When Lucy joined the Marketing Department at Katharine House Hospice, she learned a little more about hospice care than she expected...
"When I came to Katharine House Hospice 2 months ago as the ‘new girl in the marketing department’, I wasn’t completely sure what to expect. Although I had heard how wonderful Katharine House was, I, like many others, had many misconceptions about what hospice care was all about. I thought that hospices were dark and sad places where people would go to spend their final dark and sad days.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
The people that I have met and the experiences that they have shared with me have told me all that I need to know not only about Katharine House but also about Hospice care as a whole. Katharine House Hospice is a place that breathes light and happiness into the lives of those who are facing some of life’s most difficult and upsetting challenges. It is truly a place that awakens the senses - where the sound of laughter can always be heard, the smell of delicious food is always in the air and light, colour and vitality can always been seen and found.
After a few days in post, I wandered around the hospice and tried to imagine what life as a patient here might be like. Looking into the comforting and homely bedrooms, the calming and serene quiet rooms, the relaxing hair salon and complementary therapies rooms and of course the warm and friendly Day Therapies room, I realised that I was in a place that cares for not only a person’s physical needs, but that they care for and value the person as a whole; as a unique and individual human being whose life matters. As the summer sun shone bright and warm onto the beautifully cared for gardens with the flowers out in bloom, my immediate thought was "This is most definitely a place that embraces life."
There has been talk of Christmas parties in August, weddings, christenings, visits from footballers not to mention the recent trip to Llandudno for our Day Therapies patients - a day for which the planning and risk assessment list must have been as long as my arm! And perhaps most astounding and inspiring of all is the commitment and hard work of the staff and volunteers who make all of these wonderful things a reality. Nothing is ever too much trouble and it’s always done with a smile.
If there is one thing that has been apparent from day one, it is that Katharine House Hospice really is treasured by the families and communities throughout Stafford and I am sure that I am not alone in being continually humbled every time I walk through its doors. If this is Hospice care, it is not something that should be feared. The support that it receives could not be more deserved and I hope that my new-found discoveries about hospice care will also be the beginning of yours."