Hospiscare is campaigning for fair statutory funding for our hospice. To find out more, please see www.hospiscare.co.uk/fair 


Former Hospiscare patient urges community to support our Coffee Morning campaign

Gemma Wensley shares her story to encourage residents of Exeter, Mid and East Devon to put the kettle on for end-of-life care

An Exeter woman is urging her local community to hold a Coffee Morning to raise funds for the hospice charity that supported her through her diagnosis.

September is all about coffee and cake for Hospiscare, which supports patients and their families living with a terminal illness in Exeter, Mid and East Devon. Anyone can get involved and hold a Coffee Morning to raise vital funds for our service and former patient, Gemma Wensley, is putting her voice behind the campaign.

Gemma was referred to Hospiscare in 2010 after receiving the devastating news that her inoperable brain stem tumour was terminal and that no more could be done.

Gemma explains, “The hospice was there to support me with my symptoms, both physically and emotionally. It felt like a big pair of protective arms being wrapped around me and my family.

“I started attending the day hospice sessions every week where I could have lunch, get involved with crafts and receive treatment. At 28, I was by far the youngest person in the group, but we were all in the same position so it was good to chat.

“As time went on, I miraculously started to get better. The tumour is still there and I take every year as it comes.”

Two photographs of two women taken years apart

Gemma (pictured right in both photos) with one of her best friends Susan Luscombe; left photo taken in 2010 when Gemma was receiving treatment and right photo taken in 2016, two years after the first ‘Gemfest’

Gemma has been a dedicated supporter of the hospice charity that saw her through some of her most difficult moments and has held an annual festival fundraiser – Gemfest – every year since her 30th birthday.

Gemma continues, “Something that really surprised me when I was supported by Hospiscare was that it was a charity. I always naively assumed that the hospice was funded by the NHS. When I got well enough, I knew I wanted to do something to repay the kindness they offered me. Because of the compassion I received in my time of need, I am always happy to help Hospiscare with anything I am able to do.

“You never know what’s around the corner in this life. One day you or a loved one may need the support of the wonderful staff at Hospiscare. It isn’t a big national organisation, Hospiscare is a local charity and therefore relies on the support of the community to keep its wonderful service going.

“To anyone who is thinking of holding a Coffee Morning this month, it doesn’t matter how big or small it is, every penny helps! Make it fun, use it as an excuse to catch up with old friends or get your community together.”

Make a difference to local end-of-life care today. Click here to find out more or get in touch with Hospiscare’s fundraising team by calling 01392 688020 or emailing fundraising@hospiscare.co.uk.