospice and the respite this affords patients and their families. What people may not know is that St Wilfrids also offer support to families in their homes. This allows many people to remain in their homes rather than be hospitalized. For many this allows families quality time and a sense of comfort. It is unbelievable to think that a hospice that is stretched beyond belief is determined to help everyone who needs it.

Charlotte invites Zoe and I to see the plans for the new St Wilfrids Hospice. It's a humbling experience and to see the grand plans it is clear that even more people will be supported by the hospice. In the new building there will be 20 beds rather than 10. When we say beds these are individual rooms with access to a garden. Currently the hospice has a physio room that can support 15people. The new building will house a MASSIVE gym that will offer greater outreach to the community. It is shocking to think many of the referrals to the physio service will come from the NHS. Despite these referrals there will be no additional funding from the government. Even as we are being told this there is no bitterness from Charlotte (although enough from Zoe and I) who is just pleased to be able to help as many people as they can.

The structure of the new Hospice has been so carefully thought out and will keep the same feel as the current Hospice. In addition to this it will ensure that more people have access to the physio, a chapel, stunning guardians and fabulous counseling. The gardens have been designed carefully to offer a sense of peace and have been noted as something that is of great importance to residents. The Chapel is there to provide support for people of every faith and comfort even to the complete atheist. The counseling I believe is the most valuable tool. This support is afforded not only to people with cancer, but also to their families. Many services will relinquish support once a patient passes, but St Wilfrids continue to support the family and ensure they can move on with their lives.

All this support is incredible and dominated by people suffering with cancer. Charlotte reminds Zoe and I that St Wilfrids also offer the service to anyone with a terminal illness.

It's impossible to sum up the value of St Wilfrids to the local community. In the hallway they have a tree with paper leaves with written comments from family members. The comments on the tree will bring even the most stone willed person to tears. The comments just remind me how much I need to complete my challenge and how important it is to raise lots of money.

Currently St Wilfrids need to raise £2950000 per in donations. Despite the increased service they will be offering to the community there will be no increased national funding yet the increase in costs will spiral.

Please help me raise as much money for them as possible. I have so far run two marathons and a half marathon and just have another marathon and a 45mile run to go :)

Www.justgiving.com/danpark


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