It’s great to be back in the constituency for the summer recess break. As well as enjoying the various fetes and festivals it gives me the opportunity to meet many people and visit some of our local organisations and businesses. I spent a few hours earlier this week meeting the staff at St Wilfrid’s Hospice. I have visited patients in a hospice but never really thought about who sets them up, how they are supported and what a valuable part of the health services community they are. The staff are wonderful and it is easy to see why they like working at the hospice as the atmosphere is very supportive and collaborative. Hundreds of people also volunteer to work at the hospice and I spoke to team members giving advice to families of patients and providing art and craft classes to patients. Every bedroom leads out to a lovely garden and the flowers were in full bloom.
The hospice is a charity supported by local people giving their time and money and has been operating locally for 30 years. Most people are aware of the brilliant work they do at the hospice but I hadn’t realised that their consultants and nurses operate a much larger Hospice at Home service supporting hundreds of patients at any one time and it’s all provided for free.
The CEO and Trustees also explained the Dreambuilding project which is raising funds to build a new, larger hospice for our community based in Bosham. The plans look amazing and the fundraising events throughout the community have been underway for many months with many more to come…
Serious fundraising was also on show from a group of young people who were doing their National Citizen Service. This brilliant scheme gives 15-17 year olds the chance to embark on new challenges and build skills for the workplace and life. A key part of the scheme is the social action project. Local students put on a brilliant event at Florence Park to raise funds for another local charity, the Snowdrop Trust. Tug of war, wet sponge throwing, hoopla, cake sales……I even managed to win a prize!