This month is National Smile Month, the UKs longest running oral health campaign which encourages all dental professionals, schools, pharmacies, colleges and workplaces to help educate, motivate and communicate the necessity of oral hygiene. We went along to St Columba’s Hospice in Edinburgh to donate boxes of toothpaste, toothbrushes and Fixodent to the patients. While we were there we met with Patricia McLaughlin, the Sister of one of the wards, and she was kind enough to give us a tour of their newly refurbished, state of the art facility.
When Ann Weatherall, matron of Corstrophine and Beach Mount Hospital in Edinburgh, visited St Christopher’s Hospice in London, a care facility widely recognised as the first modern hospice; she was so inspired by the level of care being given to those nearing the end of their life that on her return home she partnered with St Columba’s first Medical Director Dr Derek Doyle. Together they assembled a committee, dedicated to raising funds to provide Scotland with its first modern day hospice. After years of fundraising, St Columba’s opened its doors in 1977, as a 15 patient facility in Challenger Lodge, overlooking the Firth of the Forth.
St Columba’s temporarily relocated to Gogarbank due to modernisation and refurbishment. However, in early May 2014 works were completed and patients were moved back to St Columba’s original home in North Edinburgh where they can once again enjoy beautiful views of the Firth of the Forth.
Not only dedicated to those in need of care and their families, St Columba’s also opened an Education Centre in 2012. Anyone from personal carers to qualified medical professionals has the option to study a range of Palliative Care courses at the facility.
St Columba’s Hospice is a charitable body running solely on donations. Over the years they have raised £26 000 000 through many fundraising events, donations from the public and their charity shops. To find more information on upcoming events, or to donate, visit the St Columba’s Hospice website and click on the fundraising tab; you can also visit a St Columba’s Charity shop in Morningside, The West End, Leith Walk, Stockbridge, and Fauldhouse.