A NATIONAL week of activity to raise the profile of the role of hospices in their communities has given Prospect Hospice the chance to highlight its services.

Hospice Care Week, organised by Help the Hospices, an umbrella group for the 200+ independent hospices across the UK, has seen Prospect Hospice feature some of its less well-known work in a campaign involving the media, its Facebook and Twitter services, on its website and through the participation of current patients, volunteers and staff.

“Hospice Care Week has been an excellent opportunity for us to spread the word locally about he breadth of the services that we provide,” said spokesman Andrew Thompson.

“The theme of the week has been Be Surprised, and we have taken that as a platform for us to talk about the 80 per cent of our care that takes place away from the hospice building, and is provided for patients in the community, which is the place for many where they would prefer to receive their care.

“We’ve also highlighted that three-quarters of the money that we received is from the support of the community we support – a fact which often surprises many people.”

One simple idea the Wroughton-based charity has used has been to invite visitors to the hospice, and patients visited by its community nursing teams, to complete a postcard to be attached to boards on display in reception.

“The response has been beyond our expectations. We had hoped to fill perhaps two, but the cards have kept coming, from patients, carers, visitors, volunteers – even our trustees when they came to the hospice for their regular meeting last week.

“The card asks a simple question: ‘I was surprised that Prospect Hospice...’, and the responses have touched on so many different aspects of our work. “There have been more than 100, with views suggesting how different the hospice had been, from how it’s a warm and friendly place, to people expressing their appreciation for the staff and volunteers here. We have been delighted that so many have had such positive things to say about our work.”

Among other activities were a Feel Good Fair and Fashion Show on Friday, organised by Prospect physiotherapist Dorinda Moffatt to support her fundraising for the charity, including her participation in its firewalk event on October 28.