Marie Curie Hampstead Hospice and the MCF

Arena reports

The Masonic Charitable Foundation’s Core Hospice programme offers small unrestricted grants to hospices in England and Wales that receive less than 60% of their funding from the NHS or statutory sources. To date, the MCF has awarded over £15m to hospices through its dedicated hospice funding.

A recent beneficiary of the scheme is the Marie Curie Hampstead Hospice, which received a donation of just over £2,000 at the end of last year. We contacted the Hospice to find out why the MCF’s support, and the support of donations in general, is important to help fund their programme of care across their community and to find out more about the services they provide. 

Marie Curie Hampstead Hospice has been providing expert palliative care to people in London since it first opened in 1948. The Hospice was the first of Marie Curie’s but is now one of nine located across the UK.

The Hospice is comprised of two wards, both with a capacity of 21 beds, providing services designed to maintain patients’ independence as well as making sure they are comfortable. There’s a focus on providing support for both patients and their families, whether that be emotional or advising on money, social benefits and services. This extends to family members being provided with a place to stay overnight at the Hospice with their loved ones.

There are also several out-patient services that are provided by the Hospice, including Doctor and Nurse-led clinics, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, counselling and art therapy. All are designed to offer people in need of end of life care a range of services to suit their needs, whether it be physical or mental.

Additionally, the care provided by Marie Curie extends further than just at the Hospice, with many people choosing to receive care at home provided by a specialist Marie Curie Nurse. The charity is also committed to delivering support after a person has died by providing expert bereavement counsellors to family members to ensure that those who are grieving get the support they need.

‘We would like to thank the Masonic Charitable Foundation for their generous donation and support for the work we do. Marie Curie relies on the donations made by the public, and with our collections halted during the pandemic, support is incredibly welcome. Every donation allows us to continue providing the care people with terminal illnesses and their families deserve.’

The donation from the Masonic Charitable Foundation has coincided with Marie Curie’s flagship campaign, The Great Daffodil Appeal, which runs throughout the month of March. For this year’s Great Daffodil Appeal, Marie Curie is encouraging people to give their money or time (by donating, volunteering, and fundraising) and to wear a daffodil. They might also be wearing it in memory of a loved one they’ve lost or someone they know who’s living with a terminal illness. To find out more about the Great Daffodil Appeal, visit: Collecting for Marie Curie.

Wednesday 23 March saw the National Day of Reflection. The day was an opportunity for us all to remember those who have died during the Covid-19 pandemic and to support our bereaved friends, families, neighbours and colleagues. At 12 noon, we came together to honour loved ones in a nationwide minute’s silence. The ‘Walls of Reflection’ were available for people to visit across the UK, allowing them to commemorate loved ones who've died either by adding their name or photo or perhaps their favourite poem, song lyric, or a cherished memory – whatever felt right. The day ended with people coming together to ‘Shine a Light’ at 8pm. Buildings across the UK light up and people could light a candle to remember someone who’s died and support people living with bereavement.