A rallying call has been issued for kind-hearted Keighley News readers to provide one final push to ensure their local hospice reaches its fundraising milestone.
Manorlands, which this year celebrates its 40th anniversary, is urging the public to maintain its generous support so the Sue Ryder centre can continue to provide incredible care.
And this week, as a Keighley News appeal to raise £1 million for the Oxenhope home moves closer to its April deadline, we spotlight some of the fantastic and invaluable work being performed by staff there.
Hannah Taylor, Sue Ryder’s regional fundraising manager, said the backing so far for the appeal from the community had been overwhelming, and she is extremely grateful.
We revealed earlier this month the current total stands at an amazing £815,500.
The £1 million is needed to continue providing current levels of provision at the highly-acclaimed hospice, which relies on donations and its own fundraising efforts for much of its income.
“The New Year is the perfect time to spring into action, and we would ask people to use the opportunity to support us,” said Mrs Taylor.
“It’s also the start of our 40th anniversary year. Perhaps people could help us reach the target by doing something to fundraise and celebrate the anniversary at the same time?”
Manorlands provides specialist palliative care and treatment within the hospice or in people’s homes to patients with serious illnesses.
Services offered include day therapy, inpatient care, therapeutic treatments, family and bereavement support and spiritual care.
A spokesman said: “Every member of staff at Manorlands plays a vital role in providing care to patients and their families – whether that’s directly offering hands-on patient care or working behind the scenes in one of the many support roles needed to keep-up the delivery of the care provided 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”
Registered nurse, Gerry Hughes, is part of a team of nurses, carers and doctors that looks after patients in Manorlands’ 16-bed inpatient unit.
“Fifty per cent of our patients return home, so with a lot it’s about symptom control – getting their pain under control – to enable them to go home,” she said.
“We treat everyone in our care as an individual, focusing on the person not the patient. We take the time to get to know the person and understand what their individual care needs and aspirations are – time that sometimes isn’t available in a hospital.”
She added the team shared people’s highs and lows.
And when a person is nearing the end of their life, support is available for the whole family.
“Talking about the end of a loved one’s life – including practical things, like funeral arrangements – is very difficult, but we’re experts in this kind of care and it’s the unknown that often frightens people the most,” said Mrs Hughes.
“We ensure families know about the bereavement support we provide.”
Steve Atkins, a cook, has worked at Manorlands for 18 months.
“I make sure all food is presented and cooked to the patients’ tastes and needs,” he said. “We cater for individual wishes – nothing is too much trouble. We have to follow nutritional guidance, but most importantly it is about what the patient wants.”
His role also includes catering for events and meetings.
“I enjoy working at Manorlands – it’s a friendly place with a good atmosphere,” he added.
Estates supervisor Phil Hobson’s responsibilities include ensuring the building, equipment, garden and grounds are maintained to the highest possible standard.
But he also volunteers a lot of his spare time to fundraise. “It is a fantastic place to work,” he said.
As well as carrying out maintenance work, Mr Hobson – who has worked at the hospice for nine years – responds to a daily list of things that require repairing or replacing.
Domestic assistant, Pam Coffey, has worked at Manorlands for five years, and says her role is extremely rewarding.
“My job is to help keep Manor-lands as clean as possible!” she said. “I ensure all patients’ rooms are thoroughly cleaned regularly and report any maintenance needs.”
She also helps deliver meal trolleys from the kitchen to eating areas.
Can you do your bit to help support this fantastic service and push us over our campaign target line? Visit sueryder.org/manorlands or call 01535 640430.
And call our news team on 01535 606611 (option three) so we can maximise publicity for your fundraising efforts.