An update from our Chief Executive

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Fri 28 Aug 2020 - posted by Willen Hospice

Keeping in Touch
Message from our CEO

28 August 2020

Dear friend,

I hope this email finds you well. We have an exciting weekend ahead of us at Willen Hospice and we'd love you to be part of it. Our Ride for Willen event takes place from Friday to Monday. If you're a keen cyclist, why not join in? Every mile you pedal helps us care for people who so desperately need our help.

The long weekend also provides a great opportunity to have a look around some stunning gardens as part of the virtual Stony Open Gardens event. Full details below.

As the pandemic continues, we remain so thankful for everything you do to support us whether it's making a donation, taking on a challenge, giving your time, expertise or sharing our messages. We couldn't do what we do for so many patients and their families, without your kindness. Please continue reading below for full details of how you can get involved.

Peta Wilkinson
Chief Executive, Willen Hospice
 

Tour beautiful gardens without leaving home

Our amazing supporters in Stony Stratford have adapted their popular Open Gardens event by going virtual this year. While current restrictions mean we can't physically get to them, you can still have a look around some fabulous gardens, please show your support for their tireless efforts by watching their online video tours and making a donation if you can.

Ride for Willen - THIS WEEKEND!

We've redesigned this popular event to bring you three great new routes, without the usual large gathering.

Cycle 85, 65 or 40 miles at your pace, anytime over this Bank Holiday weekend. Every mile you pedal will raise vital funds to help people who need our care.

Help us double your donations

We’re taking part in the MK Community Foundation’s September Spectacular. It starts at 10am on Tuesday 1 September, and any donations made via our LocalGiving page will be matched up to £1,000. They have a limited pot which runs out quickly, so please help us. To make a donation simply visit localgiving.org on Tuesday.

Congratulations to our lottery winner

We love Fridays as it's the day we call our lottery winner!

Every week someone scoops a guaranteed prize of £1,000 or a rollover of up to £5,000. Not only that, it's a great way to give to the Hospice regularly. To be in with a chance of winning, buy a ticket in one of our shops or play online.

 
Could you volunteer in Woburn Sands?

Could you spare a few hours to help in our Woburn Sands shop? We are particularly looking for people who could help on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday, although we welcome help on other days too. You'd be carrying out general retail tasks like serving customers, sorting donations, pricing items, and also opening up or locking up at the end of the day. 
 

All New Moo 2020 is almost here

Our All New Moo 2020 takes place on Saturday 12 September.

Walk, run or scoot a 5 or 10 mile route of your choice. You can start from home, or wherever you are in the world! Why not use it as an excuse to connect with family or friends and take part together virtually? Open to all ages. Find out more, and sign up here.

Help fill our virtual bucket!

Text MKHOSPICE to 70085

*For each text message sent you will be charged your £10 donation (100% of your donation comes to Willen Hospice) plus one standard rate message, and you’ll be opting in to hear more about our work and fundraising via phone and SMS. If you’d like to give £10 but don’t want these communications text MKHOSPICENOINFO to 70085.

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14 August 2020

Dear friend

I hope you and your loved ones are keeping well. It's hard to believe we're in August already, usually one of the busiest months in our fundraising calendar. However, as you know, things are very different for us this year. Thank you for your continued support throughout the pandemic. Knowing you are thinking of us, and doing what you can to help, is allowing us to carry on caring for local people who need us.

We've been working hard to redesign some of our usual events so that they can still take place, with the appropriate safety measures. I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you about some of them below.

Once again, thank you for all your support. We couldn't do what we do for so many patients and their families, without your kindness.

Peta Wilkinson
Chief Executive, Willen Hospice

Captain Sir Tom's family support Willen
Hannah Ingram-Moore, the daughter of Captain Sir Tom Moore, will be hosting a virtual 'Audience with...' in support of Willen Hospice on 25 August. She will share an exclusive insight into how her family's simple proposition to raise £1,000 for NHS Charities, spiralled into the biggest fundraising success of our time.

Tickets for this virtual event are available now. 

Woburn Sands shop is now open
We're excited to open our brand new shop in Woburn Sands! The shop, on Station Road, stocks quality pre-loved clothing, books and brand new garden and homewares. The shop will also specialise in vinyl LPs, vintage and upcycled guitars.

All of our high street shops are now open. You’ll find our donations guide and shop opening times here.

All New Moo - a month to go!
There's still time to sign up for our All New Moo 2020 on Saturday 12 September.

Walk, run or scoot a 5 or 10 mile route of your choice. You can start wherever you are in the world, so why not use it as an excuse to connect with family or friends and take part together virtually? Open to all ages.
Find out more, and sign up here.

Ride for Willen - new routes
Cycle 85, 65 or 40 miles, anytime over the August bank holiday weekend and help raise vital funds to support our care.

We’ll send you GPX routes, which take you into the beautiful countryside, North East of Milton Keynes via Bromham. If you’d prefer, you can cycle your own 40, 65 or 85 mile route from wherever you are. Find out more.

Help fill our virtual bucket!

Text MKHOSPICE to 70085
*For each text message sent you will be charged your £10 donation (100% of your donation comes to Willen Hospice) plus one standard rate message, and you’ll be opting in to hear more about our work and fundraising via phone and SMS. If you’d like to give £10 but don’t want these communications text MKHOSPICENOINFO to 70085.

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Dear friend,

I hope this message finds you very well on this glorious sunny July day. As I have throughout this pandemic, I continue to feel it is vital we keep you, our supporters updated on how things are at your Hospice at the moment.

I start as always with a huge thank you for your continued support. We are both humbled and amazed by the lengths you have gone to, to help with fundraising, donating and volunteering your precious time. It is your support that has allowed our doctors, nurses and support staff to continue caring for our patients. The love and encouragement we have felt from the community has given us a huge amount of comfort and is truly helping us to remain positive, focused and as always 100% committed to our care.

We continue to adapt to new ways of working. Whilst we fully respect social distancing and the use of PPE, they do create physical barriers that are not typical to our usual care provision. This has been a challenge but the resolve of our teams continues to ensure each and every one of our patients gets the high quality, compassionate care that we are so well known for.

The crisis has affected and changed some of our service provision. Our Lymphoedema team have been doing remote consultations over the last few months, and will be welcoming patients back to their clinic on site at the Hospice from next week. And in light of changing community need, we have been commissioned by MK Council to provide a bereavement service to the families whose relatives have died in care homes since March across Milton Keynes. The service is now up and running and we are very pleased to be able to reach out to offer support to those families and also care home staff who have been affected. If you are struggling to cope with the loss of a loved one, you may find our online resources and sign-posting helpful, you can access them here.

Try our new events If like ours, your calendars are quieter and your holidays abroad are cancelled, maybe one of our fundraising events will give you something to look forward to and a reason to get together with family, friends and colleagues. Income from our events is critical to our care so our teams have been working hard to redesign our usual programme, we very much hope you can get involved.

Our All New Moo will be on Saturday 12 September. This year it’s a daytime event and there’ll be no crowds but instead you can walk, run or scoot your own five or ten mile route and everyone can take part. If you can pass the Hospice as part of your route, our fundraising team will be there to wave you on and there’ll be a special memory wall outside our gardens if you’re taking part in memory of a loved one.

You’ll find full details about all of our events, including our week-long September Twilight Lantern Display here. Shopping with us Thank you for supporting the recent re-opening of our shops. I’m pleased to tell you they have all now re-opened with the required safety measures in place. And after much delay, we will soon be opening our new store with a coffee shop in Woburn Sands. The unit was previously the Stripes bike shop on Station Road, and we’re very excited about becoming part of the Woburn Sands community. We look forward to welcoming you to our new store soon.

We have seen a fantastic response to the Sort-Save-Save Donate appeal we ran during lockdown, this has provided us with a huge range of stock which we always rely on to keep our stores running. Please continue to donate your pre-loved items to any of our shops while they are open, you’ll find our donations guide and shop opening times here. So again, thank you for everything you have done, every single thing is making a difference and it is helping us continue to deliver our care through these very difficult times.

My very best wishes,
Peta Chief Executive

PS. If you feel you would like to make a small donation to help us, you can do so very easily by texting MKHOSPICE to 70085* to donate £10. Every penny supports our care.

*For each text message sent you will be charged your £10 donation (100% of your donation comes to Willen Hospice) plus one standard rate message, and you’ll be opting in to hear more about our work and fundraising via phone and SMS. If you’d like to give £10 but don’t want these communications text MKHOSPICENOINFO to 70085.

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17 July 2020
Dear friend

It’s hard to believe we’re already in July. A month that is traditionally one of our busiest of the year as it’s when we’d usually hold our biggest fundraiser, the MK Midnight Moo. Things look very different for us this summer, and as I have throughout the pandemic, I wanted to take this opportunity to fill you in on how things are at the Hospice at the moment.

I start as always with a huge thank you for all your support. We’re astounded by the lengths our supporters have gone to, to help us either through fundraising, donating, or volunteering their time. Throughout the pandemic, our doctors, nurses and support staff have remained committed to caring for patients. The support we have received from the community has given us a huge amount of comfort and is helping us to continue to be here to care for patients and their loved ones.

As well as providing care on our inpatient unit, our caseload in the community continues to grow. We have had to adapt the way we support people, and we can’t deny this has been a challenge for our nurses as they respect social distancing rules. Despite this, their resolve to give the best care possible means they have found new ways to support patients so that each and every one still gets the high quality, compassionate care the Hospice is so well known for.

New fundraising events
Last time I wrote to you I told you about our All New Moo 2020 which takes place on Saturday 12 September. The event, sponsored by Specsavers MK, replaces the MK Midnight Moo, which sadly, due to Covid-19, couldn’t take place last weekend. However, our new event promises to be just as much fun. You are invited to walk, run or scoot your own route covering at least five or ten miles. You can join us on Zoom where our fundraising team will be hosting an all-day party, and if you can walk past the Hospice as part of your route, we’ll be there to wave you on. If you are moo-ing to remember someone special, we’ll also have a very special memory wall outside our gardens where you can leave a message.

If cycling is more your thing, then you could sign up for our Ride for Willen Sportive. Choose between 40, 65 and 85 miles, starting in Newport Pagnell. This is always a great event for cyclists, and this year will be no different. More about Ride for Willen, the All New Moo and all our events is available on our website.

Shopping with us
We have now opened seven of our shops: Newport Pagnell; Stony Stratford; Leighton Buzzard; Kiln Farm Furniture Store; Buckingham; Bletchley; Olney. Our Ampthill and Towcester shops are opening soon and the Bookshop in Stony Stratford will open on 23 July. We have taken all measures to ensure safety in our shops, and in line with government regulations, we will be asking customers to wear face coverings inside all of our shops. Thank you in advance for your cooperation with this.

If you have pre-loved items to donate, you can take them to any of our shops while they are open – we have special donation station wheelie bins outside for you to safely drop them off. To help us sort, please do take a look at our donations guide and shop opening times here.

Meet the team
In my recent emails I have introduced you to a few members of our team. This week our Events Manager, Tracey, has recorded a short update about what the pandemic has meant for her team. Please watch her video here.  
 

I echo Tracey’s thanks.
You are helping us to continue to care for patients during what remains a very difficult time.

My very best wishes,

Peta
Chief Executive

PS. If you feel you would like to make a small donation to help us, you can do so very easily by texting MKHOSPICE to 70085* to donate £10. Every penny supports our care.

*For each text message sent you will be charged your £10 donation (100% of your donation comes to Willen Hospice) plus one standard rate message, and you’ll be opting in to hear more about our work and fundraising via phone and SMS. If you’d like to give £10 but don’t want these communications text MKHOSPICENOINFO to 70085.

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3 July 2020

Dear friend,

This weekend will mark the start of another phase in the easing of lockdown across most of England. While this is great news in terms of life returning to a sense of normality, we are still very aware of the need to play our part in reducing the risk of spreading the virus, for the safety of everyone we support and work with. As I have throughout lockdown, I wanted to take this opportunity to write to you and update you on how things are for us at the Hospice.

Safety at the Hospice
As you will be aware, the Government has announced easing measures including the opening of pubs and restaurants, the mixing of two households, and a reduction in the space that people should keep between them. Safety is the highest priority for us the Hospice and to ensure that, we will continue to maintain a two metre social distance; ask all staff and visitors to wear face coverings; and of course, regularly wash and sanitise our hands. We will also continue to limit visitors, with one per patient at any one time, or two in a 24 hour period. I know this is very hard for patients and their loved ones, and we are doing all we can to make sure they can stay in touch in the best way for them. I would like to thank everyone who has visited the Hospice during the lockdown period for their understanding and patience at what has been a very difficult time.

Shopping with us
Four of our shops opened in mid-June – Bletchley, Buckingham, Olney and our Kiln Farm Furniture Store. I am thrilled to see the support for us on the high street, from people who have either popped in to shop, or to drop off the donations they’ve been collecting for the last three months. We have worked hard to make sure we have a safe environment for shoppers and that donations are all processed in line with safety guidelines.

We are looking forward to opening our shops in Stony Stratford, Leighton Buzzard and Newport Pagnell on Tuesday next week. Please take a look at our website for our opening times. If you have been storing items to donate, please do come and see us. You can take a look at our Donations Guide here.

Fundraising
I continue to be amazed by the support we are receiving from our community. You may have seen coverage of our Cycle Europe Challenge last weekend. More than 50 cyclists covered 3,054km, which got us – virtually – to a place called Vinaros on the Spanish coast. I’d like to thank everyone who cycled despite the wind and rain, collectively they raised over £8,000. A special thank you to five year old Ariya who cycled 10 miles, raising £600 in sponsorship herself. What’s even more impressive is that she only learnt to ride her bike two months ago! Thank you Ariya, and everyone who took part.

Staying with fundraising, I want to remind you that booking is now open for our fabulous All New Moo 2020. The event replaces our flagship fundraiser, the MK Midnight Moo, which sadly cannot take place due to Covid-19. The new event promises to be just as much fun. It’s on Saturday 12 September, between 8am and 6pm. You are invited to walk, run or scoot your own route covering five or ten miles, or maybe more if you’d like a challenge. You can join us on Zoom where our fundraising team will be hosting an all-day party, and if you can walk past the Hospice as part of your route, we’ll be there to wave you on. We’ll also have a very special memory wall outside our gardens where you can leave a message to celebrate the life of someone you are remembering during your Moo. More details are available on our website.

Once again, huge thanks for everything you are doing to support us so we can remain open to care for patients on our inpatient unit, and in the community. We are doing all we can to ease the pain for people at what is already the toughest time of their lives. Here's a quick video from nurse Kate to say thank you on behalf of us all.

PS. If you’d like to make a small donation to the Hospice, you can do so easily by texting MKHOSPICE to 70085 to give £10. Thank you for your kind support.

For each text message sent you will be charged your £10 donation (100% of your donation comes to Willen Hospice) plus one standard rate message, and you’ll be opting in to hear more about our work and fundraising via phone and SMS. If you’d like to give £10 but don’t want these communications text MKHOSPICENOINFO to 70085.

My very best wishes,

Peta

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19 June 2020

Dear friend,

It’s hard to believe we’re three months into lockdown. I hope you are managing to adjust to a new way of life, and that you’re staying safe as restrictions start to ease a little.

Such a lot has happened at the Hospice, and in our community, in this short space of time. We have made a short video update to tell you how things have been for us over the past 12 weeks. I hope you can take a couple of minutes to watch:

Thank you so much for your incredible support.

All New Moo 2020
I can’t let the opportunity pass to tell you about the launch of our exciting All New Moo 2020, sponsored by Specsavers MK. Social distancing restrictions mean we’re sadly unable to host our popular Midnight Moo this year, so we’ve revised the event to take place in the daytime, and to follow any route you wish. It’s on Saturday 12 September, and we’re asking you to walk, run or scoot 5 or 10 miles (or more!) anytime between 8am and 6pm.

We’ll be recreating the incredible Moo atmosphere with an all-day Zoom party, and our friends at MKFM will be live on air throughout the day to keep you company and share your stories. So sign up with family, with friends or with colleagues, and help us to raise vital funds to support the patients and their families who we care for everyday. Bookings are open now.

Cycle Europe – virtually!
A reminder as well that if you’re a keen cyclist, there’s only a week left to sign up for our Cycle Europe Virtual Challenge, it’s taking place next weekend – 26, 27 and 28 June. We’re inviting you to book a slot to cycle as many miles as you can and help us virtually peddle our way around Europe. The event is powered by energie Fitness MK and they’ll be joining us on Zoom to wave off and welcome home cyclists taking part. It promises to be a fantastic event. Sign up on our website.

Once again, thank you for all your support. We simply couldn’t be here without you.

My very best wishes,

Peta
Chief Executive

PS. If you’d like to make a small donation to the Hospice, you can do so easily by texting MKHOSPICE to 70085 to give £10. Thank you for your kind support.

For each text message sent you will be charged your £10 donation (100% of your donation comes to Willen Hospice) plus one standard rate message, and you’ll be opting in to hear more about our work and fundraising via phone and SMS. If you’d like to give £10 but don’t want these communications text MKHOSPICENOINFO to 70085.

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Keeping in Touch - Friday 5 June 2020
Message from our CEO

Dear Friend

I hope you are keeping well. It’s hard to believe we’re in the third month of lockdown in England. The weeks feel like they’re flying by, but a lot has happened in that short time. As the measures start to be eased a little, I wanted to write to you to let you know how we are doing at the Hospice and our plans as we move into the next phase of the new world as we know it.

As always, I start with a heartfelt thank you for everything you have done, and continue to do to support us. From your donations and fundraising, to offering your skills and time. We are approaching the end of national Volunteer’s Week, which is a wonderful opportunity for me to say an extra special thank you to those of you who help us in a voluntary capacity.

Around 600 volunteers support us in a variety of roles and without them, we simply couldn’t offer our care to patients who need us. I know that many of our loyal army of volunteers are unable to help at the moment due to Covid-19, and while we know you’re itching to get back to your roles, your wellbeing comes first. We respect the government’s guidance which means many individuals need to stay at home for a little longer. We look forward to seeing you again soon.

Supporting patients
Our doctors, nurses and support teams remain committed to caring for patients at the Hospice and in the community. We continue to adhere to government social distancing requirements, which means things remain much quieter at the Hospice as visitor numbers are significantly reduced. I know this is very hard for patients who are with us and their loved ones, but we must take all measures to ensure we reduce the spread of infection. I would like to thank families for their patience and understanding at this time. Your cooperation and compassion towards our team is much appreciated.  

Opening our shops
As you have no doubt heard in the news, the Prime Minister has announced that charity shops are in the group of retailers that will be able to open later this month. We are planning to open our larger high street shops – Buckingham, Olney and Bletchley, as well as our Kiln Farm warehouse and furniture store on 15 June. We are currently putting measures in place to ensure you can shop and donate items safely. We will let you know more details as soon as we can.

In the meantime, if you are having a clear out, please consider saving your items for our shops. Although you can’t bring them to us just yet, if you can sort and save them in sealed bags for just a little longer, we will welcome you when we reopen. Your unwanted items will help us raise vital funds that we have missed out on since our shops were forced to close back in March.

New fundraising events
You may have seen that we have just launched our exciting Cycle Europe Virtual Challenge, powered by Energie Fitness. The aim is to collectively cycle the equivalent kilometres it would take to cycle around Europe. It’s happening from Friday 26 to Sunday 28 June and cyclists taking part will be virtually traveling ‘through’ 13 countries, working together to complete 11,300km or more. Anyone can take part, outdoors or indoors; it’s the distance, and of course fundraising that matters. To book or find out more visit our website.

I’m also very pleased to tell you we are just finalising plans for our revised ‘Midnight Moo’ walk which we have rescheduled this for 12 September. As the restrictions for mass events are very likely to be in place at that time, we will be asking you to take part in our All New Moo during that day. You’ll be able to Moo in your own way, with your family or small group of friends. More details will be released very soon, but for now please keep the date free. If you had already signed up for the Midnight Moo, we will be in touch about your booking and hope you’ll still be able to join us.

Finally, if you haven’t played along with our Virtual Midweek Pub Quiz yet, you’re missing out! It happens live on our Facebook page every Wednesday at 8pm and is lots of fun. Presented by our corporate fundraiser and ‘quizmaster’, Chris Gregg, it includes rounds like general knowledge, music, film, sport and TV. There’s even a chance to win a take away meal from local restaurant Calcutta Brasserie. Just visit our Facebook page at 8pm and wait for the quiz to start.

As you can see, we have plenty happening, and I very much hope you will find something that interests you. A reminder that if you would like to help us by making a financial donation, you can do that easily online or by texting MKHOSPICE to 70085 to donate £10*.

My thanks once again on behalf of all of us here at the Hospice.

My very best wishes

Peta

CEO, Willen Hospice

*For each text message sent you will be charged your £10 donation (100% of your donation comes to Willen Hospice) plus one standard rate message, and you’ll be opting in to hear more about our work and fundraising via phone and SMS. If you’d like to give £10 but don’t want these communications text MKHOSPICENOINFO to 70085

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Keeping in Touch - 24 April 2020

Dear Friend,

With the Government’s lockdown measures extended and things feeling very far from normal, I hope you are keeping safe and finding ways to deal with the different challenges that you and your loved ones are facing during this pandemic.

I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on how we are coping at Willen Hospice, and to thank you for all your support.

Supporting our patients
Our front line clinical team, supported by our crucial counselling, housekeeping and catering teams, continue to respond to the issues that the Coronavirus has presented us with. I couldn’t be more proud and grateful for their positive attitude and commitment to keeping our services running for our patients who really need us.

Things feel a bit different at the Hospice. Social distancing measures mean there are fewer people around, but despite that, we are doing our very best to ensure we deliver consistent and compassionate care for patients on our Inpatient Unit.

Our Willen at Home nurses continue to care for patients in the community. While this is not always possible in person at the moment, support is provided over the phone and by video. The role this team plays is critical in making sure patients can live with their illness at home, in their own surroundings. We are working closely with GPs and district nursing teams, as well as the local authority, to make sure those in need are supported.

Here for our patients
Despite the challenges of the Coronavirus, caring for patients remains our priority. If you are a patient of the Hospice or a loved one and need support, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We are still here to help. You can call us on 01908 663636 and we'll put you in touch with the right person.

Fundraising
You, our wonderful community, continue to amaze us with your generosity and support. If you follow us on social media, you may have seen that our first two virtual events have taken place. Our 48-hour Relay Run, powered by energie Fitness saw 90 runners cover a total 500km. Each passed a virtual baton via Zoom, before heading out to run their ‘leg’ in their local area, or in one case, up and down the stairs! We were staggered to have raised over £13.5k in just one weekend from the event.

As I type, the winners of our first Great Willen Cake Off are being judged! We had some wonderful entries from supporters of all ages, raising over £1,500. Well done to everyone who took part and thank you to local baking vlogger, Alix Carey from My Kitchen Drawer, who partnered with us for the event.

The virtual events continue next week with our Midweek Pub Quiz on Wednesday. Please join us live on Facebook from 7pm when the action will start. You can join the live stream, and even create a watch party with friends and family and play together. Visit our page for more information.

If you’re on our mailing list, look out for our spring/summer newsletter that will be delivered to you next week. We hope you’ll enjoy reading it, and stay in touch with us over the summer by taking on some of the ideas we’ve suggested.

Reflection
You may have joined us for our virtual moment of togetherness over the last couple of weeks. This is broadcast live on our Facebook page on Sundays at 8pm and is a chance for you to reflect and think of loved ones you can’t be with. We invite you to light your own candle, or simply watch ours. It’ll be back this week, and we’d love you to join us.

A reminder that if you would like to help us by making a financial donation, you can do that easily online or by texting MKHOSPICE to 70085 to donate £10*.

My very best wishes

Peta

CEO, Willen Hospice

*For each text message sent you will be charged your £10 donation (100% of your donation comes to Willen Hospice) plus one standard rate message, and you’ll be opting in to hear more about our work and fundraising via phone and SMS. If you’d like to give £10 but don’t want these communications text MKHOSPICENOINFO to 70085

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Keeping in Touch - 12 April 2020
Easter wishes

Dear Friend

It feels like spring has well and truly arrived. I hope you are enjoying the Bank Holiday weekend. While this won’t be the Easter many of us are used to, I hope you are managing to spend some quality time with the people you live with, or with loved ones virtually as is becoming normal as the weeks pass. 

I write with good news this week. You may have seen that the Government has announced that they have allocated £200m of funding to hospices in the UK, per quarter. The details of how this will be distributed are not yet known, but undoubtedly this is very positive for us in Milton Keynes. 

While this additional funding is fantastic, it will only go part of the way to fill the funding gap we will face this summer. We’ve been working hard to come up with new ways for you to support us. As you know, with all of our community-wide fundraising events postponed, we are having to find new ways to raise much-needed funds so that we can continue to care for local people at the end of their lives.

New virtual fundraisers
I am thrilled to announce that we have just launched our first virtual challenges – the 48-Hour Relay Run for Willen, powered by our friends at energie Fitness, and The Great Willen Cake Off. We’re so excited to offer you these new challenges, so please take a look. Please do stay in touch with us by looking at our events page on the website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages for all our latest updates. We have lots more planned for the coming months. 

Thank you to our staff
Despite the challenges that the Coronavirus has thrown our way, we continue to care for patients at the Hospice and in people’s own homes. Along with many of you, I joined in with this week's heart-warming clap for our wonderful NHS colleagues. I would like to extend my very special thanks to our team at Willen who continue to come to work every day and make a vital difference to local people when they need us most.  

Light a candle with us
At a time when we can’t be with all of our loved ones, we’ll be lighting a candle for our community every Sunday at 8pm at the Hospice, starting this evening (Easter Sunday). Please join us by lighting your own candle at home at the same time. This moment of togetherness will be broadcast live on our Facebook page and is an opportunity to think of those you are missing or apart from, and share in a virtual experience. 

Our community continues to amaze us with kind gestures and acts of kindness. A reminder that if you would like to help us by making a financial donation, you can do that easily online or by texting MKHOSPICE to 70085 to donate £10*. 

My thanks again for all your support. I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend. Please do stay safe and stay at home. 

My very best wishes

Peta

CEO, Willen Hospice

*For each text message sent you will be charged your £10 donation (100% of your donation comes to Willen Hospice) plus one standard rate message, and you’ll be opting in to hear more about our work and fundraising via phone and SMS. If you’d like to give £10 but don’t want these communications text MKHOSPICENOINFO to 70085


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Keeping in Touch - 3 April 2020
Message from our CEO

Dear Friend,

 

It’s been almost three weeks since the UK was asked to stay at home and help fight the spread of the Coronavirus. I hope you and your loved ones are adjusting to this new normal that we are all living.

While many of our non-clinical staff have been able to work at home, of course our doctors and nurses continue to come to the Hospice and care for patients who really need us. As you would expect, our caseload now includes some patients with the virus. We are working hard to care for them and their loved ones in the best way we can. We continue to follow Public Health England guidance to make sure all our patients, visitors, staff and volunteers are safe.

Fundraising shortfall
You’ll be aware that charities across the world are experiencing a devastating funding crisis. We are no different here at Willen. With our summer events and all fundraising activities postponed, and closure of shops, we face a huge funding gap.

We’re working on a series of virtual fundraisers that you can support us with from your own home and we’ll bring you details of these soon. Keep an eye on our website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages for all our latest updates.

One really simple way to help us is to make a financial donation. You can do that easily online or by texting MKHOSPICE to 70085 to donate £10*.

Difficult decisions
The crisis has meant we have had to take some difficult decisions. With our high street shops closed, our retail and warehouse staff have commenced a period of 'furlough' leave. We have seconded some colleagues to our online sales team where our eBay store is still operating. I'd like to thank our retail team for everything they have done to support the Hospice.

Supporting you
Supporting people through distressing times is what we do well at Willen. Our teams provide care for people at the very hardest times in life. We continue to do that for our patients and their loved ones through this crisis. We’ve pulled together a range of resources to help anyone who is feeling anxious about the situation we’re in, or about loss and bereavement. You can find them on our website, and I urge you to take a look.

Once again, thank you for your support and encouragement. We’ve been overwhelmed by kind donations of things like hand sanitiser, face masks, chocolate and flowers for our teams. These displays of gratitude are really helping at this difficult time.

Stay safe, and if you can, please stay at home.
My very best wishes

Peta

*For each text message sent you will be charged your £10 donation (100% of your donation comes to Willen Hospice) plus one standard rate message, and you’ll be opting in to hear more about our work and fundraising via phone and SMS. If you’d like to give £10 but don’t want these communications text MKHOSPICENOINFO to 70085.


Keeing in Touch - 24 March 2020
Message from our CEO

Dear supporter,

I hope this message finds you and your loved ones safe and well.

The last few days have brought more changes for us all and I wanted to update you again on how we are responding here at Willen Hospice.

At the Hospice
As you will be aware, the Prime Minister has announced further measures to encourage social distancing. As part of this we have taken the difficult decision to limit visitor numbers to one per patient at any one time, and a maximum of two visitors within a 24-hour period.

Anyone visiting a loved one must follow handwashing and sanitising advice, and go directly to their bedroom. We ask visitors to please respect social distancing requirements by waiting offsite until they are able to see their loved one.

Please do not visit the Hospice if you have a temperature over 37.8 or a new persistent cough.

Our Therapeutic and Wellbeing Service has put together some useful resources for children and adults who may be struggling to cope with the situation facing them. If you think you or your family would benefit from this support, you can access them here.

Shopping with us
While our staff and volunteers have been doing everything they can to maintain a retail service, our shops have temporarily closed to the public today.

Our eBay shop will remain online. Please do take a look and consider supporting us in this way while our shops are closed.

Donations
We respect the Government’s request to stay at home, therefore we are unable to accept donations to sell in our shops at the moment. Please do not travel to our shops or warehouse to drop off any items. If you are using your additional time at home to have a sort out, please do consider saving your items to donate to us in the near future.

Events
As I mentioned in my last email to you, we have been working hard to secure new dates for our events that would have taken place over the summer. I’m pleased to announce our flagship fundraiser, MK Midnight Moo, and new Moo Night Run will now take place on Saturday 12 September.

The Moo, which would normally happen in July, is our most important fundraiser of the year. We hope you’ll be able to join us to make this year just as fabulous as ever. It will provide a fantastic opportunity for you to join us to celebrate and raise vital funds. Please take a look at our website to find out more and book.

Supporting us
As you can imagine, this unprecedented situation means we are facing a considerable loss in fundraising income in the short term. Your support has never been more critical.

We know there are so many good causes and community groups who have been affected by this, but I appeal for your continued support at this difficult time.

If you would like to make a donation to support us, you can easily do so online or by texting MKHOSPICE to 70085 to donate £10*. You can also find out more about other ways to support us on our website.

While the things we do will look very different in the months ahead, our dedication to our local community won’t stop. We’ll continue to provide support to our local patients and families in the best way we can. I will continue to update you through these emails, via our website and on social media.

Once again, I would like to thank you for your understanding and kindness at this time. We have received so many encouraging words of support, as well as donations of key items to enable our nurses to care for patients safely.

We often say this - but it feels more appropriate than ever – we simply couldn’t continue to do what we do without your unwavering support.

My very best wishes,

Peta

* For each text message sent you will be charged your £10 donation (100% of your donation comes to Willen Hospice) plus one standard rate message, and you’ll be opting in to hear more about our work and fundraising via phone and SMS. If you’d like to give £10 but don’t want these communications text MKHOSPICENOINFO to 70085

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An update from our Chief Executive

Thank You