The staff are welcoming and friendly; I benefited from the complementary therapy; there was an unexpected level of carer support.
- Hospice patient
Light Up A Life is Still Special for Retired Nurse Anne
Anne Whittaker will be a familiar face to many people who attend Light Up A Life at St. Rocco’s.
Not only was she part of the nursing team for thirty one years, but she has supported at our Light Up service at the hospice from the very beginning.
“So many special people come,” she says. “It’s always lovely to see familiar faces. People come back every year and it’s so good to see them.”
Although Anne is retired, her connection to St. Rocco’s remains a strong one and her skills as a nurse and experience in bereavement counselling are still invaluable. She supports at our Bereavement Café on the last Friday afternoon of every month.
She also volunteers for Rocco’s on Your Doorstep, our befriending service where specially trained volunteers visit patients at home, helping with light household chores, or simply visiting for a cup of tea and a chat. This is a lifeline for many patients and demand for the service is very high.
For Anne, whilst the Light Up service is important, it is the Book of Honour, listing the names of those being remembered that she thinks makes it so special.
“It is the Book of Honour that is significant for many people; finding and seeing their loved ones names. You really feel for them and it is nice for us to be there to talk with them and support them at that moment.”
For Anne when she was working, Light Up a Life signified that Christmas was on its way.
“It was lovely, if you went off duty late or came in on an early shift, the lights would be shining brightly in the dark. But I think that one of the reasons that Light Up is special is that, although it is around Christmas time, it is not too near. It gives people an opportunity to have a little moment and focus on the memory of their loved one but it’s not too close to Christmas.
“It’s a privilege to be part of it and to feel that I’m helping people a little. I wouldn’t miss it, it’s a very special event.”
There is still time to dedicate a light on our tree. If you make your dedication by Thursday 30th November your loved one’s name will still be entered into the Book of Honour to be viewed at our two services at 4pm on Sunday 3rd December at St. Rocco’s and 7pm on Thursday 7th December at St. Elphin’s in Warrington.
*Please note the names of loved ones whose dedications arrive after this date will still be added to the Book and will be available to view in our Chapel for the whole of the following year.