An Oasis of calm at the end of life

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Inner Wheel Club of Morpeth

THE President Mrs Vivien Scott welcomed members and three guests to the October meeting, held in The Queen’s Head Hotel.

The Friendship Candle was lit and, after an excellent meal, President Vivien introduced the first of two speakers.

The President’s charity for her year of office is Wansbeck Oasis and Mrs Brenda Longstaff, Manager of the project team at Wansbeck Hospital, told us about it.

Launched in 2000 by HRH The Prince of Wales, President of the King’s Fund, this end-of-life care programme has received national recognition.

Wansbeck Hospital now has a room for relatives of patients who are coming to the end of their lives.

The room, beautifully decorated with artwork in relaxing colours, provides privacy, relaxation and facilities for an overnight stay.

A garden provides an additional facility for relaxation and healing.

Mrs Longstaff said a grant had been obtained from the King’s Fund and the Northumbria Healthcare Foundation Trust had also contributed financially.

However, the project relies on charitable donations to provide items of comfort for families of patients receiving palliative care.

An appreciative vote of thanks was given by Mrs Margaret Fogerty.

Mrs Rhona Dunn then joined us to tell us about the Wansbeck Foodbank.

Started in a garden shed in Salisbury, the Trussell Trust became a registered charity in 2004 and organises foodbanks under its auspices.

Mrs Dunn said that 13million people live below the poverty line in Britain and at the moment there is increasing need because of job loss and separation leading to homelessness.

A person cannot just turn up at a foodbank, but must have a recommendation from a health visitor, doctor, church minister or social worker.

They are only allowed three visits.

Mrs Dunn distributed information as to what was needed and where it was to go.

People in Morpeth, Pegswood and Widdrington are catered for in this regional foodbank.

We were delighted to receive this specific information.

Mrs Dunn was also warmly thanked by Mrs Fogerty.

A short business meeting followed. Reports were given and forthcoming events announced, then President Vivien wished us all a safe journey home and hoped our visitors enjoyed their evening.