For some, the difficult time we’ve all been going through has also presented an opportunity to build new friendships with neighbours, with local communities coming together to support those shielding and looking out for vulnerable people near-by.
It makes me proud that in Greater Manchester there are so many people willing to step up and put others first. We’re a city that has endured so much but we always come together with a spirit of unity to face whatever comes our way.
As we celebrate our 50th anniversary this year, I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on the power of community and how the care we’ve been able to provide to local patients has only been possible thanks to those around us.
At St Ann’s, we support the NHS and social care services, providing care to people with cancer and a whole range of other life-limiting illnesses, from the point of their diagnosis, through their treatment and beyond. We take pressure away from hospitals whilst also ensuring those who need us can access the very specialist palliative or end of life care that the hospice provides.
As a charity, we’re only able to do that thanks to the community that supports us, whether by volunteering their time, spreading the word, or helping us raise the £20,000 a day we need to continue our services.
Local people that choose to support us surprise me every day. They come up with unique ways to raise funds. They take time out of a busy schedule to think of our patients. Many have such a lot going on in their own lives, but – even during a global pandemic – continue to think of St Ann’s and enable us to keep our doors open for the people of Stockport and beyond.
As people in Greater Manchester move forward, seeking whatever a ‘new normal’ might look like, it’s heartwarming to know that at St Ann’s our local communities will continue to support us. We simply wouldn’t be here without that amazing selflessness and we never take it for granted.
As our birthday year continues, I’m excited to think about what the next half century of specialist, world-class hospice care might look like – one thing I’m grateful for is that whatever future generations of patients in our area need, the local community will continue to come together to ensure that they’re properly supported at such a vulnerable time in their life.
Thank you so, so much.