Supporting Agape House since 1994, Friends of Hospice has been providing volunteer services and financial support to help operate Bermuda’s only hospice care facility.
Through the support from annual fundraising events as well as corporate and foundation grants and memorial donations, Friends of Hospice provides free services and programmes to enhance the quality of life for those who are actively dying and provides the necessary support to palliative care patients.
The charity also offers a support group for friends, and loved ones and a Day Hospice programme for those patients who have been discharged home and are receiving care.
Patients have access to art and complementary therapies, such as meditation, massage, yoga, pet therapy and music experience. There are also patient support and life appreciation celebrations, such as birthdays and anniversaries.
The kitchen at Agape House aims to meet the needs of the patient’s palate, whether that is steak and lobster or smoothies, and Friends of Hospice covers the full costs of the on-site kitchen, including a full-time chef.
Each programme is supported by professional therapists and volunteers, whose aims are to make patients as comfortable and happy as possible by treating them with dignity and compassion and to provide support for their loved ones.
Friends of Hospice also strives to spread awareness of hospice, palliative, and end of life care. Throughout the year, the charity hosts community and panel discussions about how to have that difficult conversation about end of life with loved ones. It also provides training for community professionals and staff about having difficult conversations with clients and patients.
Friends of Hospice has over 150 active volunteers, and there are plenty of opportunities for those interested in providing their time for fundraising events, transportation and administrative assistance. Companioning the Dying is a volunteer opportunity for those interested in spending one on one time with patients. Special training is required for those volunteers and is provided annually.
In 2016, Friends of Hospice was recertified by the Bermuda National Standards certificate, which provides consistency in policy and operating practices. The charity is actively working towards accreditation for its Day Hospice programme.
The Bermuda Hospitals Board, which owns and operates Agape House, collaborates with Friends of Hospice to ensure that service delivery meets best practice standards and patient expectations.
Address: 7a Point Finger Road, Paget
Mailing Address: Suite 124, 48 Par La Ville Road, Hamilton HM11
Services: Financial and programme/service support for hospice and palliative patients and their loved ones and 3 weekly therapy programmes – Day Hospice (twice a week) and a friends and family support group (once a week).
Partners: Bermuda Hospitals Board, PALS, Bermuda Cancer & Health
Employees: 4 full time, 1 part time, 4 contract therapy professionals
Registered Charity #391
Photographed: Reilly Smith, Programme Manager; Jeelise Allen, Programme and Volunteer Coordinator; Cathy Belvedere, Executive Director