The last year has been tough for so many of us but not least Cumbria’s hospices, which have had to adapt to a vast array of new rules and reduced funding in an already challenging job.
That’s why we are so pleased to be able to support three of the county’s hospices with a £47,400 donation thanks to the generosity of our customers.
Last month we gave £15,800 each to Hospice at Home Carlisle and North Lakeland, Eden Valley Hospice and Hospice at Home West Cumbria.
We make a donation to the hospices every year equivalent to one per cent of the average total of all balances held by our affinity account savers. The money will go towards helping them look after people with terminal and life limiting illnesses.
This year we also donated Eden Valley Angel plants to staff at Eden Valley Hospice and bouquets to staff at Hospice at Home Carlisle and North Lakeland and Hospice at Home West Cumbria.
Julie Boothman, nurse team lead at Hospice at Home Carlisle and North Lakeland, says one of the biggest challenges over the last year has been no longer being able to give a comforting hug to patients. "When you see somebody in distress you want to comfort them and the way you do that is by holding each other, but of course all that stopped,” she said. “This is quite an alien concept to our nurses, who are practised in therapeutic touch.”
Being dressed in PPE also caused difficulties for nurses and patients alike. "We rely a lot on watching body language and picking up visual cues, especially when a person can no longer communicate," said Julie. "This is much harder when you're wearing a mask and it's particularly tough for those people who are hard of hearing and can't lip read."
Hayley McKay, head of marketing and income generation for Hospice at Home West Cumbria, said fundraising had been a challenge as events were cancelled and it was forced to close its charity shops. “The support from The Cumberland means a great deal to us,” she said. “The Cumberland have been long standing supporters of hospice care across Cumbria and their donation helps us to ensure we can continue to deliver our vital services to the people who need us most.”
The work these hospices do is amazing every year, but their dedication over the last 12 months in particular has been just breath-taking. We’re so grateful to them and to our generous account holders and we’re proud to be able to make this donation to help continue their wonderful work.