THE work in the community, carried out by Bishop’s Hull-based St Margaret’s Hospice, is still relatively little known as many people consider the hospice as a ‘place’ rather than a service.

David Bruce, from Winsford, knows better.

He said: “The community service that St Margaret’s offers is quite amazing, in fact it is immeasurable, there really is no way to put a price on it.

“It goes way beyond checking to see if your medication is OK and it is so hard to explain the value to anyone not experiencing this.

“John, my nurse, is always there for us. He is easy to contact and he spends quality time with us – not just a flying visit.

“Everyone thinks that the hospice is there to help you have dignity in dying but it is not – it is there to help you live with dignity.

“You are not the disease and the work they do to help me keep my quality of life is really special.

“We are all terminal from the day we are born but some of us get a ticket that says we are closer to the end than others – we know.

“The hospice helps us, and our families, live with this”.

Anna Fraser, David’s partner, describes John, their nurse as “almost a personal friend.” “You can always draw positives from any situation and for me it is being given the opportunity of caring for David at home – it is a nice thing to do,” Anna added.

St Margaret’s community service costs thousands of pounds to run each year and they are asking for volunteers to help them continue the work they do for people like David and Anna.

Sam Stewart, director of development for St Margaret’s, said: “A really simple way for people to support us is to meet up with their friends and share a cup of tea. Every year we run a Time for Tea campaign which raises considerable funds towards community hospice care.

“For every £126 raised, another nurse can visit a patient like David and his family.”

The hospice makes it simple for supporters to do this and has produced a special pack of posters, invitations and a template press release for Time for Tea available from their fundraising office (phone 0845-345 9671).

“I would like to invite you to join us - our community fundraisers will help anyone who would like to run a tea party so they don’t feel daunted by it.

“We really do need all the kettles on and boiling up a brew to support this ‘immeasurable’ service.”