Cayman has an ageing population and as a result there is an increasing need for the services of Cayman HospiceCare, which in turn puts pressure on it to find more funds.
The aim of CHC is to improve the lives of people who have an incurable illness and to see out their last few days in as little pain as possible, in comfort and with dignity surrounded by loved ones.
The charity provides medical, emotional, social, practical, psychological and spiritual needs, plus helps the person’s family and carers through difficult times. CHC does an admirable job – but it is expensive.
A recent fundraiser for CHC was the Valentine’s Mile, held on Feb. 12. The fun run was organised by Derek Larner and Race Caribbean. A sale of sports photographs raised $2,000 in November 2015. It is these types of contributions that keep CHC going and fosters community spirit.
This weekend the latest fundraiser is the charity’s annual Flag Day, scheduled for Friday, Feb. 24 and Saturday, Feb. 25. CHC are hoping for up to 300 volunteers across the island to don bright green T-shirts holding their donation cans, encouraging contributions from the public, no matter how small or big. All the information is in this paper on page 3.
Funds raised will go towards operational costs and to cover the day-to-day running of CHC. Volunteers are crucial to the organisation because they are always needed to help with the 20 to 25 patient being attended to.
For Flag Day weekend the charity is looking to raise $60,000. The government grant of $80,000 covers total costs for only a month, so for the rest of the year CHC has to rely on the generosity of donors, fundraising events and help from the general public.
CHC has come a long way in the 21 years since Tim Shea, a young Irish lawyer with the local law firm Hunter & Hunter, was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
His wish was to leave hospital and return home, spending his remaining time in Cayman with family and friends. His friends raised funds and with the support of local community organisations Tim’s wishes were granted.
CHC was created after Tim’s death as the momentum continued through his friends and local organisations. CHC has grown to eight full-time and one part-time staff with 18 directors and around 250 volunteers. It is based in Trafalgar Square on West Bay Road. Building will soon start on the $2.5 million, four-bedroom facility on West Bay Road.
Funded through charitable donations, including $1.3 million from former Deputy Police Commissioner Derek Haines, who ran six marathons in 2014 to raise the money, the hospice will provide a comfortable, home-like environment for terminally ill patients.
Raising the funds for this new facility has truly been a community affair. Mr. Haines was grateful to everyone who contributed, from the corporate donors and rich businessmen who put in six figures, to a former prison inmate who gave him the only few dollars he had in his pocket.
Besides helping people at their Trafalgar Place administration centre and at patients’ homes, CHC also help people in Cayman’s hospitals and at The Pines home for the elderly.
The CHC team also works with primary care physicians, and, additionally, have a roster of clinical volunteers who are trained to provide companionship. Medical equipment, wheelchairs, art therapy, meditation, a bereavement programme and counselling is also provided, plus a lot more. Amazingly, all this is part of a free service. No heavy bills for loved ones to worry about.
Danielle Coleman-Trickett is the director of operations and development at CHC. She was first introduced to the facility when her grandmother needed their services 10 years ago and when her father-in-law was a hospice patient three years ago.
She was so appreciative of the support and thoughtfulness given by the staff that she was inspired to join CHC almost two years ago. Now Danielle is appealing for support for Flag Day.
CHC and the wonderful care that they offer, serves as inspiration of the fantastic work and good that a community can achieve when all work together towards a common cause.
Volunteer for Flag Day weekend by calling CHC on 945-7447 or emailing [email protected] and help them reach their target of $60,000.