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Willowbrook Hospice provides palliative end of life care for adults in the Knowsley and St Helens area. The mission of the hospice is to improve the quality of life for people with life limiting illnesses such as cancer, COPD, motor neurone disease. Willowbrook also provides support to patient family and friends both pre and post bereavement.
As Airsweb charity of the year, we’re proud to be able to support this local charity. Let’s look at some of the things they do and challenges they face.
The hospice has 12 inpatient beds and also offers a range of other services including day therapy and wellbeing services. All hospice services are supported by an army of over 550 dedicated volunteers who work throughout the departments including catering, cleaning, administration, fundraising, gardening, driving, retail etc.
The main challenge Willowbrook face is funding. It costs almost £5m a year to run the hospice. Approximately one third of this is provided by the local CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) but the shortfall must be raised with the support of the local community.
This is achieved in a variety of ways including:
· Events organised by the hospice’s Fundraising Team such as golf days, The Moonlight Colour walk and Afternoon Teas.
· Events organised by supporters, many of which are friends or family members who have had loved ones cared for at the hospice.
· Donations – one off donations (including ‘in memory’ donations), gifts in wills and monthly giving.
· The Willowbrook Lottery – the charity lottery has over 13,461 playing members each week.
· Shops – The charity has 16 shops including a small gift shop inside the hospice itself. All donations are processed at the charity owned warehouse. Nothing goes to waste - even items that were donated but couldn’t be sold were passed on, bringing in an incredible £88k last year.
All of this fundraising activity provides opportunities for the local community. The charity shops help to provide skills and experience for people unable to find paid work. The warehouse runs a young offender’s program – providing resocialisation and experience for offenders nearing release. The Advanced Care Planning Team helped to education over 2000 professionals in the use of End of Life Care Tools.
Ultimately all of this is activity is focused on providing the best possible care to their patients. 96% of the funds they raise are spent on medical and care expenses, leaving little for back office systems and maintenance.
Willowbrook Hospice is our charity of the year and we are doing a number of events throughout the year all in the name of Willowbrook Hospice. From the Airsweb Bake Off to the Airsweb Football Cup and everything in between – we are going to do our utmost to raise as much as we can Willowbrook Hospice.
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