Media Release: Julia’s House Make A Free Will Week

Poole, Dorset – Monday 7 September, 2009; According to the Law Society, ‘Less than half of all British adults have an up-to-date will’, leaving their estate in a potentially vulnerable position after death. To ensure your Will completely reflects your wishes why not take advantage of the Julia’s House Make a Free Will Week, from 21-26 September?

Solicitors from across the county will be giving up their time for the Dorset children’s hospice throughout the week-long campaign, to write standard and mirror Wills free of charge. Julia’s House would greatly value any donations made to the children’s hospice, either at the time of meeting one of the charity’s supporting solicitors or in a bequest in your Will, but there is no obligation to do so. When something in your life changes, such as getting married or divorced, moving house, having a baby, or becoming a grandparent, it’s a good time to make a Will or change an existing one. Make sure you create or amend your Will now to ensure that your loved ones are taken care of, saving them from the emotional and financial stresses of having to sort out your affairs. Getting your Will in place and having peace of mind couldn’t be easier. Simply contact one of the participating solicitors to make an appointment during Make a Will Week. The appointment can be made at a time to suit you and does not have to take place between the 21-26 September. Legacies left to the charity have enabled Julia’s House to provide more care for children and families who desperately need support. Without such legacies, Julia’s House would not have been able to add a conservatory to the hospice building; fund vital community care teams in the north, west and south-east of the county; or fund carers, nurses, play therapists, music therapy and sensory toys. In 2009 Julia’s House needs to raise more money than ever before, in order to offer more comprehensive services to the children and families it cares for. Despite only 3% of government funding granted towards the £2.4 million it costs to run Julia’s House, the hospice still aims to reach the 200 Dorset children and their families that qualify for support. Deborah Ben-David from the charity commented: “The Julia’s House Make a Will Week is a great time to make sure your affairs are in order. As well as saving your family considerable heartache, updating your Will and leaving a bequest means that you can really make a difference to the lives of children at Julia’s House. “This year the charity aims to increase the hours of care at home for each family, open the hospice to children for overnight care, and recruit new nurses to help accommodate more children with complex medical needs. We also hope to provide more support to family members, with particular emphasis on the siblings of severely ill children. Julia’s House will only be able to achieve this with the support of the Dorset community, while legacies also allow the charity to plan for the future, providing more stability.” The full list of solicitors kindly supporting the Julia’s House Make a Will Week is available online at www.juliashouse.org or by calling 01202 607400. -Ends- Notes to Editors Julia’s House is Dorset’s hospice dedicated to children with life-limiting conditions. The majority of the children that it cares for are unlikely to live into adulthood (defined as beyond the age of 18). The children’s hospice complements the work of the Julia’s House Community Team, which consists of 65 nurses and carers who travel the county, providing life-changing support for families in their own homes. In 2008 the charity provided 7,318 hours of care in the community and 5,170 hours of care at the hospice in Corfe Mullen, equating to an overall 65% increase in the care hours compared with the previous year. It costs around £2.4m to run Julia’s House, yet the charity receives just three per cent of its total annual funding from the government. The rest of the charity’s essential income is raised through the generosity of the Dorset community, corporate partners and charitable foundations. For more information about Julia’s House, please contact 01202 607400 or visit www.julias-house.org Julia’s House achieved an outstanding ranking of 14th overall in the Sunday Times Top 100 Best Small Companies to Work For 2009 and was also awarded the maximum Three Star rating by Best Companies in 2009. This elite ‘Michelin-style’ star accreditation recognised the excellent workforce engagement and management as ‘Extraordinary’. This rating placed Julia’s House as the highest ranked organisation in Dorset and the top children’s charity in the UK. Julia’s House Media Contact: Emma Spearing, Hazel PR Tel: +44 (0)1202 862410 Mobile: +44 (0)7736 341828 Email:emma.spearing@hazelpr.com

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