Celebrities back Hospice Care Week

10 October 2011
The first ever hospice awareness week is asking people to share the 'one word' that hospice care means to them.

The theme of the week, which runs from 8-14 October and has been organised by the charity Help the Hospices, is 'Hospice care, be surprised.'  

The public is being asked to share the 'oneEwan Mcgregor holds up his word: Fun word' that hospice care means to them, either via Twitter using the hashtag #hospicecareweek; by uploading a picture to Flickr or by visiting www.besurprised.org.uk/get-involved/one-word/

Actor Ewan McGregor (right), the health secretary, Andrew Lansley, and football referee Howard Webb are among those who have added their word to the campaign.

During the week local hospices will be campaigning to dispel myths about hospice care. Hospices will hold open days, information sessions and fundraising events, with the aim to challenge people’s misconceptions about hospice care.

David Praill, chief executive of Help the Hospices, said: “Now is a crucial time to be raising awareness of hospice care on a national scale. With an ageing population, more people will be dying with complex health and social care needs, increasing the demand for hospice care.

“It is vital that people understand how they can benefit from their local hospice’s free care and support services, so that everyone coping with the effects of a life-limiting or terminal illness has access to the best possible care.”

Hospices not only provide end of life care, but they also care for many more people in their own homes, in day care and through counselling and family support. From being there through the hard times to helping celebrate the good times, hospices help people with life-limiting and terminal illnesses to live well until they die, and support their families too.

David added: “Collectively, hospices are the biggest fundraising cause in the country, having to raise £1.5 million every single day. This means that hospices rely very much on the communities that they serve. This Hospice Care Week, we hope to tell millions of people about hospice care – not only how you can benefit from it, but how you can help it to thrive in your community by volunteering, donating or simply spreading the word.”

To find out more about how hospices help seriously ill people and their families to live well, visit www.besurprised.org.uk 

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