Every year national hospice charity Help the Hospices invites more than 100 local hospices from across the UK to unite for a week of awareness raising activity, known as Hospice Care Week. Each hospice is encouraged to come up with an idea for its own campaign around a common theme. For 2014, the chosen theme is 'hospice care, everywhere,' the idea being to raise awareness of the services provided for patients and their loved ones outside the grounds of each hospice, within our local communities.
Beryl with her husband Derek and the clay head she sculpted
Rowcroft's Community and Hospice at Home Teams provide a number of services for patients, as well as their families and friends, across South Devon. Those services include Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Complementary Therapy, Art Therapy and Music Therapy, and support is also provided by Social Workers, Clinical Nurse Specialists, a Specialist Palliative Care Consultant and Bereavement and Administration Teams.
In order to raise awareness of these services during Hospice Care Week, Rowcroft's Communications Team came up with a campaign entitled 'Not What You Expect?' which centres around five people; Beryl, Mike, June, David and Andie. You might have seen the campaign on our social media platforms, in the windows of our shops and on our website this week.
The five people who appear in the campaign are a mix of patients, their relatives and Rowcroft staff members; each of whom was asked to talk about how Rowcroft's services have helped them, or others.
Beryl, for example, suffers from a disease causing a blockage of blood supply to her legs and is visited at home by an Occupational Therapist and Clinical Nurse Specialist, she also visits the hospice for Art Therapy sessions. In her video she talks about discovering a talent that, up until the age of 83, she never knew she had. Mike, who is an Insulin Dependent Diabetic with Prostate Cancer and Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (a disease of the lungs), talks about receiving help with his breathing, and how a Social Worker regularly visits him at his home in Chudleigh. June, who came into contact with Rowcroft when her husband was cared for here last November, reveals how they both became reflexology converts at the hands of Rowcroft's Reflexologist Volunteer, Sue; and Music Therapist David, talks about how music helps patients and their families achieve a sense of normality. Finally Andie, who is a Clinical Nurse Specialist based in Dartmouth, talks about how she supports patients and their families in their own homes, and thinks Dartmouth is a wonderful place to work.
Senior Marketing and Communications Officer Katherine Elliott, says planning and creating the campaign has been a moving experience. She explains: "It's been amazing for the team to meet and get to know some of Rowcroft's patients.
"The first interview we did was with Beryl, who spoke to us about her experience of sculpting her husband Derek's head out of clay, and how her regular visits to Rowcroft had given her week some purpose and routine. By the end of her interview, we were all in tears!
"All the people we interviewed are incredibly positive, strong and brave and it was amazing to be able to spend a few days with them. It was also wonderful to hear them talk so sincerely about the help Rowcroft has provided them, it really humbled us and made us feel so pleased to be working, and representing such an incredible local charity. We hope you all enjoy watching their stories."
Look out for Beryl, Mike, June, David and Andie across South Devon this week, or visit www.rowcrofthospice.org.uk/not-what-you-expect to watch their videos today.
We would really value hearing your feedback on our 'Not What You Expect?' campaign so please leave your comments below this blog, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you'd like to know more about Rowcroft's expansive range of community services, please visit our website.