Could you give up a night’s sleep to help raise vital funds for the Hospice?
Do you love your sleep, or are you someone who counts sheep most nights before you drift off! Either way would you give it up for just one night to help raise funds for our Hospice at Home Service.
We want to shine a light on the incredible work our Health Care Assistant’s do, supporting patients and their carer’s at home, normally sitting with them overnight to make sure the carer can get some much needed rest and a good nights sleep, secure in the knowledge that their loved one is being well looked after.
The service is generally provided when patients are nearing the end of life, when carers are in crisis, when patients have uncontrolled symptoms or have been rapidly discharged from hospital, therefore it is a fundamental and much relied upon aspect of the Hospice’s services.
Be part of the Hospice’s first Big Stay Awake!
Registration is free and pledge to give up one night’s sleep between the 15th and 21st February 2021, just like our Health Care Assistants do most nights. Any sponsorship you raise will help us continue to provide this service and help prevent carer crisis.
You can do your stay awake however you want. Why not arrange a movie marathon or binge watch your favourite box sets on Netflix.
However, you choose to do yours, make sure it’s safe and within the government guidelines.
We can give you hints and tips on how to maximise your fundraising and help raise as many hours of Hospice at Home Care as possible!
Last year it cost £154,186 to provide our Hospice at Home Service
On average a night shift is 9 hours long – which costs £112.23 – this works out at £12.47 per hour.
Could you give up one night’s sleep and see how many hours of Hospice at Home support you could raise in sponsorship!
We want to reward you for your fundraising efforts and so all those who manage to raise £112.23 or more will be entered into a draw to win £200 of vouchers to put towards an overnight stay at a luxury hotel!!
The difference your support will make:
The demand for our Hospice at Home Service has continued to grow year on year and during the beginning of the pandemic there was an even greater need for the service, following a reduction in Social Care packages of care especially for people not living alone. This put a lot of pressure on family carers in our community due to the intensity of the lock-down.
We endeavoured to deliver a business-as-usual service whilst seeing an uplift in demand as we tried to stop carer and patient crisis.
This is the difference the service makes to our patients and their carers.
“The night sitters that cared for mum overnight when she was extremely poorly and vulnerable were invaluable for both of us” (29/4/20, Relative)
“The whole family felt the kindness and love from your staff and the generosity in providing a bed and overnight care for her during her last days” (28/8/20 Relative)
My name is Alison and I work as a Health Care Assistant (HCA) for the Hospice at Home (H@H) Team at Hospice of the Valleys, we care for patients overnight in their own homes, within the Blaenau Gwent area.
I wanted to share my experience of working as a HCA for the hospice throughout the Coronavirus pandemic and how my colleagues and I have had to adapt to continue to provide care safely to vulnerable patients of the Hospice at Home Service.
A typical shift starts at 10pm when I arrive at the patient’s home ready to provide care overnight whilst the family catch up on some much needed rest, knowing their loved one is being cared for and all of their needs are being met during the night.
Before Coronavirus, I would arrive at my patient’s home dressed in my uniform, however since the pandemic many things have changed and now I arrive in full personal protective equipment (PPE). This includes an apron, gloves and a surgical face mask to help protect my patient, their family and myself.
Initially I found arriving in full PPE difficult, especially if it was the first time meeting the patient and family. They were unable to see my face and it just seemed so impersonal not being able to see my facial expressions or a friendly smile at such a difficult time in their lives. I found myself using my eyes more when communicating so that they could read me a little better when I was talking, though it did not feel natural it made it a little easier. The face mask also made communicating difficult, it can muffle speech and I felt it was a little harder to breathe easily when talking.
Wearing full PPE for a 9 hour shift could be very uncomfortable especially during the summer months when there were some very hot nights. The fitted masks over a long period, would leave marks on my face and make my nose sore, but they were very much needed to keep everyone safe.
During the night I often provide emotional support, when needed, for both patients and their loved ones. To be honest, I have found it very difficult not being able to give a comforting hug or hold someone’s hand when they were upset and in need of some comfort at a very difficult time in their life. I could only show empathy with words and on times all a person wants and needs is a comforting hug. I am a caring person by nature which is why I work in palliative care and not being able to offer this contact made it extremely hard for me.
I am immensely proud to work as part of the Hospice at Home Team and feel very privileged to be invited into a patient’s home to provide care at such an emotional and difficult time in their lives. I have met some wonderful families during my 5 years working for the hospice and I’m proud to work with such a great multi-disciplinary team providing invaluable clinical care and support to the people of Blaenau Gwent.
Stay safe everyone in these challenging times, we will get there together.
Alison Foote, Health Care Assistant