An update from our Chief Executive

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Fri 24 Apr 2020 - posted by Willen Hospice
Keeping in Touch
Message from our CEO

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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