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Hospice brings heart and support to Hutt community

Te Omanga Hospice relies on the dedicated support of its staff, volunteers and expert business partners in order to continue providing care for patients throughout the Hutt Valley...

Today, Te Omanga Hospice provides free care and support to 160 patients and their families from across the Hutt Valley on any given day, and around 560 patients per year.

A not-for-profit registered charitable trust, Te Omanga was established in 1979 when hospice was considered a cottage industry run by volunteers.

“[A need] was identified by our founder, Marion Cooper, who had seen people with cancer being sent home to die without any support at all,” says Te Omanga Chief Executive Biddy Harford, who has been at the hospice for 34 years.

Built on land the Hospice has called home since 1991, Te Omanga’s new purpose-built facility in Lower Hutt was completed in 2019 after the original building was deemed earthquake prone. The aim is to make those the Hospice cares for comfortable, in a familiar environment and surrounded by loved ones.

Volunteer power invaluable for Te Omanga

“Across New Zealand, the way [hospices] deliver services often depends on our community’s needs,” Biddy explains. “Our model of care is very much about providing and supporting people in their homes.”

The team at Te Omanga includes around 100 nurses, doctors, counsellors and social workers, working together to provide occupational therapy, physiotherapy, and music and art therapy.

Added to this is an impressive amount of selfless support from a roster of 500 volunteers, including the faces behind Te Omanga’s four second hand stores (where people can donate and buy quality items such as clothing and furniture), along with those cleaning the facility, maintaining the gardens, cooking, and even writing patient biographies.

“The volunteers donate 36,000 hours of their time and talent every year,” Biddy says, which equates to $900,000 worth of services.

Biddy Harford Te Omanga Hospice Chief Executive

“For us, the real appeal is that Crombie Lockwood is local.

They are directly connected, they know our community well, they know us.”

Biddy Harford, Te Omanga Hospice Chief Executive

Te Omanga and Crombie Lockwood 

Recently, Te Omanga Hospice made the switch to Crombie Lockwood to provide insurance advice for its complex business, which includes cover for building and facilities, public liability with staff visiting patients in their homes, a fleet of cars that take to the road every day, stock in the stores, and cyber insurance for our sensitive data.

“We’d been with our previous broker for some time, but for us, the real appeal is that Crombie Lockwood is local,” says Biddy. “They are directly connected, they know our community well, they know us, and they're really keen to get on board and partner with us in so many ways.”

Working with Te Omanga was never about getting another client on the books for Crombie Lockwood Lower Hutt Broker, Rhys Fleming.

“We want to play a part in supporting the incredibly important work Te Omanga does for our community,” he says. “Alongside some fantastic fundraising events that have already taken place this year, we look forward to 2023 when we will work more closely together in raising as much as we can to help their brilliant organisation.”

Te Omanga Hospics

Securing the future of Hospice care 

While hospices are partially Government funded, Te Omanga still needs to raise 50% of its operational costs through events and donations, which Biddy says is almost $5 million.

One avenue is the Te Omanga Hospice Foundation; an investment option that supports the long-term future of the hospice from the interest it makes. Many opt to support Te Omanga this way “knowing that their funds will go to generating income for us for many years to come,” she concludes.

To support Te Omanga Hospice, visit www.teomanga.org.nz

Published November 2022

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