Community gets behind hospice's appeal for new patient family lounge

The generosity of the Oldham community has helped to raise over £35,000 for Dr Kershaw's Hospice's appeal to furnish its new in-patient family lounge. 

In autumn last year, the Royton-based hospice launched its 'Furnish with Love – Give the Gift of Comfort' appeal to help raise the vital funds needed to furnish the lounge, after the effects of Covid-19 left the new build with an unexpected shortfall.

The appeal was spearheaded by the hospice’s Senior Sister, Kelly Foster, and has now enabled the hospice to purchase the specialist furniture needed, to create a home from home for patients to relax and spend time in with their families outside their rooms.

Kelly has been amazed at the support that the appeal has received.

She said: “When we reached out to our community, to ask for their help in furnishing our in-patient family lounge, we could never have known that so many kind and caring individuals and organisations would respond with love and give the Hospice a gift, the “Gift of Comfort.”

The hospice say its vision for the in-patient family lounge has now become a reality, with sofas and armchairs for comforting family cuddles, dining areas for special family meals, a bespoke kitchen and so much more.

Due to the generosity of the local community, enough money has been raised to fund furnishings and home comforts in the rest of the unit, ensuring a comfortable and relaxed environment in the patients’ private rooms.

The appeal has seen the whole community come together to support the hospice, with many kind donations and fundraising challenges.

From 80-year-old Peter Killan from Saddleworth, who raised £6,000 clearing the canal towpath in Uppermill, to the friends and family of brave Liz O’Donnell, who sadly passed away recently, who came together to ‘Leg it 4 Liz’ raising over £5,000.

The appeal even inspired children to get involved with local schools and nurseries, St Anne’s CE Primary in Royton, Alt Academy, Bare Trees Primary in Chadderton as well as Ambrose Nursery and Teddies Day Nursery all bringing ‘Christmas to Class’ to do their bit.

Eleven-year-olds Noah Price and Cameron Lee took part in their own fundraising challenges, with Noah raising over £1,000 by riding 100 miles on his family’s exercise bike and budding confectioner Cameron making his own sweet treats to raise £62 for the ‘Furnish with Love’ Appeal.

The hospice's appeal also received support from so many organisations within the community, including The Big White Charity Van, Shaw Comrades, Remedian, Foresight, Life for a Life Memorial Forests, George Hill Ltd, Saddleworth Round Table, Oldham Metro Rotary and Oldham Community Leisure, with a generous donation from the Mayor’s office also.

Kelly said: “Your help has given our patients the ‘Gift of Comfort’ and will enable them to spend precious time with their loved ones in a comfortable, safe, homely environment, it means so much to them and their families and will do to future patients for years to come! We could not have achieved all of this without your support so thank you from the bottom of our hearts from all of us at Dr Kershaw’s Hospice!”

To watch Dr Kershaw’s ‘Furnish with Love’ Thank You video, visit the hospice's social media channels or www.drkh.org.uk/support-us/furnishwithlove

Despite being able to raise the funds to complete its new in-patient family lounge, Dr Kershaw’s ongoing funds to support patient care have been massively impacted by the pandemic, with event cancellations and a reduction in fundraising activities.

Anyone who is able to make a donation or to take part in fundraising is asked to call the Hospice’s Fundraising Team on 0161 624 9984 or visit www.drkh.org.uk

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