Published Thursday 15th December 2022

The start of Christmas preparations and activities signals the end of another year. 

We will soon be welcoming 2023 and beginning another exciting year at St Michael’s. 

At this time, we often reflect on the year that is gone and for St Michael’s it’s been another busy and successful year. Having successfully navigated our way through the pandemic, 2022 has been about getting back to normal and ensuring all our support services returned to the way our patients and families need them. 

We have noticed the need for our care and support has increased dramatically this year and we have responded to meet that need by caring for more people than ever before. 

Of course, none of this care can happen without your generous and loyal support.  If you bought something from or donated something to one of our shops, then you helped our retail team achieve some of their highest-ever levels of profit and enabled us to respond to the increased need. 

If you attended one of our events, be it Venus, the Plant Fair, RUN Hereford, (and the many others), played our Lottery or bought a Christmas Draw ticket, then you helped us deliver more care and support to your fellow Herefordians. 

Maybe you ran your own fundraiser (excuse the pun), opened your garden to visitors during our Open Gardens, organised a tea party, took part in the Sue Parry Football Tournament, or even jumped out of a plane, then you too have helped people who have found themselves facing the end of their lives and needing our specialist support.

You might be taking part in some of our Christmas fundraising activities. As I write this, there are excited children and families arriving at the Hospice to visit our Santa’s Grotto. The squeal of delight when they first see the lights and all the attractions is wonderful to hear and I hope dispels the myth that the Hospice is a sombre and sad place to be. 

Of course, sometimes it is very sad. For some, Christmas and New Year can bring difficult memories and feelings to the surface and that’s why we always take a pause and ‘Light up a Life’ for those people we miss. 

But if you do find this time of year difficult, don’t forget our care and support teams will be on duty throughout the holiday period to help you as we always are. 

St Michael’s is a wonderful organisation to be part of. I know the volunteers and staff feel it is a privilege to be alongside families and patients at such an important time in a person’s life. I compare it to being at the birth of a new life. Something that is remembered and cherished for ever by everyone involved. 

Everyone involved in St Michael’s, whether family or friend of a patient, volunteer, staff member, supporter, fundraiser – we all share the same vision and ambition: that everyone deserves the very best care and support at the end of their life. 

This is perfectly summed up in a famous quotation from the founder of the modern hospice movement, Dame Cecily Saunders: 

You matter because you are you, and you matter to the end of your life. We will do all we can not only to help you die peacefully, but also to live until you die. 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Mike Keel,
St Michael’s Hospice Chief Executive


Donate this Christmas

It costs £9,000 to run the Inpatient unit on Christmas Day. Please support us this year to make it as special for patients and families as possible.