An Inspiring Event
We would like to extend our thanks to St Catherine’s Hospice for inviting us to such an inspiring business breakfast event this morning, hosted at Alexander House Hotel in Sussex.
Giles Tomsett, Chief Executive at St Catherine’s Hospice opened the event, setting the scene for the morning, and giving those in attendance an insight into the incredible work and services that the hospice provides to the local community. The region the hospice covers encompasses over 500,000 residents from a large catchment area reaching from East Grinstead to Billingshurst, Hassocks to Caterham. Each day, it costs St Catherine’s £17,255 to provide all their care services. With less than a third of their funding coming from the NHS, fundraising by local businesses and the local community is vital in helping ensure that the excellent care the hospice delivers can continue.
This networking business event was held to inspire businesses to work together, as a community and as a team, where we not only support the hospice, but the people and local businesses around us.
We heard from Christopher Schenk, Chief Medical Officer, Unum UK, sponsors of the business breakfast and one local company which has nominated St Catherine’s Hospice as their chosen charity. Christopher spoke about the support and fundraising efforts they have achieved for St Catherine’s Hospice; Unum have raised over £23,000 through continual fundraising in varying events such as cake sales, Dragon Boat races, Christmas Jumper days and far too many more to list. Part of Unum’s offering is to provide support to companies about bereavement, including resources and guidance to deal with work related bereavement issues.
Guest Speaker, Patrick McIntosh, South Pole Explorer and three times cancer survivor held a totally captivated audience. In an open and honest presentation, speaking from the heart to inspire and educate the audience, he discussed his personal battle with bowel, skin and prostate cancer. Patrick then went on to describe his epic challenge – walking 222km to the South Pole, whilst recovering from cancer!
Last and by no means least, Dr Patricia Brayden, Medical Director at St Catherine’s spoke about the team effort that is part of everyday life at St Catherine’s. To provide care that is not just medical but also includes helping people deal with life’s practicalities, assisting with final wishes, offering support to families, partners and, children, providing guidance on spiritual journeys, handling pain, managing disappointment, helping with plans for the future and even organising weddings with less than 24 hours’ notice…We take our hats off to the amazing team at St Catherine’s Hospice.
End of life care, bereavement, cancer – not an everyday breakfast discussion but we certainly left feeling inspired, hearts warmed, grateful for the hard work and dedication of teams like St Catherine’s for providing what is truly an exceptional caring experience in a time of need for so many families.