Hospice fundraisers have issued a “March for Martlets” plea, urging people to get moving and make a difference.
The charity is encouraging everyone – young and old – to take a step in the right direction to raise money for their local hospice.
Martlets has kept caring day and night for more than 2,200 patients with life-limiting illnesses and supporting their loved ones across the community during the covid-19 pandemic.
March for Martlets will be the charity’s first event of 2021 – but because of the current coronavirus restrictions, people are asked to sign up and pledge to raise sponsorship for their own personal walking, running or marching target.
Martlets cares for people across an area of 34 square miles, including Brighton and Hove – and from Portslade in the west to Newhaven in the east.
The charity hopes that people will be inspired by that distance so, whether it’s walking 3.4km a day, 34 times up and down the stairs every morning or 34 miles in total, everyone can make a difference.
To sign up, go to www.martlets.org.uk/take-part.
Over the past 12 months, Martlets charity shops have had to close during lockdown and all fundraising events have been cancelled while the need for hospice care and support has been greater than ever.
Since the start of the pandemic, Martlets has seen a 25 per cent rise in calls to its phone hub, which offers expert advice and support to patients, families, carers and other professionals 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
From April to September last year, the Martlets phone hub handled 7,456 calls from community patients and their families – and a further 7,891 from healthcare professionals.
In many cases, crisis callers were just one call away from ringing 999.
Martlets supports people living with a terminal illness. They received pain management, symptom relief, emotional support and mobility care.
Social distancing and other covid-19 rules have also meant that many people with a terminal illness are having to cope with long periods of isolation. They may also have decided not to go to hospital for treatment or visit their GP as often.
This means the Martlets team working harder than ever to reach and support many more people with complex needs.
Martlets is hoping that it can encourage people to remember its hard-working doctors, nurses and wider healthcare teams – and show their support by virtually walking alongside them.
Signing up to March for Martlets to raise a donation, no matter how large or small, will help Martlets to keep caring.
Martlets chief executive Imelda Glackin said “At Martlets, we are looking to the future and doing everything we can to hold strong through the pandemic.
“We are doing our best to provide the best care for patients and their families and avoid hospital admissions.
“However, working through covid has felt relentless and support from our community at this time would mean so much to everyone as we need to make sure we can keep on doing what we do as we move forward.
“As a charity in the heart of our community, I am so proud of the commitment our team has shown and how we have kept connecting with patients and their families and making a such a huge difference for people with the care we can provide.
“We really hope that our community will connect with us again and show they care through ‘March for Martlets.”
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