Longfield Community Hospice, near Stroud, has enlisted the support of actor Richard E Grant to raise funds for critical hospice care.
The well-known actor is backing the hospice’s Big Give Christmas Challenge, which is the UK’s largest matched funding drive.
Longfield cared for his wife, Joan Washington, at their family home.
“Longfield Hospice in Gloucestershire gave absolutely amazing palliative care in the final two weeks of my wife’s life. I’m asking you if you’re willing to join me to donate to the Big Give Christmas Challenge to help other people at Christmas.”
The Big Give Christmas Challenge, runs between November 28th and December 5th.
The charity has set a target of raising £4,500. If they succeed in raising this amount, the £4,500 will be doubled and be worth £9,000, which go towards keeping the care team on the road. Every day of the year – including Christmas Day – the team travel miles across Gloucestershire to care for terminally ill people in the comfort of their own homes.
Sue Parris, Director of Care, said: “This year Richard E Grant has provided his support to the hospice with a video introducing the campaign.
“People don’t understand that our specialist nurses and healthcare assistants travel to patients in Gloucester, Wotton-under-Edge, Cirencester and far beyond. In just one year, we drive over 100,000 miles across Gloucestershire to provide free and urgently needed hospice care. You can imagine how quickly petrol costs mount up. So if we can raised £9,000 it would cover the cost of travelling to an additional 51 patients, multiple times a day, for as long as we’re needed.”
Liz Brown, one of the specialist nurses at Longfield, went on to explain how the team cover the county providing care: “People are astonished at the area we cover for Hospice at Home! In one morning, one team of carers might cover 70 miles. Say we have three patients in Cirencester, two in Berkeley and two in Gloucester. We have to look at a way of delivering care and best clinical practice in a cost effective way. That is quite a challenge at times – both cost wise and time wise.
“It’s not unusual for roads to be closed or traffic diverted. Then we have to quickly change our plans. Our teams often have to drive single track roads or up steep hills navigating hair pin bends. We travel whatever the weather, through beautiful sunshine, thick fog, lashing rain. Our carers have had to abandon their cars at the side of the road and trudge through snow and ice to get to patients.”
To donate, visit https://donate.biggive.org/campaign/a056900002RXsygAAD
Donations can be made between midday on 28 November and midday on 5 December 2023. (Site opens on 28th November)
Find out more about your local hospice at www.longfield.org.uk.