CHARITY OF THE WEEK: Saint Michael's Hospice in Harrogate reflects on challenges of Covid pandemic
In the first of a new series of features, we take a look at our hard-hit charities across the Harrogate district who are fighting against the pandemic and a lack of funding.
Charities across the Harrogate district have had a tough couple of years due to the Covid-19 pandemic and we want to highlight those who need your help and support in 2022.
Resilience and dedication has played a huge part in helping many voluntary and community organisations to survive the storm of the pandemic and Saint Michael’s Hospice is one of those looking for a helping hand from the community.
The Harrogate-based charity serves a population of nearly 160,000 people living across the district and helps people to live with terminal illness, by offering free care and support in their own homes, the community and at their Hospice.
Their vision is of a community where everyone gets the care that they need to live their last years, months and days with respect and dignity.
They are a community driven and funded organisation that relies on the support of individuals, businesses, other organisations, foundations and the Government.
Without their services, people could be left to face the complex issues and forgotten challenges of terminal illness alone and together, they can ensure that everyone within the community gets the care they need, want and deserve.
During the global pandemic, Saint Michael’s Hospice has increased its support for local families living with terminal illness and bereavement, caring for 120% more people than before the outset of Covid-19.
Adapting to different ways of supporting its community, the charity has ensured patients and families continue to receive compassionate, personalised care - both from its hospice base, in the community and virtually.
Tony Collins, Chief Executive of Saint Michael’s Hospice, reflects on how the charity has been evolving in light of the challenges that the Covid-19 pandemic has brought.
He said: “2021 was another challenging year for many across our community and as an organisation, we have continued to adapt, serving our community across the Harrogate district, as well as further afield.
“A pandemic is about pulling together and doing everything possible to help one another, and we’re really proud that our team did just that; keeping all our established services running, starting new ones, supporting our NHS colleagues and some of those who were most affected by Covid-19.
“Our dedicated, unique teams contributed their skills, knowledge and experience, and together we achieved something extraordinary - reaching 120% more people than before the outset of the pandemic.”
Saint Michael’s spends over £6 million each year providing vital services and the majority of this funding comes from the local community through fundraising activities, corporate partnerships, donations, and gifts left in wills.
Without this generous support, Saint Michael’s couldn’t offer the quality of care and support they are well-known for and which makes a real and invaluable difference to patients and families across the district.
Tony added: “We are grateful that last year, thanks to the remarkable support from local people, we were able to resume fundraising, hold meaningful events and build new relationships.
“We were delighted that we were able to go ahead with one of our biggest ever challenge events - with over 100 people taking on our Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge in September last year - which raised more than £30,000.
“We were also grateful to be able to welcome hundreds of people to our special Light up a Life events in December, giving families the chance to come together and remember their loved ones.”
For anybody who wishes to hold an event, the fundraising team at Saint Michael’s can provide lots of ideas, support and materials, whether you hope to raise a few hundred or several thousands of pounds.
As well as the generous financial contributions from the local community, Saint Michael’s also relies on volunteer support to help raise funds, awareness and to help provide many of its services.
With a team of over 100 clinical and support staff, and 500 volunteers in a broad range of roles, Saint Michael’s has a number of opportunities available for everyone.
To find out more about a career or volunteering opportunities and application forms, visit www.saintmichaelshospice.org/join-our-teamSaint Michael’s Hospice welcomes any questions or feedback that you may have, and they are here to help.
For general enquiries, call 01423 879 687 or email [email protected]