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Hospice helps Kiwis to remember their loved ones

Hospice helps Kiwis to remember their loved ones this Christmas

A campaign launched by Farmers supporting hospices throughout New Zealand has already raised more than $200,000 since it launched on 24 November.

Farmers’ new relationship with hospices throughout New Zealand is titled ‘Caring Connections in our Community’ and is designed to encourage Kiwis to remember someone special in the lead up to Christmas.

Farmers says the name is very fitting because it reflects the community based nature of hospice services and the sense of connection the company has in each of the communities its stores are based.

A key element of the relationship is strengthening hospice’s annual fundraising campaign by bringing the Trees of Remembrance in to all 55 Farmers stores nationwide.

Customers can make a donation and receive a remembrance card, then write their personal message to place on the dedicated Tree of Remembrance in store. All donations will stay within the community to support local hospice services to remain free of charge.

The goal of hospice is to support people with a life limiting illness to live every moment in whatever way is important to them, their family and wider whanau.

Hospice chairman Wilf Marley says his organisation is blown away by the enthusiasm of the team at Farmers to get behind the relationship.

“Farmers clearly understands the wonderful opportunity Trees of Remembrance provides for both hospice in terms of raising awareness and funds and the community in terms of remembering loved ones at such a special time of year.”

“Financial support from the community is essential for hospices throughout the country,” says Farmers managing director and CEO Rod McDermott. “We hope our deep connections with local communities across New Zealand will help create new awareness for hospice.

“For more than 100 years Farmers has been an integral part of New Zealand’s communities, so we are very proud of our new relationship. Trees of Remembrance is a long established hospice Christmas campaign and we are thrilled to be able to help amplify this activity by giving our customers the opportunity to participate.”

Hospice ambassador Judy Bailey says it has been an honour to be a patron of Hospice North Shore for 14 years and she continues to be amazed by the wonderful work it does.

“Many people may not be aware that most of hospice’s work is done out in the community, looking after patients in their own homes and supporting patients’ families. The hospice philosophy is to make each day the best day possible.

“What’s more, this wonderful service is absolutely free. That’s why we need support from the community we serve. Every little bit helps and we are enormously grateful to Farmers for its ongoing commitment to hospice.”

Long-serving hospice supporter and volunteer Carolyn McCondach is a driving force in founding hospice.

Thirty-two years ago, Ms McCondach lost her daughter Louise to leukaemia at the tender age of 14. At the time of Louise’s death, there was very little support for families nursing loved ones who were dying, Carolyn explains.

Following her daughter’s death, Carolyn was adamant that other families should not have to struggle as her family did which led her to become integral in establishing a hospice on the North Shore. Since then she has started and led many hospice fundraising initiatives including establishing the Trees of Remembrance for Hospice North Shore.

Former All Black Alan Whetton is also a passionate hospice supporter. In 2010, his mother Ann was referred to hospice to receive care for ovarian cancer.

"At hospice you find out about the disease, what they do to treat it - they go beyond. It's just peace of mind that your loved one is receiving the right care, and family can have some weight taken off their shoulders, so patients actually have time to live. We will be forever grateful for the wonderful care she received by all the staff at hospice.”

Both Carolyn and Alan say the new Farmers relationship enables a much wider audience to understand the services and support that hospices provide, and give its customers the opportunity to remember someone special.

Carolyn says, “For me, the ‘Caring Connections in our Community’ relationship will be a valuable opportunity to create awareness of our services. This most generous support from Farmers will provide much needed funds so hospice can focus on its core work - providing care for people at the end of their lives.”

Alan also expresses his enthusiasm for the new relationship. “What a great fit to see Farmers come on board in support of hospice. A company who has been long established in our communities and is so familiar with everyday New Zealanders on a daily basis.”

Mr McDermott explains, “We are building a long term relationship with hospice, and we are expecting to open many new opportunities to boost its fundraising efforts and raise awareness for the wonderful services and support that local hospices provide.”


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