Faith in human nature

As ever, there’s been so much going on here at St Elizabeth Hospice. Since my last blog at the end of August we have held all manner of events, including the Sunflower memories afternoon in the hospice garden where people remembered their loved ones by dedicating beautiful sunflower emblems to them. We organised fun family events like the annual Bubble Rush in Christchurch Park; pop up plant stall partnerships in a number of new locations and the London to Paris cycle ride, to name but a few.

This place is always a creative hive of industry with everyone working towards the same goal – providing the best possible care for our patients, families and carers. It is humbling to witness daily just how far people will go to help one another and through little things, the difference that they are able to make.

Having said that, sometimes it’s also the big things people do, like, for example, the phenomenal effort put into fundraising for a very specific piece of equipment which local mother Tina Ashford did in memory of her 18 year old son Scott who was looked after by the hospice’s community team. She was determined to honour his wishes to present an Eye gaze to the hospice for other patients to use as he had benefitted from a similar model whilst he lived with a very rare form of juvenile Motor Neurone Disease.

Equally, this week, it was wonderful to see a cheque presentation being made to the hospice for a massive £26,513.56 from a family of a patient who was cared for in our inpatient unit. As a paediatric nurse, their daughter Toni had been passionate about the care of young people which prompted her family to arrange a number of fundraising activities in her memory in order to help the development of our transitional care unit for young adults. Like Tina, their fundraising and support of the hospice is ongoing.

People’s dedication to and the love they show for the memories of their loved ones never ceases to amaze and remind me of what a privilege it is to work here. There are always amazing things happening here, including an unshakable dedication to living life to the full, which keeps one’s faith in human nature alive. Who knew that working at a hospice would be so much about life and energy?

Watch this space for plenty more thoughts and conversation on how we embrace living life purposefully and against a backdrop of a progressive illness.


Viv Dawson

Viv Dawson is the hospice writer sharing her observations of life at St Elizabeth Hospice

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