Our 25th Celebrations Continue…
Our Dorchester Day Services celebrated 25 Years of service
Friday 8th March 2019 sees us celebrating 25 years to the day since we started delivering our first Day Services from our inpatient unit building in Dorchester.
The range of services that are offered at these sessions has grown over the years, offering patients a relaxed, social and supportive day out. As well as increasing the offering at Day Services, we now provide these sessions across five locations within Dorset including Trimar in Weymouth, Blandford Community Hospital, Westminster Memorial Hospital in Shaftesbury and Bridport Community Hospital.
Our Day Services in Dorchester, are provided in the appropriately named ‘John Greener Room’, dedicated to one of our Founders who sadly passed away shortly after our inpatient unit opened its doors. John was part of a trio who had a vision to provide vital hospice care throughout the county, completely free of charge. And to this day, 25 years on, John’s vision and legacy continues, with Weldmar Hospicecare having cared for over 20,000 patients since our doors opened in January 1994. John is pictured here with HRH The Prince of Wales during the hospice build.
Day Services are a key part of Weldmar’s services. 82% of Weldmar’s care is given in the community, via our Community Nurses and at Day Services sessions. Last year alone, Weldmar’s Day Services saw 1,337 attendances across all five sites.
For many people, attending Day Services is the only time they might leave the house. The sessions offer patients the chance to relax, chat to others, have a lovely lunch and a glass of wine, play word games and learn new skills with our creative arts team. It’s also an opportunity for patients to meet up with their Weldmar Community Nurse away from their home. Patients are picked up from their home via our minibus or volunteer drivers and returned home again at the end of the day. This allows the patients family members or carers a much needed break, to go and do the weekly shop, clean the house or other tasks which are sometimes not possible.
When talking about Weldmar’s Day Services, one of our patients said “My impressions was that there would be loads of old people here, sitting round falling asleep. They said there were arts and crafts too, and I thought, I hated that at school. But since I started arts and crafts here, I actually do a lot of it at home now. You can talk to people here and they know exactly how you’re feeling. You are able to talk to people in the same sort of situation and get advice from nurses – you don’t always want to bother your GP. This place kept me going when I was really down.”
Weldmar’s Day Services are led by Jenny Wood who works hard with her team to ensure that each session at each location is centred around the patients and their needs. Jenny said “There is normally a fear or a taboo around what Day Services are and we hear so often, that they are completely different to what people expect. As well as the various activities we arrange at our sites, we organise days out to various attractions and gardens around the county which helps the patients to relax and have a great day out, without having to think about their illness.”
As an independent charity, we need to raise £18,000 every single day to be able to provide our whole range of services, including Day Services, across the county.