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St.Michael's Hospice takes-over Festival Place shopping centre

The St.Michael's Hospice team at Festival Place, Basingstoke. Photo credited to Matt Hutchinson.

St.Michael's Hospice has been 'taking-over' Basingstoke's Festival Place this week - with its banners, stalls and a projected film on display in the shopping centre.

It is part of a Hospice UK national campaign - 'This is What it Takes' - raising awareness of the work needed to keep it running.

The North Hampshire home is based in Basingstoke, with over 80,000 voluntary hours donated every year to support people with life-threatening conditions.

Iain Cameron - the Hospice's Chief Executive - told The Breeze that people's goodwill is vital:

"The population of North Hampshire - through doing sponsored bike rides, runs and walks - travel twice around the globe every year to keep us open.

"We have do have a supportive Clinical Commissioning Group, but still the funding is only 16%.

"So we have to find the other 84% ourselves, each and every year we have to keep going. It costs £5 million to run the hospice."

St.Michael's posters and videos will highlight its work to over 800,000 people in the shopping centre over the course of the week.

Iain went onto explain that he hopes to change people's perceptions of what St.Michael's represents.

"People think a hospice is a place to die - that it's a sad miserable place - but actually what we try and create is a place full of laughter.

"Yes there are some sad times, but ultimately we're very much about life and adding quality to life.

"We'd love to talk to all of the shoppers, but if we can just get to 10% of them that would be fantastic."

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