Hello I’m Rachael and I’ve been working for Hospice at Home West Cumbria for just over a year, following 17 years in the NHS, and it’s a job that I love. I believe passionately that as we near the end of our life, our wishes for how and where we want to be cared for are paramount. I’ve seen the benefits of our support and care, and the difference our nurses make – I hear it every day from the patients and families that I talk too. Many families send cards and letters after their loved one has passed away with such kind words about what we have meant to them, they are incredibly touching, and I would like to share some with you:

“The care you gave to our aunt was amazing, so gentle and caring. You also helped us with regular check ins to see if we were okay, which has really helped us get through this awful time. We’ll never forget what you did for our family.”

“It meant so much to my brother to be able to come home in his final days. He’d really missed his beloved dogs and the joy on his face when he saw them was magic.”

Our home nursing care is delivered right at the heart of the community, ensuring that people with life limiting illnesses receive the support they need in the place they choose. It means that people can be cared for at home, surrounded by people who are important to them and things which bring such comfort.

Delivering this service requires lots of discussion and co-ordination with patients, their families and other health professionals to put nursing care in place at the right time. Our fantastic team of 17 home nurses go out at all times of day in all types of weather, travelling across a huge area – from Maryport to Millom and the Buttermere and Wasdale valleys – providing reassurance, expertise, and compassion.

It can be hard for someone to pick up the phone and ask for help, but that’s exactly why we are here. We treat everyone who contacts us with respect, dignity, and professionalism, and try to make a hard and often emotional call as easy as possible.

We’ve all been struggling with rising prices, and our charity has seen costs increase at an alarming rate, yet donations have decreased, and our small government grant has not kept pace with inflation. I know it’s asking a lot after a few difficult years, but we really need your support to maintain our essential home nursing service.

Your help will enable us to support families like Linzi’s, providing care when they need it most so their loved one can remain at home. We spent time understanding the needs of Linzi’s mother-in-law, Christina, and how we could deliver the best care for all of them.

Christina with grandsons Kyle and Spencer, and great-grandson Grayson

Linzi said “Most people are aware of Hospice at Home West Cumbria, but it’s only when you are in the unfortunate position of needing their help that you realise just exactly how amazing they really are.

Mam was diagnosed with terminal cancer in February 2023. From the very beginning her wish was to be at home in her final days and as a family we wanted to make sure that she was. The kindness, care and compassion that the team of Hospice Nurses showed Mam and our family enabled us to do this for her. They cared for her with love and dignity whilst offering us the support we needed too. I know without them we would have struggled to keep Mam at home. There really aren’t the words to express our gratitude for everything they have done for us and as a family we intend to fundraise as much as we can for this invaluable service.”

It’s been a very challenging time for all of them and, like many people seeing their loved one struggle with ill health, it’s something many of us have experienced and can empathise with.

We will continue to support Linzi and her family for as long as they need, and we also want to make sure we are there for other people across West Cumbria going through the toughest of times.

I’m so proud to say I work for Hospice at Home West Cumbria. I know that whenever one of our home nursing team steps over the doorstep, patients and families feel a huge sense of relief that someone is there to help.

Our palliative and end of life home nursing care is unique across West Cumbria, there are no other charities providing this service. Our costs have risen by 8.5% in the past 12 months, and every year it costs nearly £½million to deliver our specialist home nursing care into people’s homes – that’s £1,370 every day to provide compassionate care and support, giving patients and families peace of mind.

Will you help us continue to be at the heart of the community, caring for local families and help to lift the weight off their shoulders when it really matters?

To donate, please click here.

Thank you so much for helping people when they need it most.

Rachael McAllister

Home Nursing Team Leader