I know that Hair for Hospices is popular with many individuals and hospices because it is so simple in concept and inclusive. However, even now there is still the opportunity to leave me almost speechless when I learn how much it means to others supporting it.
Yesterday I received a message from a friend and colleague who is responsible for managing Microbioticos, a large analytical testing laboratory in Brazil. Rodrigo personally supported the Hair for Hospices day last year and this year he has gone one better. All employees in the company have been given a day of paid leave so that they can use the time to volunteer in a local hospice. The scale and generosity of this offer is truly humbling and means so much more to me than a financial donation. Thank you Rodrigo, your managers and all your colleagues. Is it possible that in doing this you might be setting an example for other businesses to follow?
As I’m dealing with an international theme, I should mention that I’ve received a reminder about Hospice Care Week from Help the Hospices. More details on this can be found on Twitter at @HelptheHospices.
Please put 7-13 October 2013 into your diary and consider holding an event during this period for both this and Hair for Hospices. You can find out more about Hospice Care Week at http://bit.ly/17DpZQc
From here I will bring the blog to a closer and more personal connection. My late wife Carol spent many years in Southport before moving to university and then leaving home. Indeed, Carol’s mother still lives in Southport so I was pleased to hear that Queenscourt Hospice in Southport is keen to be involved in Hair for Hospices 2013. They have produced the poster below and also featured the event on their website at http://www.queenscourt.org.uk/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=55:hair-for-hospices-2013&Itemid=86. Please visit this site and if you are local to the area please join in!
Thank you all again for your continued support and encouragement. It would be wonderful if Hair for Hospices could continue to grow and become something very special for all hospices around the world. With your help it could become just that.
It is difficult to believe that only a year ago my family decided to raise money for the Duchess of Kent House Charity to support the hospice in which Carol died. We set what we thought would be an overly ambitious target of £35,000. We met this target some months ago when UK Gift Aid was included. However, we are now delighted to see that we have reached our target without Gift Aid included and this means we have raised £41,200 for the charity. To this must be added the success of Hair for Hospices in 2012 which raised about £25,000 for UK hospices and up to £5,000 for non-UK hospices.
Even now, months after the Hair for Hospices day on 7 August 2012 I continue to hear of more participants who didn’t tell me earlier of their involvement. Last week I spoke to a laboratory colleague who held an event with his colleagues on the day but forgot to mention his efforts to me. To each and every person who did something to help thank you so very much.
A letter I received days ago from the Duchess of Kent House Charity has a message I’d like to share with each of you. It reads, “Thank you again for your generous donation – you, your family and your phalanx of supporters really have made a real difference to this hospice and what additional and special services we can offer to our patients and their relatives.”. This thanks is as much for you as it is for me so thanks again. We couldn’t have done this without your constant encouragement and support.
We have now launched our event for 2013 and, with support from the National Association of Hospice Fundraisers and also Help the Hospices, it will run from 1-28 October. I have been humbled by the support already expressed in the short time since we agreed the dates for the event. For example, a number of groups of hospices around the country are now talking to each other about running joint events under the Hair for Hospices banner – something which is really exciting and which hasn’t happened before. As some have said to me, the beauty of this event is the totally inclusive nature involving everyone regardless of gender, age or hairiness! People are being encouraged to join in a growing national (international?) movement with a simple common theme for the benefit of their local hospice – something they can see benefit directly from their support.
Please feel free to contact me if I can help you organise something and let me know what you are planning for Hair for Hospices 2013. I’ll happily pass on news of your event.