The J’s Hospice have been supporting me since April 2011, and within the first fortnight my hospice nurse saved my life. Since then they have supported us in a variety of ways, with specialist nurse support for things like liaising between professionals, coordinating care, getting medication prescribed for better symptom control and support for arranging or increasing care packages and getting equipment; support from carers who used to come in twice a week to support mum in caring for me; as well as complementary therapy, counselling and volunteer drivers to get me to appointments. I would not be here without The J’s, let alone have achieved all I have achieved. All my charity work came about because when doing my care plan, my J’s nurse listened to me saying I was scared I’d die and my life wouldn’t have meant anything, that nothing would be different or better because of me and I’d simply be forgotten. Two years later she put me forward to speak in Parliament for Together for Short Lives; and I haven’t looked back since! None of my charity work would’ve happened without The J’s, let alone to be appointed MBE at the age of only 22. However I owe my life to The J’s; without my J’s nurse, I’d have died in May 2011. This is why I want to give back to The J’s Hospice and to help keep them running, as I myself know how vital these services are, and how desperately The J’s need support. Please consider supporting the campaign in any way you can; not only will you help keep The J’s Hospice running, and help them continue to support life-limited young adults and their families, but you will help me to fulfil an item on my bucket list, which is to raise money for charity. I want to make a difference, but I need your help to do so.
I have set up a campaign called #ANurse4TheJs to raise £40,000 to fund a specialist nurse for one year for The J’s Hospice, a young adult hospice who provide a hospice-at-home service to 16-40 year olds with life-limiting conditions across Essex. We need to raise this £40,000 in 3 months as The J’s are struggling to sustain their services and if we do not raise this sum, and The J’s do not receive sustainable funding, they will have to cut back their services by at least 25%. This will leave young adults without vital support, support that cannot be met by other services. So please consider supporting the campaign, which runs from the 1st November 2016 to the 1st February 2017. Together we can make a difference.
The J’s Hospice was founded by Denise Whiffin in memory of her son Jonathan who had to travel out of county for suitable support as he had outgrown children’s services and the children’s hospice that supported him, and there was no dedicated hospice for young adults in Essex. She set about changing this, and so The J’s Hospice was formed.
The J’s currently provide a hospice-at-home service, as they do not have the funding to build, run or staff a dedicated hospice building; they are struggling just to sustain the hospice-at-home service as it is. Currently, The J’s support 96 patients, with the specialist nurses caring for 25 patients each. Around 450 young adults could benefit from The J’s support, with 40 new referrals coming in each year. However, despite The J’s providing a vital service, only 30% of The J’s Hospice funding comes from Clinical Commissioning Groups, meaning they are dependent upon donations, fundraising and charitable grants. The success of this campaign is vital, and is where you and I come in. With your support we can raise £40,000 to fund a specialist nurse for one year, and by doing so we will be helping The J’s to continue to provide specialist nursing support to young adults with complex and life-limiting conditions. If I can bring people together to raise this total, we can all know that we have directly had a hand in supporting poorly young adults across Essex. You can make a real difference by supporting this campaign. I cannot raise this total without your help.
So please consider making a donation, sharing the fundraising link on social media along with the hashtag #ANurse4TheJs and even fundraising for the campaign – please support us in any way you can.
Here are some ideas of ways you can support #ANurse4TheJs:
Would you hold a cake sale or coffee morning, a dress down day at work or school, or organise an event, get together or organise a raffle or auction?
Would you be willing to take on a sponsored event? Would you do a marathon, triathlon, tough mudder, open water swim or even a skydive? Or give up alcohol for a month?
Will you participate in #Jumpers4Js? You don a Christmas jumper, take a photo of you in the Christmas jumper and share it on social media with the both hashtags – #Jumpers4Js and #ANurse4TheJs – and tag 5 friends who you think will join in too, and make your £3 (or more) donation via the fundraising page. We want this to go viral, so please share this far and wide.
Could your website, blog, social media page, newspaper, magazine or TV or radio programme cover this story to help us raise awareness?
Do you know a celebrity who could endorse the campaign and share it on their social media? Or who could become involved in the campaign in some way? We greatly need people to endorse and support the campaign, so if you or someone you know can, please do put them in contact with me or ask them to join in with #Jumpers4Js.
Would your company be willing to make a donation to the campaign? Or to support The J’s Hospice long term?
What I can offer in return:
In return for your support, I am willing to come to your school, college, organisation or workplace and deliver a speech on my life, my support from The J’s and my charity work. Having given many speeches now, so long as I could get to the location I would happily do this in return for a donation to or fundraising for the campaign. I recently delivered a keynote speech at an advocacy conference, and have given 13 speeches over the last three years, at a variety of events and meetings. I can offer you a speech that will be inspirational, motivational and that is targeted towards your needs or wishes and your desired outcomes. You can view my recent speeches on youtube – Advocacy Conference Speech (click here) and Trefoil Guild Speech (click here).
I do hope you will support the campaign, to help us reach the £40,000 target, and to help keep The J’s Hospice running. 96 patients currently depend on the service, but without us reaching the target, the J’s will have to start cutting back the services by as much as 25% or more. This will leave young adults like myself and our families without the support we need. Vital support which cannot be provided by other services. YOU have the power to keep these services running, and YOU will be directly supporting young adults with life-limiting conditions and their families by supporting this campaign.
Together we can raise the total.
Together we can make a difference.
Together we can keep The J’s Hospice running.
Lucy Watts MBE
To contact me regarding the campaign please use my email: