Brief history

The Hospice Foundation (HF) was founded by Father Piotr Krakowiak SAC in co-operation with the lawyer Sławomir Łoboda. It launched its operations in autumn 2003, and was formally registered on 24 March 2004 in Gdańsk, with its registered seat at 10 Chodowieckiego Street. Its original objective was to financially support the Father E. Dutkiewicz SAC Hospice (originally Hospitium Pallottinum), which found itself in a very difficult situation after the completion of the project for the construction of a residential hospice. The next objective of the emerging Foundation was, due to the National Hospice Chaplain’s function being held by Father Piotr Krakowiak SAC, PhD, from 2003, nationwide activities, specifically related to non-medical aspects of care, especially spiritual and religious ones, and to the development of voluntary services and social education about the end of human life.

Already in spring 2004, the HF took the opportunity to collect 1% of income tax, and in autumn, together with TVP1 and other national and regional media, it organized the first social campaign called “Hospice is also Life”. In the same year, the volunteers connected with the Foundation set up and started to run a national website, www.hospicja.pl, the main source of information on hospice and palliative care in Poland.

In 2005, the Foundation launched its publishing and educational and research activities. By 2014 the Hospice Foundation Library had published 17 volumes of manuals and guides and 16 DVDs. In 2006, they started publishing “Hospice is also Life”, a free bimonthly addressed to all those interested in palliative and hospice care in Poland. It presently appears as a quarterly. In 2006, the Orphaned Children’s Fund was established at the Foundation. The Fund keeps broadening the scope and forms of support offered to children and young people who have suffered a loss. In the same year, the Foundation joined the initiative of the hospice community of Toruń, namely the national project of the Cancer Fighting Academy (Akademia Walki z Rakiem), and set up a Gdańsk branch to support people coping with cancer. In 2007, the HF initiated a 3-year national program of development for hospice volunteers, “I Like to Help”, and in 2008, together with “Gazeta Wyborcza”, successfully ran the campaign “Dying in a Human Way”. In the same year it also presented WHAT, a national project aimed at the rehabilitation of prisoners through work at palliative and hospice care centers. After the project was completed by the Civic Initiatives Fund (FIO), further centers, with support from the Hospice Foundation, entered into co-operation with the Prison Service and the Ministry of Justice, winning the recognition of the Council of Europe and the Crystal Scales of Justice award for the most innovative rehabilitation project in 2009.

In 2009, the Hospice Foundation joined the project of formation of joint pastoral care in the health care and welfare system, carried out in conjunction with the Knight Hospitallers’ Order. In 2010, thanks to the FIO, the team conducted a one-year-long project of the Hospice Volunteers School, which complemented and reinforced the national program “I Like to Help”.

In the beginning of 2011, the direction of the Foundation was taken over by Alicja Stolarczyk. 2013 marked the 30th anniversary of the inception of the Father E. Dutkiewicz SAC Hospice in Gdańsk and the 10th anniversary of the Hospice Foundation, begun with a debate on the topic: “The Art of Dying. 30 Years of Hospice Care in Gdańsk”. In March 2014, together with the National Hospice Chaplain and the Foundation I Like to Help, the HF inaugurated the Pomeranian School of Care-Oriented Voluntary Service, whose objective is to transfer the good practices of hospice voluntary services into other institutions which take care of the chronically ill, elderly and infirm. In December of the same year, a program of psychological assistance for bereaved children and young people, “Tumbo Helps”, was launched and it began with the opening of the website www.tumbopomaga.pl. Since 2017 Foundation is runned by Anna Janowicz. Last year of our work was focused on familly carers. Read more about these campaigns.

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