In this month's Spotlight feature we talk to Lucy Turner who is Head of Fundraising at Herriot Hospice Homecare.
1. When did you start your business?
Herriot Hospice Homecare was established in 1992, we primarily started out as a volunteer service, providing respite sitting and befriending, driving support and a patient grant scheme. In 1996, we became an official charity and by June 2005, the charity went from being a small amateur organisation run by volunteers to a service run by trained staff, employing our own team of specialist palliative care Healthcare Assistants. We then expanded to offer complimentary therapy services to patients and their carers and by 2012 we began to offer Bereavement services to both adults and children.
2. What led you to start a business/how did it all begin?
In 1991 various members of the public wanted to set up an appeal to raise funds for a local Hospice, discussion followed with representatives from the NHS and Macmillan and it was concluded that research was demonstrating that most people who knew they were dying would prefer to be at home rather than be in hospital or a nursing home. In order to meet this need it was decided to set up a Hospice Homecare support group to enable people to remain at home by offering a volunteer service to provide respite sitting and befriending, driving support and a patient grant scheme.
3. What do you like about Thirsk?
We love the amazing community in Thirsk, it is such a friendly town and the local shops, cafes and businesses are so supportive! It is a great market town with some fantastic independents! As a local charity, we are always keen to support local when we can.
4. What other local business do you support?
We work with a range of local businesses and can offer volunteering opportunities for staff, promotional/marketing opportunities and chances for businesses to fulfill their Corporate Social Responsibility goals.
5. What is the best part of your job?
I love meeting and building relationships with our supporters and volunteers, they are so inspiring! We rely on the generosity of our community to raise the vital funds needed to deliver our services across Hambleton and Richmondshire and it is great to help supporters reach their fundraising goals. I enjoy finding out supporter’s plans whether its sky diving, taking on the Great North Run or organizing an event, there is so much variety and the time, effort and passion they put in to supporting their local hospice at home is incredible. Our fantastic team of volunteers not only support our shops and our fundraising; they also go out in the community and provide bereavement support, befriending, respite sitting and our driving service. It takes a special kind of person to provide these services and it is amazing to work with them.
6. What is the best piece of advice you would offer a new business in Thirsk?
I think it is very important to meet people and be visible in the area. There is a great sense of community in Thirsk, often if you do your best to support local businesses they will do their best help you in return. Supporting a local charity is also a great way to increase awareness of your business in the area, sponsoring events and being included on materials such as banners, posters, flyers and social media can really spread the word about your business, plus you will be associated with a well trusted local brand.
7. Fun/amazing fact about your business people might not know?
People are often surprised that we provide care across all of Hambleton and Richmondshire and by the breadth of services we provide. Raising awareness of our care is really important to us and simply helping spread the word e.g. sharing and re-tweeting social media posts can be a great way to spread awareness of the care we provide in the community and can have a significant impact in increasing our reach.
8. Favourite book/famous person that inspires you?
Dame Cicely Saunders was the founder of the Hospice movement, as a pioneer in the field of palliative medicine and care she is very inspirational to us. Our favourite book has to be Julian Norton’s On Call with a Yorkshire Vet, Julian kindly donated a number of books for us to sell and all the proceeds will be coming to Herriot Hospice Homecare!
9. What does the future look like for your business?
We are currently working on a project to increase our services, making it possible for more people to spend the end of their lives at home, in comfort and with dignity, with care provided by our visiting home team. We are also looking to get a new service up and running in the Yorkshire Dales to Co-ordinate Care for the complex needs of people living with neurological conditions in rural locations, for whom travel and mobility is a particular issue. We are looking for local businesses and individuals to become a Care Connector and donate £1000 to help make this possible.
Thank you Lucy for being our August Member in the spotlight. If you would like to featured your business in our SPOTLIGHT ON feature, please email firstname.lastname@example.org