Hafan Menai, Gwynedd Hospice At Home Charity
by Sue Beesley
Last week I was invited to pay a visit to Hafan Menai, the Day Hospice for Gwynedd Hospice at Home, a registered charity servicing the people of Gwynedd and Anglesey.
It was my first ever visit to a hospice and I suppose I felt a little bit uncertain as to what to expect.
However, any misapprehensions were dispelled as soon as I arrived with the warm welcome and bright, cheery and homely atmosphere where it is obvious that patientsneeds are very much at the forefront of its operation.
The hospice was established in 1992 and the service has developed over the years.
It operates through its Hospice at Home Nursing Service
complemented by the Hafan Menai Day Hospice situated in a self contained building on the Ysbyty Gwynedd site.
The hospice was opened in 2002 by Baroness Finlay of Llandaff, a professor of Palliative Medicine and Cross-bench member of the House of Lords.
The day hospice is open to patients on Monday, Tuesday,
Thursday & Friday and can accommodate up to 12 patients daily.
Many people are unaware that it is not necessary for a patient to be referred by their GP or hospital and they can self-refer if they so wish.
Around 50% of its patients come from Anglesey and it cares for people with life threatening illnesses by providing support in various areas.
The opportunity to talk freely with other patients in a non-clinical situation cannot be under-estimated.
Many patients pull out all the stopsto spend their day at the Hospice where as well as the social aspect they can take advantage of the many services which it
These include nursing care, relaxation, complementary therapy, physiotherapy, spiritual/ psychological care and hairdressing.
One of the latest projects at the Hospice is the creation of a garden for patients to spend their time pottering and tending to the plants.
During its setting up period the charity is looking for keen volunteer gardeners to assist in creating the garden.
Do you think you could help? - see contact details at end
Although the Day Hospice is very popular with patients, the charitys prime concern is the Hospice at Home service.
Gwynedd Hospice at Home joined the North West Wales NHS Trust on 1st April 1996 and is now led by a Consultant in Palliative Care.
There is also a Nurse Team Leader with Hospice nurses working within the Department of Palliative Care alongside their medical colleagues, occupational therapists and physiotherapists.
The Hospice nurses, who work in collaboration with the primary health care teams, Macmillan and Marie Curie nurses, cover Anglesey and Gwynedd.
Nursing costs are shared between the charity and the NWW NHS Trust.
Lady Anglesey is the Patron of the charity and a great advocate of the importance of nursing coming to people in their homes where they feel comfortable and at ease with their surroundings.
Alongside the therapists employed at the Day Hospice and bearing in mind the largely rural area in which it operates, the charity supports 9 complementary
therapy clinics in the community.
Volunteers - playing a central role in the service provided by Gwynedd Hospice at Home.
To help keep costs to a minimum the charity has a team of dedicated volunteers who contribute their time and play a major role in the service the charity provides.
Gwynedd Hospice at Home are always looking for enthusiastic, capable volunteers in all areas of the organisation.
All volunteers undergo a training programme and are offered on-going support.
One such volunteer is Jean Keyte who spends time helping out at Hafan Menai where she also offers relaxation therapy to patients.
This gives them an invaluable opportunity to practice relaxation techniques which they can then employ themselves to assist in stress relief and the production of endorphins to relieve pain.
Jean spends a couple of days a week at the Hospice and derives immense satisfaction from the benefits displayed by patients.
Maybe you feel that you have something to offer by way
of volunteering, whether it be for 2 hours a week or 2 days.
The charity always needs extra help with reception work and general assistance at Hafan Menai, driving patients to day care, home visiting, fundraising and helping in the charity shops.
How is the charity funded?
During the year 2008/09 the Charity must raise £500,000 to continue to fund its services.
The charity raises 60% of its income through its 12 shops in the area.
The remaining income comes from donations, the 100 Club, Gift aid, legacies,sponsored events and special fund-raising days.
A very high proportion of every pound raised goes into patient care.
Maybe you have a few hours to give as a volunteer.
Tel: 01248 354300/01286 662772
Do you enjoy gardening and could assist in that area?
Tel: 01248 354300
Would you like to be involved with fundraising or maybe youre in a position to organise your own event?
Tel: 01286 662771/2