Gary's News and views

Gary Streeter MP for South West Devon

Gary writes a weekly article which appears in the Plympton Plymstock and Ivybridge News in South West Devon. The articles are published here.


Thursday, 17 November 2016


We are fortunate to have the wonderful charity St. Luke's Hospice in our midst. I recently visited their Turnchapel headquarters for an update of their activities and was impressed with all I saw and heard. Most of us know at least one person who has benefitted from their compassionate professionalism over the years.

I was interested to learn that they are continually evolving the way they offer their end of life care. It is easy to imagine that they are mainly a place where terminally ill people go to end their days or stay for a period of respite. In fact, as was pointed out to me, most of us, if we have a choice, would prefer to end our life on this planet in our own home, surrounded by loved ones. St. Luke's has responded to this need by developing expert teams who can offer support for those approaching the end in their own homes. Hospice at home is what they call it. They are doing it because it is what people want. They are moving with the times.

For any organisation this is hugely important. When I take my grandsons to get KFC occasionally (such a sacrifice) they always seem to have new products on offer, even though many people usually order the same as always. McDonalds the same – they never stand still, always breaking new ground. I heard a leader of a large business say once that standing still is the same as going backwards, because your competition will be moving on even if you don't.

This truth applies in all areas of life. I have recently started doing more local preaching. It is not uncommon to visit a church that was once vibrant but has stood still for a decade or more and been left behind. Fatal.

Politicians also have to move with the times. I am so impressed with the new intake MPs who are connecting with their constituents through social media rather than the printed word. If I was starting over again, I would have to do the same. Moving with the times.

Back to St. Luke's. As we know the hospice movement receives little funding from the tax payer, so this big-hearted expertise is largely supported by private charitable giving. In other words by all of us. As we approach Christmas, now would be a good time to redouble our efforts to support this highly professional and much-loved local charity.

posted by Gary @ 10:42