Local Hospice hoping for some Christmas Magic

A local hospice is hoping that the Christmas spirit will encourage people to support its festive fundraising events this year and help put a smile on the faces of people with life limiting illnesses.  

With the pandemic forcing the cancellation of many fundraising events and the closure of its shops, donations to Katharine House Hospice in Banbury have been badly affected over the past 18 months.

Now, as things finally return to normal, the hospice is hoping people support its range of festive fun activities and help make up the short fall.

With events and initiatives such as the Santa Fun Run, Lights of Love services, the RC Baker Tractor Run, and the Christmas Tree-Cycle initiative, there’s something for everyone.

The popular Santa Fun Run, cancelled last year because of Covid, is back by popular demand for 2021. Hundreds of not-so-secret Santas will be out in force for the 5k and 1.5k races on 5 December at Spiceball Park. Each ticket includes a free Santa suit and food and entertainment will be provided. To find out more, visit www.khh.org.uk/santa.

People looking to tree-cycle their real Christmas tree this year can take advantage of the hospice’s brand new scheme to environmentally dispose of the tree once the festivities are over. Simply sign up to the scheme, make a donation and the charity will do the rest! Register your interest at www.khh.org.uk/christmas-tree-cycle.

RC Baker’s popular Tractor Run will be making a welcome return this Christmas, when a festive fleet of fairy-lit tractors will take a tour around local villages on 18 December to spread some Christmas cheer and raise money for Katharine House. Visit www.khh.org.uk/tractor-run for more information.

Our special Lights of Love ceremony on 2 December aims to allow family and friends who have lost someone prior to and during the pandemic to come together safely and celebrate the lives of loved ones. The event will begin with a special dedication at Banbury Cross, followed by services at a range of places of worship. For more details, visit www.khh.org.uk/lights-of-love

The hospice’s Christmas cards, available for sale on the Katharine House Ebay site, as well as at all Katharine House shops and the hospice itself, are an easy and practical way to raise money for the hospice. Each card has been beautifully and specifically designed for the hospice. Find a style you like at www.khh.org.uk/christmas-shop.  

Katharine House provides specialist care for adults with life limiting conditions across North Oxfordshire, South Northamptonshire and South Warwickshire.

Both at the hospice and in the community, the multi-professional teams offer a holistic approach to an individual’s physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs – from the point of diagnosis right up to bereavement care for those left behind.

Lindsey Bowser, who’s husband was cared for by the hospice, explains why Katharine House is so special.

“Quentin was diagnosed with bowel cancer at the age of 49 and in his last months and weeks received incredible care, initially from the Katharine House Community Nursing team and then within the inpatient unit. The care was absolutely exceptional, as was the support given to our family.  

“What was also so important – and valued – were the seemingly little things, such as being able to bring our dog in to visit him every day where we could sit outside in the beautiful garden with Baxter at his feet. It is such a positive and tranquil environment, which also affords moments of genuine laughter and joy, and that is absolutely priceless to both patients and their families.

“When you lose somebody, you always think, ‘Is there anything else I could have done?’ But I know, thanks to Katharine House, that the answer is no.

“I know he was in the right place. He was at peace and that is such a gift.”

“I truly believe that Katharine House is unique. I don’t think any other hospice offers the same. It’s a very special place.”

Katharine House Hospice CEO, Trevor Johnson, said: “At Katharine House we aim to make sure every moment matters for our patients and their families. Christmas can be a difficult time for the people we support. For some, they are facing the prospect of their last Christmas with their loved ones. At Katharine House, they will receive compassionate, individualised care and support so they can make the most of the time they have left together.  

“To do that, we rely heavily on the donations and support of others. Without the money raised for us, we wouldn’t be able to provide the one-to-one care, the bereavement support, the physiotherapy, the social work, the relaxation classes, specially made home cooked meals, the arts and crafts, the fun and laughter. Katharine House is a place where special memories are created and we desperately need help for that to continue.”