Hospice launches new campaign to help Oldham people

Dr Kershaw's Hospice has launched a new campaign to provide a helping hand to the people of Oldham during the coronavirus pandemic.

The pandemic has meant that the wider healthcare community have had to adapt to alternative ways of working to support the community and the NHS during this time.

As a result, Dr Kershaw's in Royton has temporarily closed its in-patient unit to allow its nurses and doctors to focus on its community services - Hospice at Home and Caring Hands - to triple its offer of support and meeting the needs of an increased number of people being discharged home from hospital. 

The hospice will then become a central hub for the wider healthcare community and join with other care providers to support people in the borough.

The newly-launched campaign 'Supporting Our Community - Dr Kershaw's Cares' will also see the hospice become a hub of information for the local community, providing clear up-to-date information on how Oldhamers should be responding to Covid-19. 

The organisations' website will be communicating the Government's key messages and providing links to trusted sources on its dedicated ‘COVID-19’ tab and across its social media channels for people to easily share. 

The hospice's online presence will also serve to provide the community with fun, uplifting activities that they can do from the comfort of their own home. Their '#DoItForKershaws' challenges are fun for all the family with resources available online, via the Hospice website, and links being made daily from the Hospice social media channels.

The hospice's dedicated Community Fundraiser, Lillie Winterbottom, will also be on hand to help members of the community bring to life their projects if they need some additional support. 

During this period, the hospice's non-clinical teams have been paying particular focus on the hospice’s network of volunteers, which is made up of 262 people. Unfortunately, due to Government guidelines, many of the volunteers were temporarily stood down from their positions for their own safety during this time.

Dr Kershaw’s however, saw this as an opportunity to support those that support them daily and set to work to create ‘care packages’ for their volunteers, many of which included activity packs, puzzles and some ‘pick me up’ items. The packs were dropped at the doorstep of their homes for them to retrieve safely to help them combat loneliness during their isolation period. 

Also, the team at Dr Kershaw’s are making weekly friendship calls to their volunteers and sending letters offering them someone to talk to if they feel isolated, and distributing key information on services available to them, such as shopping services, takeaway deliveries, chemists or helplines should they require any help.

The hospice are also offering this service to the wider community within Oldham, and requests for calls or letters can be sent to fundraising@drkh.org.uk. The team have also set up a dedicated Facebook group for volunteers to join, to talk to their fellow volunteers and members of the hospice team. 

Joanne Sloan, CEO of Dr Kershaw's Hospice, said: "Dr Kershaw's priority is the welfare of its patients, staff, volunteers and the local community. We value and appreciate all the support that we receive in helping us to provide end of life care for all our patients, their relatives and loved ones. 

"However, now it is our turn to support you. Our community is at the heart of what we do at Dr Kershaw's, and together we shall support each other through this pandemic. #DrKershawsCares." 


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