Cause for celebration as Lancaster hospice hits £14k fundraising target for 'cuddle bed'

St John’s Hospice in Lancaster has reached its £14,000 target to buy a specialist ‘cuddle bed’, thanks to the generous local community.

By Gayle Rouncivell
Tuesday, 22nd December 2020, 7:00 am
Nurses from St John’s Hospice’s ward saying a very big thank you!
Nurses from St John’s Hospice’s ward saying a very big thank you!

We reported in October how the Slyne Road hospice had launched an appeal to raise £14,000 for a specialist ‘cuddle’ bed for patients and their families.

The ‘cuddle’ bed is designed to allow a second person to lie beside their loved one to share a cuddle and offer comfort while they are receiving palliative care.

And thanks to nearly 200 donations from individuals and local companies and fundraisers, this target has been reached - all from an online appeal.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

St John's Hospice nurses pictured with the trial cuddle bed earlier this year.

With sponsored slims, hikes and runs and donations made in memory of loved ones – the cuddle bed appeal touched so many.

The community of St John’s Hospice, from Grasmere to Garstang and from Sedbergh to Morecambe, all came together to raise the money for this all-important ‘cuddle bed’.

Josie Curtis was able to use a ‘cuddle’ bed that was on trial to St John’s when her husband Steve was there earlier this year.

She said: “We were very privileged to be able to use a cuddle bed. This was so special to both of us, as it meant we could be close together when every moment of each day was so precious.

"It was much better than Steve lying on his own. On Steve’s passing I was able to lie by his side and to hold him close.”

The cuddle bed will buy patients and their loved ones some very precious moments together, without the physical barriers of an ordinary bed.

It can be used by parent and child, siblings, friends, the list goes on. Cuddling and physical touch have been shown to reduce stress, decrease pain and intensify bonds between people, and the ‘cuddle bed' means patients and their loved ones can have this connection while receiving palliative care.

Maddy Bass, director of nursing and quality at St John’s Hospice, said: “We are over the moon that this appeal has successfully reached its target.

"Years of nursing has shown me how important it is for someone to lay next to their loved one to offer comfort and physical support.

"At this time of year especially, we can all understand the importance of a cuddle and how it makes you feel. A huge thank you to everyone who has contributed to this appeal for the benefit of so many people.”