Come together and support the hospices covering Sussex

Sunflowers will be 'planted' in the gardens at St Wilfrid's Hospice to lift people's spirits SUS-160627-170051003
Sunflowers will be 'planted' in the gardens at St Wilfrid's Hospice to lift people's spirits SUS-160627-170051003

Hospices, vital to the local community, are appealing for local residents to support them in a new initiative that takes place for the first time this October called The Big Get Together.

St Wilfrid’s Hospice, St Michael’s Hospice, in Hastings, Chestnut Tree House and Friends of Sussex Hospices have joined forces with seven other hospices in the South East to launch the Big Get Together and invite people to gather friends or family to have fun and raise funds to support vital hospice services.

It could be a family barbecue; a cocktails-and-canapes evening; watching a film and eating pizza in your pyjamas or a good old-fashioned natter over tea and cake – the point is to raise as much money as possible in the company of the people you love best.

People can host their event on a date that is significant to them or join thousands of others in holding their Get Together this October, to tie in with national Hospice Care Week (October 3 – 9) and World Hospice Day (October 8).

Hospices typically cost millions of pounds to run every year and public support is vital to keep them running.

As well as supporting people with life-limiting illnesses - free of charge and for as long as it’s required – hospices also support the patient’s family and friends.

Since opening in 1987, St Wilfrid’s has cared for more than 15,000 local people, and their loved ones. At any one time, it cares for over 240 people in the community and also offers support to their families and friends. All the services it offers are free of charge.

They receive just 13% of funding from the NHS and rely on public support to raise the remaining 87% of its annual running costs, which this year will be over £7 million.

If you are holding an event £32.70 will pay for an hour of in-patient care at St Wilfrid’s Hospice.

A spokesperson said: “Last year, 312 people stayed on our Inpatient Unit, 508 people were supported by our Nurse Line, and 439 new people were supported at home.”

St Michael’s Hospice, St Leonard’s on Sea provide excellent holistic care and support for all those living in Hastings and Rother affected by a progressive life-limiting illness or bereavement.

A spokesman said: “The cost of running the Hospice and providing the full range of services to our patients is over £5million a year. With no more than one third of this being provided by the NHS we need to raise the balance from voluntary sources.

“We are heavily dependent on the generosity of local individuals, companies, groups and trusts and we value each and every donation received.”

Friends of Sussex Hospices (FSH), Uckfield, is a registered charity run entirely by volunteers. It raises funds, through a variety of activities, to support the running costs of hospice care providers serving the adults and children of Sussex.

FSH works alongside hospices, promoting awareness of the invaluable services provided to them by our community. Every penny raised by the charity is distributed to hospices in Sussex and to date £1.3million has been given out.

Chestnut Tree House, Arundel is the children’s hospice service for Sussex.

Each year, they look after hundreds of local children with life-shortening conditions, their siblings and families, giving them the chance to live life to the full – for as much time as they have together.

It costs over £3.5million each year to provide all their care services, yet receive less than 7 per cent central government funding so rely heavily on the support of our local community.

A spokesman said: “Together we can make every day count-the good days, the bad days and the last days. And, when the time comes, we are there to support the whole family with specialist medical care and bereavement support at the end of the child’s life, giving them the opportunity to say goodbye in their own time and way, wherever that might be.”

To take part register at: where you can also find fundraising ideas.

There are also a number of downloadable resources for getting involved in Hospice Care Week, at the Hospice UK website at

Hospice UK supports the development of hospice care in the UK and internationally. By supporting hospice professionals, championing the voice of hospice care and promoting clinical excellence.

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