Ian Woodland, Head of Business Services, and Marketing Coordinator Keely Bicknell were invited to attend the 2 hour event for breakfast, networking and to listen to some speakers. On arrival, the local business representatives helped themselves to a full English buffet or croissants and jam, before entering into conversation with some familiar (and some unfamiliar) faces around the tables in the designated room. A beautiful view of the Hotel's gardens to our left, the talks began.
Chief Executive Giles Tomsett gave an informative and sobering talk on the realities and essential nature of hospice care, including detailing how the event's sponsors Unum (income protection insurance providers) can be a helpful asset in this respect. St Catherine's Sarah Achucarro and Laura Kelly later initiated some rather original table activities to encourage mixing and networking: these included moving to a different table and taking it in turns to tell the accompanying individuals what you wanted to be when you were 10 years old, as well as a card matching exercise.
The event was rounded off with an utterly inspiring talk from guest speaker Patrick McIntosh, 58 years old. Patrick explained to the audience that, after being diagnosed with three cancers in one year (and subsequently 'beating' each of them through surgery alone) he decided to trek across the South Pole. He explained in detail the highs and lows of the gruelling journey to the audience's genuine fascination and awe.
While the event was just 2 hours long, a vast amount of information was packed in, and the experience proved in equal parts to be enlightening and enjoyable. Ultimately St Catherine's Hospice acheived their goal of reaffirming the importance of local business support and, of course, the important nature of hospice care itself.
Keely commented, "the statistics Giles provided illustrating how scarce hospice care is considering the proportion of people entitled to palliative care was quite shocking. It reaffirmed even further to me how important it is to keep supporting them - it is likely we will each require their services in one way or another in the future".
Assurity Consulting are this year's Midnight Walk sponsors, a fundraising event held annually by St Catherine's Hospice and we also take part in mutliple annual charity golfing events to further raise money. Ian Woodland commented, “at the business breakfast, I was reminded by the Chief Executive of the hospice why they need our help. It costs £15,000 a day for them to provide their patients with end of life care, so by sponsoring the Midnight Walk and joining in with the golf days our company is raising funds that do make a difference”.