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New hospice outreach on the way for Featherston

General Manager Hospice Wairarapa, Suzie Adamson. PHOTO/KAREN COLTMAN

KAREN COLTMAN
[email protected]

Hospice Wairarapa is set to launch a service in South Wairarapa for people needing emotional, physical and spiritual support to manage their terminal illness.

The service will be based at the Featherston Community Centre initially and would run on the third Wednesday of each month, starting on February 19.

General manager Suzie Adamson said Hospice had the outreach idea on its radar for some time.

It appointed clinical co-ordinator Debbie Cunliffe in March last year and this made the Featherston services possible.

“We are Wairarapa-wide and very pleased to get south,” Adamson said.

“Every day counts for those living with a terminal illness.

“We bring to their lives more of the things they want to do in the time they have left.

“The news of a terminal illness turns lives upside down.

“The family support we offer is vital too as relationships change and practical issues to manage take priority.”

But Adamson said that with more and more organisations seeking funding and with the Lotteries Commission bringing in less, it was a struggle for Hospice Wairarapa to survive.

It got $10,948 from the Ministry of Health last year to help deliver free services but relies on donations for virtually everything else it does.

In the last three months of 2019, it had 60 new patient and family referrals.

It did 47 baking deliveries, 51 touch massage sessions, 49 home visits, 47 counselling sessions and 32 patient transports.

“The Masterton shop is doing well, and our charity events bring funds, but we would like to attract more bequests and donations,” Adamson said.

“It can take a whole community to help look after people at their most vulnerable and our 140 volunteers really understand this.”

The team, along with district health board staff helps people with their lives when they have a diagnosis of 12-18 months of life left to live.

The Featherston monthly clinic is 12.30pm-1.30pm for individual consultations or 2pm-3pm for the support group to meet other people living with a terminal illness.

  • For more information, visit www.hospicewairarapa.co.nz.

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