Luton Life - Keech Hospice Care Podcast

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The Mall Luton has released the third episode of their podcast, Luton Life. Marking the start of the Big Trunk Trail which opens in Luton on Saturday 10th July, the latest edition focuses on the work of Keech Hospice Care.

Keech Hospice Care provide free, specialist care for adults in Luton and south Bedfordshire, and children from Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Milton Keynes, who have life-limiting and terminal illnesses. Their specialist care supports adults and children to live pain and symptom free, to spend untroubled time with their family and friends, to understand what’s happening to them, to stay out of hospital and to make the most of the time they have.

As a charity, Keech rely on their supporters for around 70% of their funding. This means they need to raise over £6 million every year (over £16,000 every day!) to continue the specialist care for adults and children, and their families.

Final preparations are being put in place for Keech Hospice Care’s Big Trunk Trail, a spectacular public Wild in Art event coming to Luton this week. Over thirty elephants are taking part which have been used as a canvas for artists to transform them into works of art. As Artistic Partner for the event, The Mall Luton have provided studio space for the elephant transformations.

In this episode, Luton Life host Sophie Sulehria visited Keech Hospice Care to find out more about their work and how they support adults and children with life-limiting illnesses. Sophie also met Beverley Sweetman, the artist chosen by The Mall to create their elephant.

On her visit to the hospice, Sophie chatted to a gentleman with first-hand experience of the incredible care which Keech provide to their patients, having lost his wife recently. He describes her wish to spend her final days at Keech and how their support and commitment to ensuring her wishes were met gave them both so much comfort at such a devastating time. His testimony provides a heart-warming insight and underlines the outstanding work undertaken by everyone involved at Keech Hospice Care.

The elephants in the Big Trunk Trail have been sponsored by local businesses and individually brought to life with designs crafted by artists from Luton and beyond.  Bedfordshire-born artist Beverley Sweetman talks in the podcast about being chosen as the artist for The Mall’s own elephant.

“As a full-time artist, I love to explore the shape and form of creatures of the animal kingdom. I have undertaken many commissions around my observational studies of wildlife and was absolutely thrilled to be selected to create a beautiful design for such an incredible project. I’m passionate about local causes and being able to use my creative skills to support Keech Hospice Care is a highlight of my career. Chatting to Sophie about my experience and having a new platform to talk about my input to my local community was a lovely bonus”.

Luton Life focusses on life within the Luton community, covering a number of topics surrounding everyday life in the town, finding out about those within the community who make others’ lives easier, safer and happier. The Luton Life podcast aims to provide a voice for the Luton community covered through question-and-answer sessions with local journalist Sophie Sulehria.

Episode 3 of Luton Life will be available on podcast platforms today.