South Lancashire’s Soroptimists welcomed guest speaker the Reverend George Thomas, founder of the charity Life NoW, to December’s Regional Programme Action Meeting.
Life NoW seeks to bridge the gap between children’s and adult hospices for young adults with life-limiting, life-threatening and end-of-life conditions.
The charity aims to build a purpose-designed hospice to provide respite and palliative care for people aged 18-40, living in North West England and North Wales. They are the ‘invisible generation’ – no one ‘expects’ them to be seriously ill.
Currently in the North West, when young adults get too old for children’s hospices, their only option is to go into an adult hospice. These really cater for elderly people and, despite staff best efforts, cannot meet the needs of young adults.
This is a major gap in palliative care: Life NoW want to bridge that gap.
Life NoW envisages a hospice filled with life and hope. There are 7,875 young adults in the North West with life-limiting conditions. They deserve access to an exciting, stimulating environment. Life NoW is planning a 5-bed facility (plus 1 for emergencies) at an estimated building cost of £6 million.
She recounted her own family’s stress when seeing a 22-year-old with a rare bone marrow disease having to cope in hospital, for 10 months, in a ward with people a generation (or more) older than her. If a young adults’ hospice had existed, it would have made such a difference.
Yvonne Gibbon, Region Programme Action Officer, who had arranged the meeting said, “Our hamper raffle raised £285 – that’s a few more bricks for the Life NoW Hospice Centre!”
At the Regional Council Meeting new office-holders in the regional team received their insignia from Region President Margaret Molyneux (SI Leigh & District):- Immediate Past Region President Sandy Taylor (SI Crosby), President Elect Margaret Davies (SI Southport) and Vice-President Sue Underwood (SI Manchester).
A very special presentation was made to Margaret Emsley, who completed her successful year as Federation President at the recent conference in Malta. Margaret has been made an Honorary Member of South Lancashire Region and – to add to her delight – now has the badge formerly worn by her great friend, Past Federation President Tricia Fahey.