I’ve worked for 65 years in the funeral industry and one of the most significant things I’ve seen in that time is the birth of the hospice movement, and the incredible impact it has had in the lives of the terminally ill and their families. So, as I reflect on my life as a funeral director, I want to celebrate their work and make everyone aware of why they should consider supporting their local hospice.

What is a hospice?

Hospices offer care and support (medical, emotional, and spiritual) to people suffering from terminal illness, and also provide support for their families. Often the patient care is palliative, prioritising comfort and quality of life by reducing pain and suffering. But they also provide a huge number of life enriching services to patients and the people around them.

Many people are surprised that hospices are places full of light and life, optimism and hope. They’re run by incredible staff and volunteers who work very hard to support people in so many ways at the end of life and, by so doing, make the world a better place.

How are hospices funded?

Hospices for adults are usually funded with a combination of NHS funding and public donation. Children’s hospices, however, receive far less funding from the NHS and government, and some none at all. Most hospices in the UK offer their services for free to those who need them and could do far more if they had the funding to do so.

The fundraisers who work for hospice charities make a hugely positive difference. They reach out to corporate sources, grant providers, lotteries, and more. They inspire an army of individuals and groups to run, cycle, parachute, ski, hike, bathe in beans, and do a huge variety of things to raise vital funds that help keep hospices open.

How do we work with them?

As a business, the Hunnaball Family Funeral Group makes a point of working with and supporting our local hospices. Of course, we organise funeral services for many of the people they’ve cared for, working with the same families to put together the right funeral in each circumstance. But we’re also very keen to support the work of raising funds, sponsoring events, and building awareness in the communities they serve.

Hospices are amazing places run by amazing people.

We feel that the support and care we offer as a funeral director is very much in the same. While we deal with death, we do so with a sense of hope, compassion, and understanding that makes the circumstances our clients face a little bit easier. Everyone will face end of life issues eventually, in their families and for themselves, but they don’t need to do so alone. We support the bereaved as they seek to honour their loved ones, celebrate their lives and journeying through grief.

Could you support your local hospice?

Please support your local hospice.

I want to thank the staff and volunteers of our local hospices, and I always encourage my family, both at home and work, to support them. Please, raise awareness and funds, and volunteer or support them if you can. Even a small contribution will help.

Below are links to the hospices we work with most often. Please visit the website of the one nearest to you and find out how you can help… even if only a little. And thank you.

East Anglia Children’s Hospice

St Helena Hospice

St Elizabeth’s Hospice

Farleigh Hospice