Independent Suffolk charity St Elizabeth Hospice has announced the launch of its Be a Star appeal for Christmas.
Over Christmas, St Elizabeth Hospice will provide vital care for people living with progressive and life-limiting illnesses and their families across East Suffolk, Great Yarmouth and Waveney, for many of whom it will be their last Christmas spent together.
Pauline Donkin, Head of Individual Giving and Supporter Care at St Elizabeth Hospice, “Every year we help families and their loved ones over Christmas, during what for some will sadly be their last.
“Illness doesn’t stop during the festive season and via our Ipswich inpatient unit, our Virtual Ward providing nurses in the community and six specialist palliative care beds in Beccles we will be supporting more than 900 patients and their families over Christmas.
“As a charity, we are always grateful for the community support we receive but to allow us to help as many people as possible this Christmas we are calling on the public to get behind our Be a Star appeal and make the world of difference to members of their community during very difficult times in their lives.”
St Elizabeth Hospice’s Be a Star appeal encourages the communities of Norfolk and Suffolk to support the hospice during this very special time of year. From purchasing items, such as Christmas cards, from St Elizabeth Hospice’s online store to carrying out social distanced fundraising activities or virtual fundraising events, making donations or volunteering time to help the hospice as part of a New Year’s resolution, there are a number of ways to take part in the Be a Star appeal.
In 2019 the hospice cared for more than 3,000 Suffolk patients and their families at a cost of £12.9m, of which 75% was raised by the community through St Elizabeth Hospice’s retail shops and local fundraising activities. Both of which were hampered during the ongoing pandemic, with fundraising events cancelled and all 31 of the hospice’s shops temporarily closed due to lockdown restrictions, while the announcement of a second lockdown has seen the hospice’s shops close once more, putting further pressure on the charity.
While the pandemic has halted usual fundraising streams, illness and need for hospice care has not ceased and one person who knows of the importance of this care is John Turner, from Woodbridge whose daughter and wife were both cared for by St Elizabeth Hospice.
John explained: “St Elizabeth Hospice is a charity that I have called upon twice. On the first occasion 18 years ago, when my 32-year-old daughter Carrie died, the hospice was an immense support stepping in when my wife and I were so exhausted. The hospice allowed us to enjoy time with our daughter, instead of being her carers.
“Last year we called upon the hospice once again, in November 2019 my late wife Shirley needed palliative care. It was her wish to die at home. St Elizabeth Hospice once again was there for us and with other agencies they cared for her until she passed away in December. None of us know when we will need the support of the hospice, I was so relieved they were there for me and my family.”
Find out how to support the Be a Star appeal by visiting www.stelizabethhospice.org.uk/be-a-star/be-a-star-appeal or call 01473 727776.
About St Elizabeth Hospice
St Elizabeth Hospice improves life for people in east Suffolk living with a progressive or life-limiting illness. Our work is centred on an individual’s needs, which means specialist support, whenever and wherever it is needed, whether at home, in the community or at the hospice. Through medicine and therapy we ease pain; we give life purpose and make life liveable.