Not for Profit

Published: June 29, 2020 | Updated: June 29, 2020

What a brilliant idea! Hospice brings Dorset ‘Bags of Kindness’ to patients and families

Nicki Cluley, Corporate Fundraiser, Lewis-Manning Hospice Care (centre) with (left) Ruth Wright and Vicki Gray, both Community Fundraisers.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Patients and families of Lewis-Manning Hospice Care are to receive ‘Bags of Kindness’ from the charity.

The initiative was thought up by a member of the Lewis-Manning fundraising team.

Dorset businesses have generously donated items for the hospice-branded hessian jute bags.

The contents include products from Lush, chocolates from The Chocolate Boutique Hotel in Bournemouth, copies of Dorset Magazine, Dorset Tea, Jimmy’s Iced Coffee, bottles from the Dorset Ginger company, a selection of jams from Cherry Tree Preserves and Moores Biscuits.

Ruth Burnhill, Director of Clinical Services, said: “We know how difficult lockdown has been for so many of our patients.

“It’s been a very isolating experience for them.

“Not only are they living with the challenges of a life-limiting illness but many are living alone and have hugely missed the social interaction and care that they usually receive by coming in to day care at Lewis- Manning Hospice Care.

“We wanted to spread some happiness, cheer them up and offer a distraction to their days.

“We’ve been thrilled at the generosity shown to us by local businesses donating items for the ‘Bags of Kindness’.

“When a local Friends group of volunteers heard about our ‘Bags of Kindness’ idea they decided to kindly sponsor and cover the costs of the bags.

“We have been overwhelmed by the gratitude shown by local companies and volunteer groups during this difficult time.”

Karen England, Lewis-Manning’s Arts Co-ordinator, has written a poem and included tongue twisters in the bags for the patients to read and try.

She said: “I was inspired to write the poem for the charity’s ‘Bags of Kindness’ because I know the patients are dealing with loneliness and feeling isolated at the moment but wanted to help them focus on the positivity.

“It’s important that we embrace what we do have, so with this glorious weather we’ve been having and listening to lots of bird song I wanted to write about that.

“I also included some tongue twisters for them to help keep their minds active.

“Most patients are used to coming into the Day Hospice and can chat to staff and other patients, however they are unable to do this since we have had to temporarily close the hospice.

“The tongue twisters will get them speaking and have fun at the same time.”

Clare Gallie, CEO, Lewis-Manning Hospice Care, pictured left, said: “Many of the hospice charity’s patients are battling with loneliness and isolation during this difficult time.

“The work and vital services that Lewis-Manning Hospice Care provides is priceless to the patients dealing with life-limiting illnesses across East Dorset and the charity plans to help battle their loneliness and put smiles on their faces, one bag of kindness at a time.

“This project is something the charity would like to expand on in the future, so if any local volunteer groups or businesses would like to get involved in this initiative please speak to a member of our fundraising team on fundraisingteam@lewis-manning.org.uk or call 01202 708470.”

Lewis-Manning Hospice Care helps people with life-limiting illnesses and their families across Poole, Purbeck and East Dorset.

Their free hospice care services include:

  • Day hospice
  • Creative arts & wellbeing support
  • Lymphoedema clinic
  • Better breathing clinic