We get lots of feedback telling us how comforting our counselling and emotional care team are.
So, we took the opportunity to speak to Joe McDonough who is the Team's leader, to find out more about what the team does.
"This is a departure from my usual role at the hospice and I must say it is quite nerve racking. Well, I guess I should start by introducing myself and explaining what my role is at St Rocco’s.
"My Name is Joe and I am the Team Leader and Senior Counsellor in the CEC Team (Counselling and Emotional Care Team, which includes the Chaplaincy). As a Warrington boy who joined the Army at 16 years of age and served successfully until I retired after 24 years’ service to the country, my life journey has allowed many encounters and experiences, which then brought me to Counselling some 20 years ago, taking me on a very different path, allowing me to work in many environments as a counsellor, such as mental health, education, probation, sexual & domestic abuse and the hospice movement.
"The CEC Team are in my opinion an outstanding and vital asset to the hospice, offering that critical psychological support to our patients’ families and staff under some very difficult and traumatic situations. It has been my privilege to work with people who have shared so many of those experiences, allowing myself and my team to develop mechanisms and relationships with the people, in managing those life changing situations.
"My team and I have worked throughout the pandemic and attended the hospice every day, in an effort to continue to help and support the patients’ families and staff during this awful period of restriction, closures and isolation. For many being unable to be with their loved one in the last days and hours of life has been particularly difficult and painful for the patient, family and staff concerned. The compassion my colleagues nursing those patients and supporting the families has on many occasions been very difficult, yet inspirational in the dignity and respect the Doctors, Nurses, Support Staff and Volunteers have shown to those very vulnerable patients and families.
"As we know difficult times demand difficult decisions and the Hospice's management team and trustees have shown a vision second to none, in keeping the Hospice open and allowing the delivery of a first-class service, in fact expanding the number of beds by 40% for a long period during the pandemic, in support of our community and NHS colleagues we serve in Warrington. That level of commitment and vision continues to this day and as we know with some more difficult times upon the horizon.
"The supporters and sponsors of St Rocco’s have been outstanding, and their generosity has been remarkable to say the least, and I offer mine and my teams’ thanks for that support for now and hopefully in the future."