Reflections

A gallery of portraits, stories and memories charting three decades of your local hospice and the people at the heart of Saint Michael’s: you, our community.

Ann Burrell

Saint Michael’s volunteer and fundraiser, pictured with one of her therapy dogs, Puzzle, an 8 year old Leonberger.

“People’s faces light up when they see the dogs coming in to visit – it truly is such a special thing to be part of.

“I’ve been volunteering with Saint Michael’s for more than 15 years, when I got my first Leonberger – I’ve now got six of them and a Labrador, which keeps me busy!

“Patients and families love them – dogs offer unconditional love, without question or judgement, so people say things to a dog they might not say to a human.

“All the dogs come in as puppies to have a cuddle and get to know the patients – and then the patients actually name them, which is really special.

“The hospice is such an amazing place, I love visiting – three times a week I bring one of the dogs to day therapy, and I will often be asked by the nurses to take the dog upstairs to see someone staying on the inpatient unit.

“When someone puts their arms around the dog and relaxes – sometimes when they are very unwell and in their final days – it’s a moment you never forget.

“While I’ve seen the hospice grow over these 15 years, the atmosphere of care and love is just the same as when I first arrived. I feel incredibly privileged to be part of it.

“I give my time, but I think the dogs are the real stars – I’m just the person at the end of the lead!”

 

 

Kathy Newbould 

Saint Michael’s head of inpatient services.

“I started nursing on my 18th birthday, and my nursing life has been a joy, I have loved every moment of it.
“I remember coming to Saint Michael’s when the charity was based at the Convent of the Holy Child Jesus — it struck me what a warm, vibrant place it was.
“When we recognised the demand for the service, everyone within the team had the same intention and passion to get the charity established.
“It was exciting to move to Crimple House, which is now home to our hospice building, in 1994. Since then, we’ve grown so much in response to the needs of the community, reaching out to people in their  own homes.
“A highlight for me has been meeting and caring for people — getting to know patients as individuals, with their own lives and stories.
“As an organisation our values are our strength, particularly that we put patients at the heart of everything we do. I see us living these values day after day, and members of our team — whatever their role —  treating people and their families with kindness, consideration and care.
“Saint Michael’s journey has been amazing, and I consider it a privilege to have been part of it for 27 years.
“As we look to the future I often say that it is the end of the chapter, not the end of the book. There is so much more to come in Saint Michael’s story.”

 
 

 

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