The power and value of volunteering
Today I was delighted to join Marie Curie at their shop in the St Tydfil shopping centre to learn more about their invaluable work, the great contribution of volunteers to their cause and the help they provide for people living with terminal illness and their families. Thanks to the team at the shop for the welcome. They clearly enjoy the work they do.
It was interesting to hear that their eight stores across South Wales, including Merthyr Tydfil, raise over £600,000 per annum and are staffed by around 120 volunteers. (I heard similar powerful stories about the invaluable contribution of the Merthyr Tydfil shop in my recent visit to Ty Hafan).
The funds that are raised help to meet the cost of Marie Curie nurses, guidance and advice services and the costs of hospices.
END OF LIFE CARE is really important and organisations like Marie Curie offer expert care, guidance and support to help them get the most from the time they have left. This is another aspect of your local health andc are services. This work is important because in the Cwm Taf area there were around 3200 deaths (in 2016) and it is estimated by Marie Curie that around two thirds of these people require some form of palliative care. There will also be people who pass away in the Upper Rhymney valley – Aneurin Bevan UHB area – that add to this number for the whole constituency.
The need for palliative care is rising as the population is ageing. The Welsh Government say some 33,000 people die in Wales each year and on current projections it is estimated that will increase to 36,500 by 2039.
Where people die can be an important consideration for the person needing end of life care, and their family, with home often being the preferred location rather than a hospital.
You can read about the Welsh Government’s strategy for End of life Care here .
If you would like to speak to Marie Curie for information and support they have a free support line (0800 090 2309) which is open 8am-6pm Mon-Fri, and 11am-5pm Sat).