Blythe House Hospice explain what it takes to run the charity

As part of Hospice Care Week the High Peak’s very own Blythe House has lifted the lid on what happens behind the scenes to ensure people get the best possible care when they need it the most.

Wednesday, 9th October 2019, 3:34 pm
Volunteers at the Chapel Shop. Photo Iain Klieve

The theme of this year’s Hospice Care Week is ‘This Is What It Takes’.

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Chapel-en-le-Frith-based Blythe House supports people with cancer and life-limiting illnesses as well as their families, and to keep the service running it costs £1.3m a year.

That means the charity needs to raise roughly £3,200 a day in order to meet the demands its services face.

And while there are many ways in which this is achieved, every little helps.

Examples include the 960 slices of cake which have been sold at nine coffee mornings so far in 2019, or the 40 bags or boxes of donations on average received every day at its Buxton shop.

Jessica McHale, fundraising and communications assistant for Blythe House, said: “When people come into the hospice all they see is what goes on downstairs, so the nurses, the art and alternative therapies, but there is so much more that makes Blythe House what it is.

“It takes the people upstairs organising how many beds, chairs and nurses we will need on any given day; it takes a finance department to ensure bills and staff are paid. It takes the volunteer department organising befriending services and patient transport, it takes more than 300 volunteers who run the shops and help out with services and give their time for nothing, and it takes the supporters who donate to us and those who share our message on social media to keep us going.

“We are all part of one big machine and we couldn’t exist if we didn’t have one part of that machine working.

“Everybody here is so important because we couldn’t do it without them.”

Throughout 2018/19 Blythe House received 140 Hospice at Home referrals - 92 per cent of people who wanted to die at home were given that choice, 567 patients were supported through outpatient clinics and home visits.

It provided 959 hours of one-on-one adult counselling or bereavement support and supported 50 children and young people with counselling and bereavement services.

Jessica added: “It’s great to show what happens behind the scenes and hopefully it will give people an insight into how much we do every day.”