Leeds hospice’s appeal for inspirational stories

Thankful: Holly Buckley, with her grandma, Ron's wife, Anne Hoffman, 75.
Thankful: Holly Buckley, with her grandma, Ron's wife, Anne Hoffman, 75.
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Hospice chiefs are on the hunt for inspirational stories of the incredible care offered by staff and volunteers to help spread the word about their work in Leeds.

Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice’s ‘Incredible Care’ campaign will run throughout July and invites people to share personal stories of their experience at the Headingley hospice, to give people a better understanding of the range of services it provides to patients and their families.

The stories will then be published on their website, social media accounts or newsletters and leaflets to help publicise the hospice.

Among those sharing their stories is Holly Buckley, 30, of Beeston, whose grandfather Ron was cared for at Wheatfields before he died of brain cancer at the age of 78.

When he wedding day fell while he granddad was an in-patient at the hospice, she feared her special day was no longer such if it went ahead without him.

Holly said: “But then I received the best present I could ever wish for, the nurses made it possible for him to attend my wedding.

They shaved, dressed him, managed to keep his pain under control long enough for him to come while I was walking down the aisle.”

Ron died just a few months later but Holly was so touched by the care offered at the hospice that she now works there as corporate partnership manager.

Clare Russell, head of clinical services at Wheatfields, said: “Sometimes it can be really difficult to explain what hospice care is all about. The best way is through people’s own experience as a volunteer, patient or supporter. Your story can help other people find the courage to face the shock of the diagnosis of a serious illness or inspire people to take action to support the work we do, so that more people can access specialist care when they need it.

“Many people still think that a hospice is a place where you come only to die. There is so much more to it. If we want to look at figures, about 60% of our patients go home. But it’s not just about the care. It’s about the patient and all the people who matter in their life, because everyone is different. It’s the grandad who managed to go to his granddaughter’s wedding thanks to the help of our nurses. Or the mum who managed to have a girly night in with her daughter watching a film and eating chocolate and popcorn.”

To share your story email wheatfields.fundraising@sueryder.org or visit http://www.sueryder.org/wheatfieldsincredible for more information.

To donate £3 to Wheatfields hospice, text‘CARE’ TO 70123.