THE team which takes the care and support of St Luke’s Hospice into the community is appealing for people to join the charity’s 40th birthday celebrations and sign up to take part in its biggest fundraiser of the year.
The Community Nursing Team provides specialist palliative care in people’s own homes, complementing and enhancing treatment provided by GPs and district nurses.
The nine-strong team use their expert knowledge and background to help 1,000 new patients each year with life-limiting illnesses cope with issues such as pain control without having to go into hospital or the Little Common Lane hospice.
Now they have joined forces with The Star to encourage readers to take part in the St Luke’s Starlight Walk, set up as the main fundraiser to mark the hospice’s 40th anniversary year.
The 5km walk from Endcliffe Park to Forge Dam on Saturday, May 21 aims to help raise at least £50,000 towards the costs of maintaining end of life care in Sheffield.
Specialist palliative care nurse Vicki Gillespie said: “We work to provide care for people with long-term conditions. There are lots of cancer patients, but also people with things like end-stage heart failure, chronic obstructive airways disease and motor neurone disease.
“We don’t just see people when they are dying but at different stages in their illness and we don’t work just with patients but with their families and carers too.
“For the people who want to stay at home, we do whatever we can to make sure their needs are looked after and their wishes met.”
The service they provide across north, south and central Sheffield is a key part of the city’s End of Life Care Pathway, working to help patients spend their last days in the way they want.
Vicki, who worked as an oncology nurse before moving to the community team nine years ago, added: “Not everyone wants to die at home, but often it’s the case they would want to - as long as the support is in place.
“If they know we are there to support them that can take some of the burden away.
“I love my job - it can be very hard of course, but it’s also very humbling and a privilege to be taking the philosophy of St Luke’s into the community and into people’s homes.”
n To sign up for the Starlight Walk and support the St Luke’s Community Nursing Team log on to www.stlukeshospice.co.uk, email email@example.com or call 0114 235 7594.