On Monday 15th July, The Friends of Wisdom Hospice visited Year 10 level 2 BTEC Health & Social Care students at Strood Academy.

Dexter, a specialist palliative care nurse, talked about the role of a Hospice and the differences between the care given in a hospice and a hospital. He explained that a Hospice is ‘patient centred’ and the care given is tailored to each person’s specific needs.  They give palliative care, not active treatment to enable patients to live as comfortably as possible. With the patient’s wishes being at the forefront of the care given, they have even arranged ‘date nights’ and a marriage ceremony.

The Hospice covers 400,000 residents and offers many services from different groups of people, including volunteers, physicians, spiritual counsellors, social workers, bereavement counsellors, therapists and nurses.  At any one time, Wisdom Hospice will be caring for 400 patients in their homes and 15 in the Hospice.

The Hospice needs £3.8 million per year to run, and has a daily fundraising target of £2,500 per day.  Martyn, Chief Executive of Friends of Wisdom Hospice, explained that fundraising has changed from its beginnings in 1982, when fundraising consisted of selling jams and cakes, to a range of activities used today, such as colour runs, quiz nights, half marathons, kayaking, Hadrian’s Wall Challenge and coffee mornings, to name but a few.

Students were very interested in the work of the Hospice and comments included:

“There was lots of information.”

“They explained what a Hospice is really like.”

“I am interested in volunteering.”

“Working there sounds really rewarding.”

“I didn’t realise what went on in a hospice.”

“I am not old enough to volunteer yet but I could support some of their events.”

 

Strood Academy teacher, Carey Noble, commented:

“I would like to say thank you very much to Martyn and Dexter for giving up their time to talk with our students around the important work of Hospices in general, and how the multidisciplinary team work to support the most vulnerable. It was interesting to find out about the various roles that young people can go into after completing their HSC course at Strood Academy. We have recently been learning about care values and it was useful to see how this links into everyday work of the work of the Hospice – either within the home or at the Hospice. Students are keen to see how they could support the work of the Hospice in the future.”