TWO hospices are supporting a new nationwide awareness and fundraising campaign.

The Martlets in Hove and St Barnabas House in Worthing are taking part in Open Up Hospice Care, which runs until March 29.

It is aimed at widening access to the vital support they provide for people with life-limiting conditions and those who care for them.

The campaign – which is led by national hospice and palliative care charity Hospice UK- highlights how hospice care is available beyond hospice in-patient units, including in people’s homes.

One in four people in the UK miss out on the care they need for a range of reasons.

These include late or a lack of referrals to hospice services and low levels of awareness about hospice care and where and when this support is available.

Imelda Glackin, chief executive officer at Martlets, said: “We are pleased to support this national campaign which highlights the wide range of care that hospices are able to offer patients from the moment of diagnosis.

“At Martlets we know that the earlier we can reach someone the more we can help them live their lives with hope, purpose and possibility.

“Increasingly our care involves supporting people to stay in their own homes.

“We want to help people continue doing the things they love in the time they have and feel comfortable where they choose to be.

Martlets has worked hard to open up care to local people in the Brighton, Hove and neighbouring areas.

It encourages outpatients and their families to visit the hospice for a range of complimentary therapies, group activities, physiotherapy and to receive welfare help and bereavement support.

Meanwhile, St Barnabas House clinical director Cathy Stone said: “We are delighted to be joining up with other hospices around the country as part of Hospice UK’s national campaign to Open Up Hospice Care.

“Many people think that a hospice is a building where you come to die but we want to highlight the many and varied care services we provide, often away from the hospice out in our local community and people’s own homes.

“By offering a wide variety of care services, we can reach out to patients earlier in their disease journey, give them more choice of where and how they receive care, provide more support for families and ultimately help more people.”

h hospices across the country, St Barnabas House will be taking to social media throughout the campaign to Open Up about the extraordinary range of care the hospice delivers beyond its In-patient Unit, including in people’s homes and out in the community.

Supporters will be able to access videos, interviews, photographs and patient stories on the St Barnabas House Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages which will give an insight into care services including occupational therapy, bereavement support and art therapy.

There are also volunteer-led services such as Community Companions who support patients in their own homes.

The campaign aims to address some of the common misconceptions and fears that many people have about hospice care, raising awareness that such care is so much more than a building where you go to die.

In fact, most hospice care happens in the community and in people’s homes.

St Barnabas House patient, Tania House, 51, from Southwick was diagnosed with breast cancer in July 2017. She was referred to the hospice in December 2017 after finding out that the cancer had spread to her spine and an operation to remove a tumour would be too dangerous.

Tania has benefitted from a range of palliative care services provided by St Barnabas House including home visits by the Community Palliative Care Team, physiotherapy, acupuncture and a range of complementary therapies. She currently attends the Day Hospice on Thursdays.

Tania said: “I’ve found that a lot of people I know think that a hospice is just for elderly people in the last few days of their life. At the Day Hospice, it couldn’t be more different.

“There’s people of all ages from all walks of life. There’s something different going on each week including live music, art projects, free haircuts and delicious meals. We all went on a trip to an exhibition at Worthing Museum with the Artist-in-Residence.”