Time to help hospice provide assistance

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Lolita-Angel Ward (19) models a wedding dress from the Oamaru Hospice Shop. The shop is promoting its  wares in preparation for Hospice Awareness Week.
Lolita-Angel Ward (19) models a wedding dress from the Oamaru Hospice Shop. The shop is promoting its wares in preparation for Hospice Awareness Week.

Hospice Awareness Week is again near.
The week is an opportunity for the hospice to spread the message about what it does in the local community, and includes a street appeal on May 20.
Otago Community Hospice chief executive Ginny Green said despite the hospice having an increased public profile, some people still did not know much about its role in the community.
“There are still some misconceptions about what hospice is and what hospice does. I think what we do is becoming wider known but we still have a long way to go before our whole community knows exactly what it is we do and who we care for.”The Otago Community Hospice delivers specialist palliative care throughout Otago, which is necessary when general practitioners, district nurses or caregivers need support and advice to ensure all symptoms are controlled.
The hospice also ensures support is available for families when a family member dies.
In the financial year ended June 30, 2015, hospice services across New Zealand provided care and support for more than 18,000 people.
One in three people who died during that period were supported by hospice. In Otago, the proportion of patients with cancer is between 75% and 80%.
There are 16 patients in North Otago at present.
It costs $5.1 million annually to operate Otago Community Hospice. However, the organisation only receives $3.2 million from the Government, through a contract with the Southern District Health Board.
The shortfall is raised through local, regional and national grants, donations from sponsors, key partners, businesses, organisations and individuals, bequests and other events.
Hospice shops also generate revenue.
Oamaru Hospice Shop manager Jenifer Callanan said the bulk of the store’s income came through the sale of clothing and accessories.
“It’s a little bit like a boutique. Because we have a variety, all of the clothing is incredibly high quality.”Collectors will be out in force in Oamaru on May 20 as part of the hospice street appeal.