North West Hospices take to the small screen in ground-breaking awareness campaign

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North West Hospices take to the small screen in ground-breaking awareness campaign

A group of 26 hospices from across the North West including Queenscourt Hospice have come together for the first time to launch a pioneering TV advertising campaign busting myths about the care they provide.

The hospices have organised the ‘Think again’ campaign to raise awareness and break down barriers which can prevent people from accessing hospice care across the region.

The venture, which sees them share the cost of slots on peak-time Granada shows including Coronation Street and Emmerdale, is also aiming to raise vital funds to support their work. By working together to share the cost of the campaign between them, the hospices are able to reach out to a wider audience than ever before in a very affordable way.

The commercial uses compelling video clips filmed with real patients, families, staff and volunteers to spread the key message that hospices are local charities, which provide specialised support for everyone regardless of age or condition, in a positive, welcoming environment.

It ends with a request to viewers to donate £5. The money raised in donations will then be split equally between the hospices taking part – with the profits spent on providing personalised hospice care for those affected by life-shortening conditions in the North West.

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It is the first time hospices have worked collaboratively in this way – adopting a group approach to help hospice care reach a huge audience of more than 5 million people.

The project was the brain-child of Sue McGraw, Chief Executive of St John’s Hospice in Lancaster.  She said: “Each hospice in the North West is a very individual organisation, built by the local community, for local people.  However, through our dealings together, it became clear we shared many common frustrations around the common misconceptions people can hold about us. Time and time again we hear that people believe their local hospice is a frightening or depressing place, or they assume it’s only for older people, or just those diagnosed with cancer, rather than all life-limiting conditions. All these things can be great barriers to people accessing hospice care.

“We also regularly find ourselves tackling the misconception that hospices are fully-funded by the NHS – when in reality we all face a huge challenge each year to raise the majority of the money we need to cover our running costs.  With this campaign we’re hoping to break down these myths and barriers by bringing the reality of what we are all about into people’s homes and onto their TV screens.”

Jane Royds, from Queenscourt Hospice said: “Queenscourt is delighted to be part of the North West Hospices TV campaign.  It is an exciting project and we are proud to be working with colleagues across the area to pioneer this group approach.

By encouraging people to ‘think again’ about their local hospice, we hope we can reach out and connect with more people in our local communities.”

Collectively the 26 hospices involved in the campaign care for around 29,400 patients each year – although thousands more also benefit through the experience of family members, carers and loved ones.  It costs around £85.5m to run the hospices involved each year – a massive £59m of which has to be raised through charitable efforts. On average, the hospices receive just 30 per cent of their funding from the government – compared to a national average of 34 per cent.

The advert will run for three weeks from March 10, and will also be shown through the online ITV Player catch-up service.

For more information about the campaign and the individual hospices involved and to donate £5 visit To donate £5 by text message text HOSPICE to 70660.

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