WALSALL, England, August 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Fifty green fingered volunteers from HomeServe's Walsall and Banbury offices descended on Marie Curie's West Midlands Hospice this week, pulling out spade and watering can to improve the garden setting for patients and their families.
The army of volunteers, who were given an extra days leave as part of a Gardening Volunteer Week, toiled away in flower beds, spruced up garden benches and worked in the hospice restaurant over the course of the week. HomeServe aided activities by donating over £5,000 for materials such as soil improver, compost and plants. Albert Hill a HomeServe plumbing and drainage engineer also installed an outside garden tap.
Volunteers were split into three teams and at the week's end, the team that produced the best flower bed was awarded the 'King of the Crop' trophy, presented by HomeServe's UK CEO Jonathan King. Teams were judged by Joe Tildesley, Mayor of Solihull and the Hospice Garden Volunteer Group (who supervised the weeks activities). The eventual winners were rewarded on the basis of effort, design and colourful selection of foliage.
HomeServe MembershipUK CEO Jonathan King said: "The continuing support of all our staff to the Marie Curie partnership has been incredible. Whether it's trekking to the summit of Mt Snowden, taking part in last summer's cycling challenge or volunteering for projects like this, colleagues at all levels are never short of enthusiasm or dedication."
Elizabeth Cottier, Manager at the Marie Curie Hospice, West Midlands said: "Volunteers play a crucial role in helping with the running of the hospice and we would like to extend our thanks to all those at HomeServe who have supported us during the week. The volunteers from HomeServe have made a valuable contribution in the hospice garden and all their time and energy has helped to ensure that there is a peaceful and pleasant environment for patients and their families when they visit."
The garden project is an extension on previous activities at the Marie Curie Hospice, West Midlands, where HomeServe's donation of £50,000 aided the construction of the site.
Marie Curie has been HomeServe's national charity partner since 2010. Having originally pledged to donate £1 million over the course of three years, HomeServe smashed the target last September and have now donated more than £1.35 million. That includes £540,000 in cash donations - enough to fund the equivalent of 28 Marie Curie Nurses for a year - and more than £800,000 via its free Patient Policy, which gives Marie Curie patients and their families peace of mind with free help for home emergencies.
The company has extended its partnership with the charity until March 2014.
With over 2,700 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, Homeserve is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network.
HomeServe's new tradesmen service provides households with access to vetted tradesmen who are qualified to carry out hundreds of different jobs around the home.
Homeserve also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating.
About Marie Curie Cancer Care
Marie Curie Cancer Care is one of the UK's largest charities. Employing more than 2,700 nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals, it provided care to more than 35,000 terminally ill patients in the community and in its nine hospices last year and is the largest provider of hospice beds outside the NHS.
Around 70 per cent of the charity's income comes from the generous support of thousands of individuals, membership organisations and businesses, with the balance of our funds coming from the NHS.
Marie Curie Nurses
The charity is best known for its network of Marie Curie Nurses working in the community to provide end of life care, totally free for patients in their own homes.
The right to die in place of choice
Research shows around 63 per cent of people would like to die at home if they had a terminal illness, with a sizeable minority opting for hospice care. However, more than 50 per cent of cancer deaths still occur in hospital, the place people say they would least like to be. Since 2004 Marie Curie Cancer Care has been campaigning for more patients to be able to make the choice to be cared for and die in their place of choice.
HomeServe's support was recently recognised by being finalised in the British Charity Awards and the Institute of Fundraising Awards.
This year, HomeServe's partnership with Marie Curie Cancer Care has been recognised by not one, but two prestigious industry bodies.
The Business Charity Awards short-listed the partnership for an award in the category of 'Employee Engagement', where the partnership was Highly Commended. The Institute of Fundraising went one further to nominate the partnership for 'Best Business Charity Partnership' (larger charities with over £1 million income).
The Business Charity Awards celebrates the outstanding contribution made by businesses in the UK to good causes. They are run by Third Sector Magazine, with the support of headline sponsor CAF, the Charities Aid Foundation. The Institute of Fundraising is the professional membership body for UK fundraising.
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