This week is Hospice Care Week, which is a national initiative designed to raise awareness about hospice care.

To mark the week, local Hospice, Peace Hospice Care is busting some common myths about hospice care and helping the local community understand more about their work and why they matter.

So, we’ve put together ten things you probably don’t know about the Hospice, but need to know...

1. Hospices are often seen as sad places; however Peace Hospice Care is a place of peace, wellbeing, enablement, self-empowerment and even laughter.

2. Hospice Care is not just about end of life care; it’s about improving the quality of life for those who have many more years to live. Peace Hospice Care sees patients earlier in their palliative care journey and equip them with rehabilitation and self-management techniques to help them have the best quality of life possible.

Watford Observer:

Peace Hospice Care chief executive Declan Carroll and Obsevrer group edtor Tim Jones with Peace Hospice staff.

3. Peace Hospice Care is a charity. The Hospice needs £5 million a year to run and deliver its specialist free services. Only £1 million of that comes from the NHS, the rest comes from the generosity of the public through: fundraising events, monetary donations, donated items that are sold in their 14 shops and online, and individuals who have left a monetary gift in their will.

4. Peace Hospice Care doesn’t just care for individual patients; they also care for the patient’s family and careers through their Counselling and Bereavement Service.

5. The Inpatient Unit is just one service run by the Hospice. More than half of those patients who come into the Inpatient Unit return home after a short stay.

Watford Observer:

6. The vast majority of people helped by Peace Hospice Care never use the Inpatient Unit. Last year the Hospice at Home team, which delivers care and support to people in their own homes, made nearly 3,000 visits to patients across Hertfordshire. More than 2,600 people attended services in the Starlight Centre such as complementary therapy, physiotherapy and rehabilitation, relaxation, positive thinking, exercise and art therapy.

7. As the Hospice is a charity, staff are able to get involved in fundraising too. Amie Lacey, Inpatient Unit Sister, describes working at the Hospice: "For me, being a nurse at the Hospice is more than just a job; I feel like I'm part of a big team, where we are all working towards the same goal. As we are a charity, I've also been involved in fundraising events. I've had the opportunity to take part in a 170ft abseil, 5 mile muddy obstacle run and have climbed Mount Toubkal and crossed the Sahara Desert; I've never had these opportunities at previous organisations before.”

Watford Observer:

8. A team of over 600 volunteers help in the daily running of Peace Hospice Care. They help the organisation by volunteering in the Herts Neighbours Service, in the high street shops, at fundraising events, assisting with day care groups and in the Inpatient Unit.

9. Peace Hospice Care has online shops too – you can buy goods, and support the charity, through their eBay and Amazon shops from the comfort of your own home. The highest single selling item to date has been 17 Dinky toys which raised £2,750.00.

10. To access the Hospice’s services, you don’t have to be referred by a GP. You can self-refer to the Hospice’s Community and Starlight Services. If you or someone you know has a life-limiting illness and can benefit from Peace Hospice Care’s help, then call the referrals team on 07952 999101.