Sun. May 22nd, 2022

Isle of Wight Observer News

The Island's Free Newspaper

VECTIS VIEW: Nigel Hartley – CEO of Mountbatten Hospice

3 min read

Prior to the pandemic, we knew the numbers of people who needed Mountbatten’s care was growing. We now know the number of those we are caring for has risen by over 200%.

While Mountbatten is very well known on the Island, many people living here still do not realise the breadth of the services we offer and all the different ways we support people. On any one day, we can look after up to 1,700 people, both in our hospice building and in people’s homes across the Island.

Did you know we look after some people for a number of years, not just their final days or weeks? Did you know we have day services, aimed at helping people to live well with their condition, keeping them active, independent and socially engaged with our community. The list goes on, but we are at a point in time where it feels like our services have never been more important. Our absolute aim is never to ignore anyone who needs us, and of course such an ambition provides a continuous challenge.

The real challenge is how we manage both the human and financial resources we have at our disposal, to ensure we can work as effectively as possible. Costs also inevitably rise and the number of staff we need to meet the growing demand will unavoidably continue to rise too.

We do what we do because we must ensure people experiencing death, dying and bereavement on the Isle of Wight have access to free, quality care and support. The Covid pandemic has again shown us that the role our community play in helping us be there for those who need us has been nothing less than remarkable.

Individuals and groups have gone out of their way to ensure Mountbatten can continue to grow its essential work, both through fund-raising and through giving time and skills to the cause for free. We are extremely appreciative and in awe of a community who have come together to ensure we cannot only keep going, but forge ahead with our ambitious strategy to support everyone who needs us. You have all done so much and you have helped Mountbatten to continue to achieve so much.

You will notice we have started planning for Walk the Wight 2022. It was almost three years ago since this event took place in the usual way. Since then, we have held a ‘virtual’ Walk the Wight and a scaled down walk in September last year.

This year we are absolutely determined to get the walk back to its best. To do that, we need to call on our Island community to, again, rally round us. This is our biggest and most important fund-raising event. The money raised at a normal Walk the Wight makes such a huge difference and as we pick ourselves up from the pandemic, getting it back on track is vital. I cannot stress enough how important it is, both financially but also to bring people together, all with the common aim of helping Mountbatten.

Whether you want to walk in memory of a loved one, or to tick it off your bucket list, I really urge you to sign up. If the main 26½-mile walk feels like too much, you can walk either the first or second half, or we have the eight-mile Flat Walk along the cycle path from Sandown to Newport. Please sign up at mountbatten.org.uk, and do what you can. Mountbatten is here to stay and we must celebrate this together.

I, for one, am looking forward to this amazing event and I cannot wait to feel the amazing atmosphere. I really hope to see you there.