Raceday features a full card of professional racing alongside charity lunches, auctions, a sponsored race for amateur riders, raffles and collections all helping raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support and other charitable causes. Last year, the event attracted a crowd of more than 28,000 people.
A team which supports terminally ill cancer patients and their families is calling on people to support this year’s event. The York-based Specialist Palliative Care Team, which has received funding from Macmillan, currently helps just over 200 patients across the area. The team, which includes nine nurses, two physios, an occupational therapist and a family support worker, visits people in their homes. The majority of patients have had a terminal cancer diagnosis.
Kate Hodge, community Macmillan clinical nurse specialist in palliative care, has been with the team for the past 14 years, said:
We don’t focus on death; it’s our job to help people live well for the remainder of their lives. We visit the patient and their family at home and help coordinate their care and support.
For many people approaching the end of their lives, they want to die at home surrounded by their home comforts, rather than being in a hospital, and we can help them have that outcome.
While it can be demanding role, I think it’s the best job I’ve had in my nursing career, which spans more than 40 years.
It’s very rewarding to be able to help patients and their families at such a difficult time.
Kate’s colleague, Nicky Burdett, community Macmillan clinical nurse specialist in palliative care, added:
We are there to help make sure people aren’t facing cancer alone. Over time, we do find we build up a close relationship with patients and their relatives – you almost become part of the family.
As Kate said, it’s so rewarding to be there to help.
So many people are affected by cancer – either directly or through friends and family, so it is important to support a charity like Macmillan. I hope everyone going to Macmillan Charity Raceday has a great time but can also give what they can on the day.
Donations help fund Macmillan services. There are more than 6,000 Macmillan professionals, including nurses, doctors, welfare benefits advisers and cancer information specialists, across the UK who are there to support people affected by cancer. There are now an estimated 2.5 million people living with cancer in the UK, rising to 4 million by 2030.
Macmillan Charity Raceday is a fundraising collaboration between York Racecourse and Macmillan Cancer Support. The event has been held annually since 1971, raising more than £6.2 million in total for Macmillan and other charitable causes. For tickets, visit www.yorkracecourse.co.uk