LONGFIELD Hospice is today launching the Time Together campaign as it looks to raise enough money to provide 20,000 hours of hospice home care a year in Gloucestershire.

The hospice say that everyone who is touched by a life-limiting illness should be able to have free hospice care. Currently hospices in the county only help around half of people referred to them for end of life care at home, but with public support the Longfield staff are aiming to change this statistic.

Sian Cole, Director of Care Services at Longfield, said: “Longfield’s Hospice at Home service is vitally important as it enables people who are nearing the end of their life to be at home with their loved ones and familiar things around them.

“Our skilled and compassionate staff work alongside GPs and community nursing teams to help patients manage their symptoms as well as providing personal care such as washing, using the toilet and moving.

“They also offer emotional support and a listening ear, not just for the patient but also for family and friends and our care continues after the person has died through our bereavement support services.

“We rely on the public’s help to fund the majority of our work and without more support, we cannot increase the hours of care we can provide.

“Help us deliver more specialist hospice care to people in need by donating to Longfield’s Time Together campaign.”

When Celia Hicks Beach was told her lung cancer was terminal, the Hospice at Home care available from Longfield meant she could leave hospital and return to her beloved family farm where she died peacefully with her loved ones and family pets around her at the age of 74.

Celia's daughter, Lucy, said: “My mum was fiercely independent, incredibly active and really was the matriarch of the family. She was like a second parent to my girls and Mum worked really hard to give us the best life,” she said.

“When she became ill, she felt anxious and didn’t like losing that sense of not being able to cope with everything. She knew herself that we needed extra help to care for her.

“When she became very poorly and we knew she was nearing the end, the Longfield staff were amazing as they just gave Mum the space to talk through her worries and concerns. On the day she died, they were there not just to care for Mum but to support all of us too.”

Celia’s son, Fred Hicks Beach, who runs the farm said being at home was so important to his mum.

“Mum loved travel, but she also loved being at home and Witcombe was like a comfort blanket to her. Being back at home when she became ill was what she wanted,” he said.

“The hospice nurses were incredible, and we couldn’t have done it without them. When they came into Mum’s home, which she was very private about, they did everything they could for her – they were just amazing.”

As well as providing Hospice at Home care, Longfield also offers help and support to patients and their carers through a range of services that include counselling and bereavement support, day therapy, complementary therapy and carers services.

Based in Minchinhampton, Longfield currently provides around 13,000 hours of Hospice at Home care each year. And they are aiming to take on more referrals increasing the number of people they can care for, particularly in areas such as Gloucester where there is a greater need for support.

It costs up to £60 an hour to provide free Hospice at Home care to someone. For more information or to donate, go to https://bit.ly/34TfZ8N or you can text to donate:

To donate £10, text TIMETOGETHER10 to 70085

To donate £15, text TIMETOGETHER15 to 70085

To donate £20, text TIMETOGETHER20 to 70085.