For seven weeks from July 10th, 2021, The Cumberland & Westmorland Herald and sister publication The Keswick Reminder ran a campaign to raise vital funds for, and awareness of, a local North Cumbrian charity, Hospice at Home Carlisle and North Lakeland. The charity provides end of life care in their own homes to people right across 1,500 square miles of rural Cumbria. It also supports families with bereavement counselling services and is run largely on public donations. In a rural community, where hospital services are miles form people's homes, Hospice at Home has allowed thousands of people to die with their families around them in familiar surroundings. Our campaign set out to highlight the stories of families whose lives had been touched by the charity, and the dedicated staff providing this round the clock service. As Editor, I was inspired to launch the campaign because my brother, Adam Hill, was cared for by Hospice at Home before his sudden death from lung cancer in November, 2020, at the age of 61. Adam and his wife Charlotte were the subject of the first article with which we launched the campaign (see attached PDF). Over seven weeks we devoted a full broadsheet page each week to the campaign, plus front page coverage, and simply asked our readers to donate ... either in person or via a JustGiving page. With every penny going to the charity. Some gave their loose change, and others gave really substantial donations - three people giving one off gifts of £1,000. We engaged business sponsors who gave us a great start with around £3,000 in total, and from there the campaign snowballed, with a final total raised in excess of £13,000. This comment from Julie Blundell, head of income generation for [email protected]
at the end of the campaign. "This was the best ever email to receive, thank you so very much, your original idea has without doubt been accomplished, wonderful awareness and emotive real life stories from our community and from the hearts of families members to astronomical funds raised, every single penny donated will enable many hours of care and comfort to be provided to other patients, families and carers who are enduing hard times, please thank everyone of your team who has committed such enthusiasm and hard work to ensure this has been so successful." The camapign was carried in print, to our print audience of around 10,000 per week (both titles are paid-for weeklies), with many more connecting with the content through our two dedicated websites. Some of those who had told their stories said it had been an important part of their healing journey, and a chance to give something back to this wonderful charity.