13th May 2019

Research highlights lack of understanding about vital end-of-life care

Woking & Sam Beare Hospices has just completed some research to understand public perceptions and misconceptions about hospice care, which highlights a significant gap between local residents’ awareness about us as a local charity and the hospice’s value to the community it serves.

Of the 627 local residents from across the hospice’s full referral region [Spelthorne, Runnymede, Surrey Heath, West Elmbridge, Woking and North Guildford] approximately half did not know that Woking & Sam Beare Hospices was a charity and over a third said they had no idea how the hospice was funded.

Jayne Cooper, CEO of Woking & Sam Beare Hospices, comments: “One of the hypothesis we wanted to test was to see if having ‘Woking’ in our name created misunderstanding of the extent of our region and unsurprisingly 31% of those we asked thought that we only cared for those living in Woking.

“There was overwhelming surprise about the volume of services that we provide and a lack of understanding that we care for the whole family and not just the person who is unwell. We also learnt that a large majority where shocked to hear that over 70% of our specialist care is delivered in patient own homes.”

Woking & Sam Beare Hospices is an integral part of the Surrey community that it serves. We provide an invaluable service to people with life-limiting and terminal illnesses, working alongside NHS services, with GPs and the district nurses, as well as supporting patients’ carers and families. But the lack of understanding about the hospice’s value, and the fact that it is a charity reliant on income from its fundraising activities and sale of goods through its 18 shops, is putting its future at risk.

Jayne adds: “Our research highlights the urgent need for us to communicate to our region that we are a charity and we cannot continue to deliver our vital care free of charge to thousands of Surrey families each year without the support of everyone in our community. We are therefore launching our 2019 Appeal in Dying Matter’s Week [13 – 20 May] with a clear and simple message – it is possible to make a difference to someone in your community, who could be your mother, brother, sister or friend by supporting the hospice.”

Woking & Sam Beare Hospices also learnt from its research that local residents do have a propensity to want to support a local charity over a national one and they want to see the difference their support makes.

Daniel [46], whose wife Regine was cared for by Woking & Sam Beare Hospices, comments:

“To lose the love of your life after 25 years together is the most life-changing experience and there are not the right words to express how essential it is to have the right level of care, help and support.”

You can give the gift of care to families like Emily, who is photographed in this news article while recording our new campaign with Eagle Radio, and her Dad Daniel [above]. We are very grateful to them for their support in bravely sharing their story to help us to raise awareness about how the public can support us.

Your local hospice charity, serving Surrey, needs your help today. To find out more about our 2019 Appeal please click here.