Day Hospice Appeal: Bringing care closer to home

Sue Howarth with health care assistants Ian Radford and Victoria Pring. Sue Howarth with health care assistants Ian Radford and Victoria Pring.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014
9:53 AM

Hospiscare patients across East Devon will benefit from having care closer to home when the new East Devon Day Hospice opens in the summer.

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Currently, patients from Axminster to Sidmouth visit Hospiscare’s day care centres in Exeter and Seaton each week, but patient Sue Howarth from Exmouth said a new day hospice for East Devon which is on people’s doorsteps is vital.

Sue said: “I think the new day hospice will be beneficial. It’s so important for people to have this service on their doorstep because some people can’t travel very far.

“One lady comes to day care from Dawlish. Her husband brings her in and collects her but she’s in her wheelchair and you’ve got to think of the mobility side of things. It’s going to help people coming from Sidmouth to Exeter for example, as Honiton is not so far.”

66-year-old Sue became a Hospiscare patient after being diagnosed with bowel cancer.

Vivacious Sue has made many friends since she first came to the Exeter Day Care Centre in June last year, making the trip to day care every Wednesday with volunteer drivers, who not only help her, but have also become trusted friends.

Sue said: “The journey into Hospiscare is always lovely. You wouldn’t believe some of the bonds I’ve made here with the drivers; we’ve got this lovely closeness and we chat about things, so my day at the hospice starts when I leave my home - isn’t that lovely?

“I have had a few Wednesdays when I’ve been unable to come – some days aren’t good. And it might sound strange because we’re in a place where you come to be taken care of, but I don’t want to come feeling too poorly to enjoy the company.”

As well as enjoying the social side of day care, Sue spends time in the craft room, loves taking part in a weekly word game and especially enjoys her time with the complementary therapists.

Having lived near Exmouth for 16 years Sue said that she hasn’t felt the need to leave the country for many years.

Sue said: “There is such beauty in Devon that I don’t desire to get on an airplane – I haven’t been on one since 1989.

“I live near the estuary in Exmouth. We all have those times when you wake up in the morning and feel down. I can just look out and see the water which changes every day and that’s wonderful isn’t it?”

The Midweek Herald, Exmouth Journal, Sidmouth Herald, and Cranbrook Herald have joined forces with Hospiscare to support the charity’s East Devon Day Hospice Appeal. The new state-of-the-art centre will be built in King Street, Honiton. The current fundraising total stands at £42,000 so a further £208,000 still needs to be raised to build and run the new day hospice.

For more information about the East Devon Day Hospice Appeal or to get involved, call Appeal Fundraiser Sarah Smith on 01392 688095 or email s.smith@hospiscare.co.uk.

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