Dad spent some of his last days at the North Shore Hospice in Auckland after being diagnosed with liver cancer in 2005. A few years before that, my Aunty was also cared for by the North Shore Hospice at the end of her battle with breast cancer.
So, my family, like many other families, has had first hand experience with the wonderful staff, nurses, doctors, counsellors and volunteers that work at the Hospice.
For those of you who have not had any contact with the Hospice, I can’t even begin to describe what an amazing and incredible job they do and I will forever be grateful for how the Hospice looked after my Dad and Aunty Wendy. The Hospice was our second home for the month Dad was there in every sense of the word. We were so looked after and felt so much love from the whole hospice team.
I’ve always wanted to give back somehow and in 2008 an idea came to me: I love baking and so do a lot of my friends, so why don’t we pool our baking efforts together for the hospice on a regular basis? And so Baking for Hospice was born!
Why baking? Well, who hasn’t reached for the cookie tin or for a big slice of chocolate cake whenever you’re upset? There is something so comforting, heart-warming and soul-lifting about home-baked goodies. And as every baker knows, there’s a lot of love that goes into baking…so what would be better to show the hospice patients, their families and the staff that we care and are thinking of them than with a batch of freshly baked treats.
We started off as just a small bunch of my friends and now we have grown to a roll of around 130 bakers, mostly around the North Shore, thanks mainly to word of mouth and this blog but also because of some lovely publicity we’ve had in the North Shore Times, the TV3 news website and on an episode on Asia Downunder.
We have now expanded and are providing baking to Mercy Hospice (Ponsonby) and also Totara Hospice South Auckland thanks to help of two lovely ladies: Pavanie and Aimee. Hopefully, in the future we will be able to use the same model for more hospices in Auckland and even the rest of New Zealand – so fingers crossed and watch this space!
The North Shore Hospice’s motto is: “To make every day the best day possible” and we hope that Baking for Hospice has helped a little in making that come true.
Nessie Sharpe (Chan) xox