Celia Jordan, a former Chair and Trustee of St. Rocco's shares her memories of how we helped her husband Alan.
My husband, Alan, was a patient with you when the new Hospice building was completed. Initially he was a day patient and very much enjoyed his bath which he wasn't able any longer to have at home. I think he was able talk confidentially there and I remember Beth Eccles saying to me that once the defences were down they could talk about their feelings freely.
Alan then became an in-patient and the staff were completely professional and also so wonderfully kind and supportive to us all. It was great for our sons and I to be able to pop in at any time and our dog was welcome too! She and Alan were so close and she could always sense when he was having a bad day and would sit with her head on his knee 'saying' I wish I could help you.
It was also comforting to be able to stay in Alan's room as he got to the end.
Like so many family members I wished to give something back and Ann Wood introduced me and then persuaded me to become Chair. I was a raw recruit and had a sharp learning curve. An early change I brought was to invite staff members to trustee meetings, which had not been the case under my predecessor. I think we all benefitted: patients, staff and trustees, from the input from the whole team.
I also remember, on my visits to all our shops, trying to persuade the volunteers to have their meetings at the hospice.
I was repeatedly met with 'Oh no I couldn't go in there. It would be too sad and depressing'. Needless to say I worked very hard to dispel this myth with a bit of success!
My family and I will always remember the Hospice, the wonderful care Alan and we were given, in a lovely bright setting and Alan's dignified death.
We are forever grateful and hold St Rocco's in our prayers.