There’s a paradox inherent in the hospice movement: they’re integral, yet wouldn’t exist without volunteers and fundraisers
Hospices across the UK are this week supporting Hospice Care Week: seven days of events marking the extraordinary success of a movement that, in 50 years, has grown to become an essential arm of the nation’s health and care system – largely through voluntary effort.
But the week is at least as much a fundraiser as a celebration: although hospices have made themselves indispensable providers of free palliative and end-of-life care, they continue to rely on the goodwill of their local communities to keep going. On average, they receive only a third of their funding from the state; children’s hospices get even less. And for most, that contribution has been shrinking.