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By Tristan Harris Friday 11 July 2014 Updated: 11/07 09:07
A NEW fund-raising campaign has been launched by the Primrose Hospice in a bid to secure the charity's long-term future.
It is hoped the Big Appeal will raise £100,000 between now and the end of September by challenging residents to go 'Around the World for 80 Days of care at the Primrose Hospice'.
The theme has been chosen because it costs £100,000 to provide care services for 80 days. Last year the hospice supported almost 900 local people at a cost of £1.6million. A fifth of that comes from the health service with public donations totalling £1.2million leaving a shortfall.
While the organisation is surviving at the moment, with demand increasing, it needs extra public support to ensure services remain free to Redditch and Bromsgrove residents.
Helen Garfield, the hospice's chief executive, said: "More and more people need our support but in these financially challenging times we desperately want to avoid having to turn people away.
"By raising £100,000 we can safeguard the future of these vital local services. We provide free care, support and advice to people in our local community who are facing a life-limiting illness.
"We not only support patients by providing a whole range of care services but we also support many families including children who are losing a loved one."
Helping to launch the Big Appeal this week were Craig and Charlie Bird who found themselves in that very situation and were helped by the Primrose.
Craig's wife Helen was diagnosed with breast cancer when the Charlie was just six-weeks-old.
Helen received treatment and got through the traumatic time with the help and support of everyone around her.
But, five years later, when all seemed to be going well, Helen was struck down by the disease again.
This time the diagnosis was terminal and, although she was determined the cancer would not stop her from enjoying herself, she knew deep down it would claim her life.
Two months later she developed an infection and needed hospital treatment and four months later, at the age of 41, she passed away.
Craig said he and Charlie were both devastated.
"The toughest thing of all was telling a five-year-old that he was never going to see his mummy again.
"Charlie and I were cared for with regular counselling sessions provided by the Primrose Hospice.
"For the first time in a long time we all felt as if a set of arms had been put around us and the words 'she's in a safe place now' were constantly being whispered in our ears."
The Primrose helped Charlie collate a memory box full of special memories of his mummy, especially the teddy bear they had told him to keep by her while she was in the hospital - he still cherishes it everyday.
Craig added: "Words can't explain what the Primrose Hospice did for our family, the unbelievable thing is we did not have to spend a penny for it.
"Every penny you donate is priceless.
"As someone who has experienced this first hand all I can say is please, please, please make a donation and keep making them as you will never appreciate how vital these services are until you need them."
The charity wants people to organise as many events as possible in the next 80 days. For a fund-raising toolkit, call 01527 889796.
How to donate:
• Cheque - payable to ‘Primrose Hospice’ and sent to: BIG Appeal, Primrose Hospice, St. Godwalds Road, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire B60 3BW
• Cash - at Primrose Hospice or at one of our 6 shops (Redditch, Headless Cross, Rubery, Studley, Bromsgrove, Droitwich)
• Text - TEXT: PHBA01 £12/£26/£57 to 70070
• Online - www.primrosehospice.org/bigappeal
• Phone - 01527 889796 to donate over the phone by card
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