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Gloucestershire Business News

Help provide 20,000 hours of free hospice care to people in need in Gloucestershire

When Celia Hicks Beach was told her lung cancer was terminal, the Hospice at Home care available from Longfield meant she could leave hospital and return to her beloved family farm.

It enabled her to die peacefully with her loved ones and family pets around her (read more below).

The story comes from Longfield Hospice, one of no doubt one of many it and other similar charities county-wide could share, with all of them believing anyone affected by a life-limiting illness should be able to have free hospice care.

Currently hospices in the county only help around half of people referred to them for end of life care at home but with your support we can do our bit to change this.

Which is what has driven Longfield Hospice to launch the Time Together campaign, which aims to raise enough money for it to provide 20,000 hours of Hospice at Home care a year in Gloucestershire.

Sian Cole, director of care services at Longfield, said: "Our skilled and compassionate staff work alongside GPs and community nursing teams to help patients manage their symptoms as well as providing personal care such as washing, using the toilet and moving.

"They also offer emotional support and a listening ear not just for the patient but also for family and friends and our care continues after the person has died through our bereavement support services.

"We rely on the public's help to fund the majority of our work and without more support, we cannot increase the hours of care we can provide.

"Help us deliver more specialist hospice care to people in need by donating to Longfield's Time Together campaign."

Based in Minchinhampton, near Stroud, Longfield currently provides around 13,000 hours of Hospice at Home care each year.

Its aim is to raise enough money to take on more referrals, particularly in areas such as Gloucester where there is a greater need for support.

How to donate:

It costs up to £60 an hour to provide free Hospice at Home care to someone, please help by donating online at www.longfield.org.uk/time-together-campaign  or you can text to donate:

£10 text TIMETOGETHER10 to 70085

£15 text TIMETOGETHER15 to 70085

£20 text TIMETOGETHER20 to 70085

Celia's story:

Your help with enable us to support more families like Celia's. She was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in December 2018 and died in March this year. She was 74.

Her daughter Lucy Hicks Beach moved back into the family home in Great Witcombe, near Gloucester, with her three daughters Lily, Safi and Kitty, to be there for her mum after she became ill.

"My mum was fiercely independent, incredibly active and really was the matriarch of the family. She was like a second parent to my girls and Mum worked really hard to give us the best life," she said.

"When she became ill, she felt anxious and didn't like losing that sense of not being able to cope with everything. She knew herself that we needed extra help to care for her.

"When she was due to come out of hospital, she was referred for Hospice at Home care and luckily Longfield said they had availability to help and they made their visit the next day.

"To begin with the nurses gave Mum a little bit of hands-on care, but it was more about Mum getting to know them and them getting to know Mum so that trust built up for when she needed more intensive care.

"When she became very poorly and we knew she was nearing the end, the Longfield staff were amazing as they just gave Mum the space to talk through her worries and concerns. On the day she died, they were there not just to care for Mum but to support all of us too."

Celia's son Fred Hicks Beach, who runs the farm, said being at home was so important to his Mum.

"Mum loved travel, but she also loved being at home and Witcombe was like a comfort blanket to her. Being back at home when she became ill was what she wanted," he said.

"The hospice nurses were incredible, and we couldn't have done it without them. When they came into Mum's home, which she was very private about, they did everything they could for her - they were just amazing."

As well as providing Hospice at Home care, Longfield also offers help and support to patients and their carers through a range of services that include Counselling and Bereavement Support, Day Therapy, complementary therapy and carers services.

For more information on the Time Together campaign, visit www.longfield.org.uk/time-together-campaign

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