Volunteers are the backbone of Hospice Waikato

Volunteers are the backbone of Hospice Waikato

It is because of people just like you that Hospice services are available free.

Many people do not realise that Hospice Waikato’s services are not fully funded by the government and that it is people living in our community; donors, volunteers and supporters, that keep our free service available.

It’s perhaps too easy to brush thoughts of hospice care aside as being “not for me – or something for old people.” The truth is that Hospice Waikato’s Rainbow Place currently has over 40 children in its care and Hospice Waikato will look after around 1400 people in a typical year. One in three people who die in the Waikato will get some form of care from hospice. Much of that care will take place in the patient’s own home and will be paid for by the generosity of individuals, fundraising events and hospice shops.

The number of people who die under the care of hospice is increasing, and that is putting the organisation under financial pressure, with end-of-life medical issues becoming more complex and expensive as the population ages.

The cost of providing hospice services is rising steadily, and Hospice NZ has been discussing a new funding model with the Ministry of Health. “We are relying on a funding boost in the 2020 Budget, so we can continue to provide our important services,” says Hospice Waikato’s CEO, Craig Tamblyn. However, Craig also believes that community funding and the use of volunteers will remain an integral part of hospice. Hospice Waikato currently gets around 70% of its funding from the Waikato District Health Board, leaving an annual shortfall which sees the organisation needing to raise over $4.7m in the coming year.

“This is really challenging and becoming more and more difficult, especially given the Waikato has more registered charities than any other region and we are all competing for the same charity dollar. We are so very grateful that we live in a community that supports Hospice Waikato so generously,” Craig says.

In addition to financial support from our community, our hospice service would not be possible if it weren’t for the generosity of Hospice Waikato’s over 650 volunteers. Volunteers who give their time to the organisation week after week, doing everything from manning reception, gardening, transporting patients and helping in hospice shops

Facts at a glance

• It cost just under $11,5m to run Hospice Waikato in the last financial year. Waikato DHB provided over $6.6m and just over $4.7m came from fundraising, and from hospice shops.
• In the last financial year, 1244 new referrals throughout the Waikato region were made to Hospice Waikato in the last 12 months.
• 7468 patient visits, in their home or residential care facility, were made by the community nursing team.
• The average length a patient remains in our programme is 109 days. 2441 days of specialist palliative care were provided to adults in Hospice Waikato’s Inpatient Unit last year. A further 221 days were provided to children.

It is becoming increasingly clear that most people want to die in their own homes. Hospice Waikato helps to make this possible.

Ways you can help:
Donate today.
• Leave a bequest in your will
• Become a Hospice Waikato Volunteer
• Hold a fundraiser

Pictured: Wayne Hackett volunteers at Hospice Waikato several times a week, attending to the gardens, water blasting, painting, whatever is needed. Wayne’s journey with Hospice began when he, like so many of our volunteers, lost a loved one to cancer. “I give back now to Hospice because I want to say thank you for the help we received in our time of need from Hospice.”

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