Autumn Newsletter - 2018

Autumn Newsletter 2018

Conference Highlights…

This year’s conference in October ‘Weaving Together Holistic Care in Palliative and End of Life Care’ took place in the beautiful setting of The Woodlands at Hothorpe Hall. Once again the conference brought people together from different professions, different needs and different parts of the world.  A weekend that not only focused on holistic care for our patients but on holistic care for ourselves too; body, mind and spirit.  Central to the conference was learning from patients’ and their families, through their stories brought into the room by every speaker.  We were introduced to a wide range of perspectives, insights and approaches through presentations, discussions, case studies, songs, films, stories and experiential techniques.  Importantly each evening there was a space where delegates were able to come together for a time of spiritual reflection, based in the Christian foundation of hospice23 and led by Marina O’Brien in her role as chaplain. 

Most of the speakers were able to stay for the whole conference and these included the three overseas visitors from the Lebanon, India and Zambia, enabled to attend thanks to the Prue Dufour Memorial Fund.  The visitors shared their experiences: challenging, enriching and humbling us by their commitment to improving the end of life experience of patients and their families in often hugely challenging circumstances. 

Of course a hugely important part of the conference is what happens in between the organised programme with informal opportunities to get to know other delegates. Networking over delicious meals; exploring the grounds and surroundings of Hothorpe; searching among the collection of poems and quotes (a legacy from the previous chair of Trustees, Liz Day); joining in impromptu musical jamming sessions and relaxing with a drink from the bar. 

AGM Highlights

Past, Present and Future

The AGM, attended by many delegates, took place within a session entitled ‘Hospice23, past present and future?’ led by the three out of four Trustees. One of whom, Catherine attended from New Zealand, where she is now working as a palliative care consultant.

Susan Salt, Liz Day, and Cameron Hunter Langlands all resigned as Trustees in the last year for different reasons.  We have been so grateful for their work for the charity over many, many years, all having been key figures in planning, speaking at and leading hospice 23 conferences.  We are also so grateful to Ruth Clarke the hospice 23 administrator and treasurer, for all of her hard work over the years. Ruth will be finishing with the charity after her work for the 2018 conference has ended. 

The trustee’s were able to share something of the history of the charity, and also the current position, which we now find ourselves in.  Having expected that we would need to close down the charity as it was not viable without more Trustees or people willing to help, the overwhelming and supportive outcome of the AGM was that the charity should continue.  A speaker Martin Howden (an executive coach) offered his services to facilitate a strategy meeting for hospice23 in the new year. Several people have indicated their willingness to ‘get on board’ so watch this space. We will be sending out regular newsletters throughout the year, which will keep you updated on all the future plans. 

Finance Information

The Prue-Dufour memorial fund, which has enabled us to offer bursaries for overseas visitors over many years, has now run out. In general funds there is enough to be able to continue to run at least two more conference but funding for the charity is clearly something we need to give our attention to. 

We are hugely grateful to hospice 23 members who continue to contribute to hospice 23 funds and would like to encourage others to become members so that we can continue to enable overseas visitors to experience this unique conference.

‘I can confidently state that the hospice 23 conference fills a niche that is not covered by any others, it is unique, different, invigorating and truly holistic - I’m profoundly grateful.’