This is what it takes

Monday, 7 October 2019
We absolutely love the theme of this year’s Hospice Care Week ‘This is what it takes.’ Here at The Prince of Wales Hospice, we know all to well just how much work goes into providing Hospice care behind the scenes. 
In keeping with the theme, we want to use the opportunity to give you a sneak peak into what it takes to run our Outreach service and all the fabulous activities it puts on for our patients.

Our Outreach groups take place weekly at three community venues, Badsworth, Airedale and Altofts. It gives people with a palliative illness in our local area the opportunity to get out the house and meet with others in a similar situation. It’s a place to relax, socialise and get involved with lots of fun activities.  Throughout the year, we have Outreach theme days, which take place at the Hospice. It is a chance for patients from the different groups to
meet up and have a good celebration! Previous theme days have included a royal wedding celebration and beach party.

We caught up with Activities Coordinator, Jo Lister, after our recent Outreach pearl party and asked her to fill us on what it takes to organise and put on a fantastic celebration for our 30thbirthday. 

‘The preparations for our theme days start months in advance. We want to make sure our patients have a fantastic day, so there is so much planning before hand. We have to think about everything from the décor, to the food menu, to booking entertainment – the pearl party felt like we were planning a wedding, so much detail went into it!’ 
Two days before the event the mad rush really started, we had to go shopping for all sorts; champagne, chocolates, more serviettes, it’s amazing what extras you need! We also had to wait until everyone had gone home the day before the event, so we could transform the Hospice. We wanted it to be a complete surprise for everyone the morning of the party, no peeking from staff and volunteers.'

On the day.
8.00 We arrived bright and early to finish setting up, to find that our lovely colleagues Tracey, Sonia and Simon we already in putting up extra bunting – we love how everyone pulls together in our Hospice to help each other out.
8.30: The balloons and flowers arrive in reception – quick we need to get them in their designated places!
8.45: The cake needs more frosting, decorating it took a steady hand. 
9.00: We’re told the camera man for Calendar news is coming earlier than expected to film for our 30thbirthday special, so we quickly rearrange our timings to accommodate- we can’t wait to see our party on the TV
9.30: The first patients arrive, an hour early. Time to stick the kettle on.  
9.45:  The room décor still isn’t how I wanted it, more finishing touches.
10.00: I’m in jeans! That is no way to dress for a pearl party, a quick costume change for me. Sadly, I didn’t even have time for a photo, we always do an outfit photo! 
10.10: Our amazing volunteers arrive who are helping us today; we qucikly say hello and move on to filling them in on how the day will (hopefully) run 
10.15: Quick! All the patients are in reception, ready to party…. 
10.20: We escort our patients to the  garden room for ready for our drinks reception. 
10.30: The drinks reception is well underway, champagne anyone? 
10.40: We need some patients to set off the confetti canons for the car raffle, who wants to do it? Someone….please? 
10.50: Everyone is in place ready for our car raffle draw. Everyone is convinced they having the winning ticket, let’s keep our fingers crossed! Christine, one of our patients draws the winning ticket…
11.00: And the winner of our Fiat 500 is..Sandra from Upton, congratulations! 
11.15: More drinks flowing in the Garden room, whilst two patients sneak off to be interviewed by Calendar news, how exciting! 
11.40: The moment we’ve been waiting for, we escort all our patients to the Haven so they can see how we’ve transformed the room, we’re thrilled that they love it! 
11.45: A champagne toast to 30 years of Hospice care, and lots of snapping away by our photographer.
12.00: Dinner time! A gorgeous three course lunch is served to our patients, everyone commented on how delicious it was. Phew, we’re glad they liked it!  
12.45: The kitchen staff come to help clear away, queue a big round of applause, they did a fantastic job. 
1.00:Our lovely Community Fundraiser, Rebecca, takes our patients on a trip down memory lane, with photos from our 30 year history. 
1.30: Our entertainment arrives, a local singer who is performing for us. Whilst she sets up, we cut the cake and hand it out to everyone. 
1.40: With everyone settled with hot drinks and cake, we’re ready for a sing-a-long. 
2.30:  Wow! The singer was amazing; we were practically treated to an entire concert! It was lovely to see the patients singing and bopping along, everyone was in really high spirits. 
2.45:Time to go. Finding where everyone has hung their coats is a mission and a half. Lots of hugs goodbye, great  to see what a fun time everyone has had.
3:00pm:The patients leave and the clean up mission commences, will we ever get rid of all this confetti? 
5:00pm: And relax! What a crazy day, definitely time for a brew and biscuit. We are all thrilled that the day was a success and everyone seemed to have a lovely time. Now, where is my note pad to start planning our next theme day……’

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