Leeds hospice marks two milestones

ANNIVERSERIES: Wheatfields Hospices reaches its 40th year next year. PIC: Simon Hulme
ANNIVERSERIES: Wheatfields Hospices reaches its 40th year next year. PIC: Simon Hulme
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Bosses at Sue Ryder Wheatfields are marking two major milestones at the Headingley hospice.

As they begin preparations to commemorate the hospice’s 40th anniversary next year, they are also celebrating the years of dedication from one long-serving member of staff.

Receptionist Betty Simpson has put in an extraordinary 20 years of service at the hospice, where she first started as a volunteer in the kitchen.

She recalled: “I used to go out shopping for patients if they wanted anything and help distributing meals and feeding them if they needed.

“The matron used to sleep in the attic. She would come in with her dog Sophie. You couldn’t have this now, but Sophie used to wonder freely around the hospice, go to see patients. Everyone just loved her. I have really fond memory of Wheatfields Hospice at that time.”

She added: “I know I am in the right job as I really like the interaction with patients and their loved ones. I feel privileged I can help them. I feel honoured to be able to talk to families. Sometimes I just listen, but I hope this is of some help. I like to think that I can give something back.”

Hospice bosses are preparing to celebrate the hospice’s 40th anniversary next year - and have appealed for people’s memories to help mark the milestone.

Kate Bratt-Farrar, hospice director, said: “Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice has been an integral part of the community for so long and has touched the lives of local people in many different ways. We would love to hear about these personal stories”.

Share what the hospice means to you, by contacting Sara Novara on 0113 2033 363 or email sara.novara@sueryder.org.