Charities are an important part of everyday society, and they couldn’t deliver the important work they do without the generosity of the public. In this exclusive guest blog, Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice’s Partnerships Manager Helen Rawnsley outlines the importance of planning for the future and how charitable gifting can make an impact to the services they offer.
If the last seven months have taught us anything at all, it’s that we have absolutely no idea what is around the corner. They do say that the best made plans come undone, and in many cases that can be true. However, one area where it is not true, is in making sure that your financial plans post death, are all in place. Namely, writing a will!
Planning for what you can, in these uncertain times, is so important for securing the future that you want for your loved ones. Not only can you make sure your family are financially secure, leaving a gift in your will to a charitable cause can also secure the future of those in need.
At Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice, the generous donations from individuals, businesses and legacies can help us plan for our future too. It costs £24,657 a day to run all of our Hospice services. Only 36% of this comes from NHS funding, the rest is raised through the generosity of our donors and supporters.
It costs this much because our care extends far beyond the walls of our building in Selly Park. The first question our nurses will ask is ‘What’s important to you?’. Our care is about what the patients want to get out of it – and we believe that someone’s clinical, physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs all stand at equal importance. For so many, the answer to that question is ‘can I stay at home?’, so, it might surprise you to know that most of our care actually takes place in patient’s homes. This means they can be surrounded by what they love most, whether that’s their favourite photographs on the mantelpiece, their cat falling asleep at their feet, or having a cup of tea from their favourite mug.
Our mission as a charity is ‘Hospice care for all’. Our priority is to embed high quality palliative care in as many sectors and organisations as we can, so these principles become mainstream in the years ahead. 95% of the time anyone who is dying, care giving or grieving is spent outside of formal professional services. This means we need to keep increasing the number of health and social care organisations across Birmingham and Sandwell.
We have recently launched our new Homelessness Support Service, which is making sure that people who are homeless across the city receive high quality end-of-life care and bereavement support that is tailored to their needs. Our nurses are also working with care homes, a sector that has been so very badly affected by lockdown restrictions, to give them the support that they need to care for residents at the end of their lives. We also help them to keep in touch with families facing visitor restrictions.
Our Children’s Service department have been working with schools and teachers, in advance of schools re-opening after months away, to give them the support they need for any students returning who have been bereaved during lockdown. These are just three of many examples of how Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice is working towards a future of Hospice care for all.
The charitable gifts left in a will or given during their lifetime, helps us plan for this future, where Hospice care really is available for all who need it. If you would like to chat more about donating to the Hospice, please do get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be delighted to discuss your gift with you.