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Sue Ryder appeals for help so families can spend final Christmas surrounded by love

Sue Ryder has launched an appeal to help families spend their final Christmas surrounded by love.
Hannah, pictured with her dad and Martin

The national healthcare charity runs Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice.

For many families this Christmas is more important than ever after so many were kept apart by Covid restrictions last year.

But for thousands of people who have a loved one with a life-limiting condition or terminal illness, this might be the last Christmas they spend with those they love.

Every four-and-a-half minutes, someone in the UK dies without specialist end-of-life care

Heartbreakingly, many of these families could not be receiving the care and support they need, as figures show every four-and-a-half minutes someone in the UK dies without the specialist end-of-life care they need.

This Christmas and during the year ahead, care teams at Sue Ryder will be going above and beyond to make sure families in their care make the most of the precious time they have left together.

Help someone spend their final Christmas surrounded by love

Through their appeal, Sue Ryder hopes readers will donate vital funds so people can spend their final Christmas surrounded by the things they love most.

People like Hannah, who received support from Sue Ryder after her dad, Martin, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in November last year during lockdown.

Martin wanted to spend his final months at home with his family and that’s when the team from Sue Ryder stepped in.

Hannah said: ‘Without Sue Ryder we just wouldn’t have been able to have dad at home.

"We had the help of a Sue Ryder Nurse who was absolutely brilliant.

"We were fortunate to have the lockdown, really, as it meant we were all at home. It was only 10 weeks from his diagnosis that dad passed away but we did get to have Christmas with him and it was also my 21st in December so he was there for my birthday too.

"I remember on Christmas Eve dad took a turn for the worse and a Sue Ryder Nurse came out who was also absolutely fantastic. She was just so honest and reassuring."

The end of your life is one the most important parts of your life

Martin died at home on January 18 with his family by his side.

Hannah said: "The Sue Ryder nurse came to sit with him afterwards so he wasn’t on his own and it was nice to know there was someone with him while we spoke to family. Sue Ryder’s family support team has also been fantastic and my main source of bereavement support.

"There’s no way that we can fully repay Sue Ryder for what they did for my dad and us as a family. The end of your life is one of the most important parts of your life and Sue Ryder helped us to get it right and have dad at home with his family as he wanted."

Hospices are hanging by a thread

Sue Ryder’s plea comes at a time when the hospice movement in the UK, of which Sue Ryder is one of the leading providers, is hanging by a thread.

Hospices are facing immense pressures after years of government underinvestment and now, paired with workforce shortages and an ageing population; the sector is under significant strain.

And with the demand for palliative care expected to grow by 55% in the coming decade Sue Ryder needs support now more than ever.

To make a donation visit

Your support of the appeal will mean Sue Ryder care teams can help people make the most of their final days together. Here’s how:

How Sue Ryder helps people make the most of their precious final days...

Expert medical care

Keeping someone comfortable during their final days takes training and experience. Sue Ryder care teams are trained to provide tailored palliative pain relief and offer personal care, so that families can spend time together in the way that matters most: sharing memories, re-telling family stories and saying goodbye.

Emotional support

The process of dying takes its emotional toll on the individual and ones they love. Sue Ryder teams make time for reassuring daily routines – a cup of tea in the garden or a favourite radio programme. They know that medical care shouldn’t crowd out feelings and emotional reactions and many nurses say half the job is simply being there for family and friends.

Bereavement support

Sue Ryder stays through someone’s precious last days, and continues to offer support after death too. Sue Ryder’s Online Bereavement Community is a safe and supportive space where individuals share their experiences and find others to relate to. Sue Ryder also provides online counselling with qualified therapists.