Touching local lives
This month marks the third anniversary of the passing of my mother. I was fortunate enough to be in a position to give her the palliative care she needed before she finally agreed to ‘check’ into St. Catherine’s Hospice.
St. Catharine’s hospice is never far from my thoughts as my family and I make regular donations in her honour.
This week I was particularly moved by a visit to Burys Hospice were I was presented with an opportunity to view the work of these wonderful people and state of the art facilities from a slightly different perspective.
I was introduced to Pam during the Bury Business Club meeting who hold their network events each week in the hospice meeting room.
Pam is a volunteer fund raiser for the hospice. She presents to the business group on behalf of the hospice and gives updates on current projects.
Pam sat at my breakfast table and we began to chat. She then said ‘Oh just leave your things there and come with me. I felt powerless to resist.
She led me to the area behind receptions which had curved lanes, like a footpaths painted on the wall. Along the entire length of each path were painted heart shapes, about the size of a fifty pence coin. When my eyes eventually looked towards the beginning of the paths, I could see that the painted heart shapes where covered by an actual heart made of solid material. Each heart bared and inscription. ‘A heart is placed here in recognition of the people who raise or donate £1000 or more.’ Pam told me.
Pam pointed to one of the ‘hearts’ and told me the story behind it. In my heart, I felt that Pam knew the story of every ‘heart’ on the wall.
Suddenly she was leading me up the stairs to the open plan office where she and other volunteers work from. As we walked the length of the office she introduced me to other volunteers and professional staff.
Pam continued to show me the rest of the facilities. Patient and family rooms, specialist care facilities for washing and cleaning and the award winning garden and terrace.
As I walked with Pam my thoughts wondered back to my personal experience and the work of the hospices. I remembered how happy I felt for mum to be in the hospice but in particularly I remembered how happy and radiant she looked on the first day after the nurses bathed her and helped her dress.
St. Catharine’s hospice staff and helpers aided in making my mother’s stay comfortable, dignified and happy.
Thanks you Pam for reminding me of the good time I shared with my mum through the help and support of people with hearts like yours.
Please support your local hospice so that we can continue to enjoy quality time with our loved ones in their final hours.
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