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Mum-of-three and school worker Max Tetlow, 47, from Leyland, talks candidly about her initial reservations about volunteering as a befriender with St Catherine’s, but explains how spending time with her ‘inspirational’ patient at home has opened the door to new experiences and changed her life. After having personal experience of St Catherine’s with my much-loved […]

IMG_3743Mum-of-three and school worker Max Tetlow, 47, from Leyland, talks candidly about her initial reservations about volunteering as a befriender with St Catherine’s, but explains how spending time with her ‘inspirational’ patient at home has opened the door to new experiences and changed her life.

After having personal experience of St Catherine’s with my much-loved mother-in-law, I found the hospice to be an uplifting and positive place, despite being there through such difficult circumstances, and decided to get involved as a volunteer.

I put myself forward to become a befriender and enjoyed the training at the hospice, which I found to be most informative, and I met some lovely people who had so much experience to share.

Once trained, I answered the call of someone who had requested the befriending service; I was nervous to meet them at first but was immediately put at by ease by an amazing patient and family.

IMG_3745I’ve been volunteering for a few months and my weekly visits can be anything up to a couple of hours and involve chatting to the patient, making the odd brew and enabling the patient’s carers to have a break.

 

I have found that we have so much in common and have learnt so much from the patient. In particular, I have found my patient to be so inspirational; they have done so much in their life with so many happy memories which we have reminisced about.

It makes me feel that I should make the most of every day and I always feel uplifted when I’ve visited.  I have even promised to learn to swim – a promise I have the feeling I will need to keep!

I would say to anyone considering volunteering for St Catherine’s to go for it – it could change your life. The hospice is an amazing place and everyone is so friendly and supportive, I love being part of it.

To find out more about befriending and learn about our upcoming training sessions in October, call 01772 629171, or click here.

Max is pictured with her husband Garry, her two sons and daughter, aged 24, 21 and 16

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Two of our Mill café volunteers, Rajesh Jinabhai and Frazana Crompton, will be cooking up a storm at this year’s Garstang Show – as they showcase two of their own recipes and use their love of food to support a worthy cause. Here, they explain how they got involved with St Catherine’s, why they enjoy volunteering […]

Garstang Show curry - Rajesh Jinabhai and Frazana Crompton (13)Two of our Mill café volunteers, Rajesh Jinabhai and Frazana Crompton, will be cooking up a storm at this year’s Garstang Show – as they showcase two of their own recipes and use their love of food to support a worthy cause.

Here, they explain how they got involved with St Catherine’s, why they enjoy volunteering so much, and what has inspired them to go beyond their usual duties for the show.

Fraz says:

Who would have thought that two years on from first volunteering for The Mill, I would be cooking an authentic curry for hundreds of people at this year’s Garstang Show with my new-found friend Raj?

Cooking is a passion for both of us, so this is really exciting! Our recipes are for a sweet potato, aubergine and pepper curry, and a chicken and mixed bean curry.

Raj has become a good friend during my time volunteering at The Mill – it’s wonderful to do this together in the name of such a good cause.

He has come up with the fantastic name of Fraj’s Kitchen for the occasion, and we’ll be working alongside The Mill Outside – the outside catering service of the café – with profits from the curries going to St Catherine’s.

Garstang Show curry - Rajesh Jinabhai and Frazana Crompton (8)I initially wanted to get involved with the charity after hearing of the wonderful care experienced by family of my friends. All of them have said that the overwhelming care and support they received was second to none.

So when I heard a few years ago that The Mill had opened within the hospice grounds and wanted volunteers, I thought why not give something back to this worthy and local charity?

It’s been a great way to challenge myself and experience something new. It also feels good to do something different from everyday life. It’s a great way of meeting lots of interesting people and making new friends.

Believe me, when I say no two days are the same, I mean it! There is never a dull moment, which is a good thing. It also feels good to do something different from everyday life.

Winston Churchill once said: “You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.”

And for me volunteering is just that.

Raj says:

Garstang Show curry - Rajesh Jinabhai and Frazana Crompton (11)My father was cared for by St Catherine’s and passed away peacefully here 21 years ago.

We have always been grateful for the support, treatment and compassionate care we experienced as a family, and for my father in the final days of this life.

He was so happy and peaceful, and these memories will always be cherished and never forgotten.

We have been visiting the hospice every year on his birthday, anniversary and for the Light Up A Life dedications, to pay our respects, prayers, and donate for this incredible charity.

So when I first visited The Mill when it initially opened and I heard they wanted volunteers, it was a no-brainer; this was an opportunity to give back to something close to my heart, to make new friends and help towards the mammoth yearly running costs of the hospice.

Working for The Mill is just a privilege and honour, as the end rewards just make me feel happy.

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St Catherine’s Hospice relies on the hard work and support of its team of more than 700 dedicated volunteers. They are at the heart of the Hospice and play an essential role in enabling us to provide the services we do.

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For just £1 you could win the jackpot of £2,000! And the best bit? All profits raised through the lottery are spent directly on patient care delivered by St Catherine's at the hospice in Lostock Hall and in communities across Central Lancashire.

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A St Catherine’s supporter is speaking out about his experience of the hospice from a gay man’s perspective, as he welcomes the charity’s campaign with Hospice UK to ‘Open Up’ hospice care to all. Steven Marsden-Lloyd is helping to spread the message that hospices are here to support the whole community – regardless of people’s […]

Peter and Steven Marsden-Lloyd (3)A St Catherine’s supporter is speaking out about his experience of the hospice from a gay man’s perspective, as he welcomes the charity’s campaign with Hospice UK to ‘Open Up’ hospice care to all.

Steven Marsden-Lloyd is helping to spread the message that hospices are here to support the whole community – regardless of people’s age, gender, illness, disability, ethnicity or sexuality.

It comes as new research revealed by Hospice UK found that LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people may experience barriers to palliative care.

The analysis highlights social determinants known to correlate with poor access to appropriate care – such as being single, not having children, or estrangement from one’s birth family – as potential obstacles, along with the real and perceived pressure to hide one’s true self. It found these challenges are also experienced by partners and spouses before and after bereavement.

Steven, who volunteers in the St Catherine’s gift shop and takes part in various fundraising events, experienced the ‘phenomenal’ and non-prejudicial support of the hospice last year, when his husband Peter was cared for in the inpatient unit.

Peter died aged 41 on 2nd August, after being diagnosed with renal cancer just three months earlier. Here, 45-year-old Steven explains how he felt like he couldn’t fully be his true self and offer Peter the emotional support he needed during those crucial few months – until the couple came to St Catherine’s Hospice.

Steven says:

When Peter was admitted to hospital he was put on a ward of males. I appreciate that this is the norm, but things became difficult as his condition developed.

The difficulties stared the morning he went for his surgery; he was very distressed and I felt I could not comfort him fully. I felt uncomfortable expressing our relationship in a room full of other males and their families.

Maybe they wouldn’t have cared, but it still felt incredibly uncomfortable. As a result, this one occasion now haunts me for not doing more to comfort Peter, as I had never seen him so scared and distressed.

As the days followed and we learnt the extremes of Peter’s condition, again I felt restricted to comforting both myself and Peter in a room full of others. This was the most horrendous time of our lives and I felt I couldn’t even do the simplest thing – to hold Peter.

Peter and Steven Marsden-LloydThis changed completely when we came to St Catherine’s. It’s really strange because until I learnt of Hospice UK’s findings in relation to gay people experiencing ‘barriers’ to accessing palliative and specialist end-of-life care, sexuality never even came in to my thoughts about Peter’s stay at the hospice.

From day one everything was about Peter’s care and nothing to do with his sexuality. He had his own privacy and this proved vital for the last few weeks of his life; it made such a huge difference to us as a couple. I got to spend all day, every day with him, holding his hand and doing all the normal things that anyone would do in that situation.

We even celebrated our second wedding anniversary at the hospice, and the amazing nurses decorated one of the family rooms and gave us a cake and bottle of prosecco.  I still get emotional now thinking about that incredible memory which the team at St Catherine’s helped create for us.

Throughout Peter’s stay in the hospice, I was treated respectfully as Peter’s husband, and not as a ‘gay’ couple. That’s why it’s quite worrying that some minority groups feel there are barriers to accessing hospice care. People can feel so vulnerable and alone during those difficult times, so it’s really concerning if they’re not getting access to that valuable support which we experienced.

I was initially quite frightened about the idea of Peter staying at a hospice; nobody had explained to me what palliative care is and I didn’t really understand that hospices aren’t just places where people go to die. I thought it would be gloomy and miserable; I had a very different impression of what St Catherine’s might be like before I came here.

The reality was the complete opposite of what I had expected – everyone was so welcoming and genuinely caring. They care for the whole family, not just the patient.

That’s why I think the Open Up campaign is brilliant. It’s helping to reach out to more people and communities, helping them to understand what hospices are really like, and raising awareness that they’re here for everybody, no matter what their background or circumstances.

I’m so glad that the last few weeks I got to spend Peter were filled with love, respect, and free from any prejudice. That’s why I love St Catherine’s to this day and want to do what I can to support the charity, so that the staff and volunteers can continue to give the same level of amazing care and support to other patients and their families.

Peter and Steven Marsden-Lloyd (6)

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St Catherine’s Hospice relies on the hard work and support of its team of more than 700 dedicated volunteers. They are at the heart of the Hospice and play an essential role in enabling us to provide the services we do.

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For just £1 you could win the jackpot of £2,000! And the best bit? All profits raised through the lottery are spent directly on patient care delivered by St Catherine's at the hospice in Lostock Hall and in communities across Central Lancashire.

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Hospice nurse Rosie Ingham has vowed to take on a running challenge after overcoming her fear of flying, in an effort to push her limits and make her children proud. Here, she explains what motivates her to run in support of St Catherine’s, and how training with fellow nurse Alison Dick can have unexpected outcomes! […]

IMG_4869Hospice nurse Rosie Ingham has vowed to take on a running challenge after overcoming her fear of flying, in an effort to push her limits and make her children proud. Here, she explains what motivates her to run in support of St Catherine’s, and how training with fellow nurse Alison Dick can have unexpected outcomes!

I absolutely love working at St Catherine’s alongside a great team to provide support and care to patients and their loved ones in such a difficult time. I am training for the Great North Run to raise much-needed funds for the hospice.

I have always been enthusiastic about sport and have always been passionate about running. I used to love PE sessions at school, spending the majority of my time training for tennis tournaments. I still like to get out for a run every now and then as it helps me to relax, unwind and makes me feel like I am keeping fit.

But as life gets busy, working full time whilst supporting a young family, I haven’t really had time to take part in many sporting activities in recent years, so my fitness levels are not at their best.

Last year was the first year I travelled abroad with my husband and three children, and was a big hurdle for me to get over my fear of flying. But the hospice nurses motivated me to do it and I was so happy that I had the opportunity to experience this and see a new part of the world with my family.

It was in November that I was sat down relaxing on holiday in Spain that I said to my husband, ‘What can I do next? I fancy doing a run or something!’ I get itchy feet a lot and always like to be doing something new.

20170205_164034Then I thought of my colleague Alison, who had just started the ‘Couch to 5k’ running challenge. She was always talking about it and updating me on her progress. Alison often tried to motivate me to get back into running, but due to some health concerns I have had difficulty getting back into full exercise.

So as a spare-of-the-moment decision, and after seeing an advert for the Great North Run, I messaged Alison and said ‘Fancy doing this to raise money for the hospice?’

It’s taken me a little while to get back up to my normal fitness levels, and Alison has been a great inspiration to me. She keeps reminding me to not go too fast or too far as I can get carried away, push myself and end up injured.

IMG_4865Since signing up to do the Great North Run, Alison and I occasionally go for a short or medium run after work, starting and finishing at the hospice; St Catherine’s Park and the nearby parks like Cuerden Valley are perfect for training! We have also been encouraging staff to join us if they wish to, and we also train separately.

The first time running together was a nice steady two miles around Lostock Hall; that was a good starting point for me. I think it was the third time we went running together that Alison so clearly said we were just going to do three miles, saying she knew a good route. Well nearly six miles later after missing a turn we managed to find our way back to St Catherine’s! But it was a nice detour, running off-road, passing the fields and horses, and it was a beautiful day. It was really funny, and it’s a running joke now that I don’t trust Alison with directions!

I can’t speak though, as I went for a run around Cuerden Valley and ended up getting very lost and couldn’t figure out my way back. I was due on an afternoon shift so the pressure was on to get back home and showered. I ended up doing just short of nine miles! I was walking a bit funny that evening, with very sore muscles!

I have been running when I have time after early shifts, before late shifts and sometimes in the evenings after the children have gone to bed, normally doing between three and six-mile runs, two to three times a week. I am still struggling with injuries, so I have been varying the exercise with swimming and walking, and doing plenty of stretches.

IMG_4826I have to grab the opportunities when I can as my husband and children have so many sporting activities themselves. My children actually suggested that we go running together, so I have been doing one-mile runs with the kids which has been great fun – lots of laughter! They love making shapes with the Strava Map on my phone.

The Strava app has been great for monitoring my progress with each run, and I think I am managing my timings and pace better now. I have recently re-joined the South Ribble Runners, who have been so welcoming and supportive, and I tend to go out with them once a week if I am not on duty.

I absolutely love running and I love the feeling of being free, and I find I can process all my thoughts and sometimes sort them out by the time I have finished running.

It’s a great feeling knowing that my efforts are helping to raise money and awareness for an amazing local charity too – I see the difference St Catherine’s makes to patients and their families, and am proud to be part of the team and support this wonderful cause.

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Become a Volunteer

St Catherine’s Hospice relies on the hard work and support of its team of more than 700 dedicated volunteers. They are at the heart of the Hospice and play an essential role in enabling us to provide the services we do.

Register your interest

Join Our Lottery

For just £1 you could win the jackpot of £2,000! And the best bit? All profits raised through the lottery are spent directly on patient care delivered by St Catherine's at the hospice in Lostock Hall and in communities across Central Lancashire.

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Alison Dick, who works in the hospice’s inpatient unit, is joining fellow nurse Rosie Ingham to take on the Great North Run in support of St Catherine’s. Here, she explains how she went from being a ‘couch potato’ to preparing for the half marathon in her 50th year. My running journey began in 2015. I […]

Screenshot_20170406-153437Alison Dick, who works in the hospice’s inpatient unit, is joining fellow nurse Rosie Ingham to take on the Great North Run in support of St Catherine’s. Here, she explains how she went from being a ‘couch potato’ to preparing for the half marathon in her 50th year.

My running journey began in 2015. I had never run before and had done no formal exercise for 10 years. I had an operation in May 2015, and afterwards in a bid to fix my mind and body, I decided to do the ‘Change for Life Couch to 5k’ challenge.

It encourages you to build up your running over eight weeks to build stamina and be able to run for 30 minutes at the end of the challenge.

I really enjoyed it and haven’t stopped running since! I ran on my own all through the winter of 2015, going out two or three times a week for about 30 to 45 minutes, sometimes feeling vulnerable running in the cold, dark nights alone.

20170205_164034My nurse colleague Rosie had done some running previously herself, and last year she sent me a message asking if I fancied taking part in the Great North Run. I had seen it on TV and liked the look of the atmosphere, and as I turn 50 in October this year, it seemed like a good time and an ideal opportunity to really challenge myself.

I joined a running club late last year so that I no longer have to run in the cold and dark on my own. I go out once a week with the club (shifts permitting) and a couple of times on my own during the day time. I do two shorter runs – up to five miles – then a bigger one, usually about 10 miles. I have made loads of new friends in my running club too.

20170309_112400Rosie and I run together some of the time after work. Once I told Rosie that I would lead and take us on a little three-mile run, but I took a wrong turn and 5.7 miles later we were finally back at the hospice! That really made us giggle, and at least it helped to build up the miles!

I have entered quite a few 5k and 10k races but the Great North Run in September will be my first half marathon. I know I will do it. I have had a few blisters and black toe nails and an aching right leg, but I am still really enthused by the good I will be doing.

Running makes me feel alive and very thankful that I am able to run and breathe in the fresh air, which is not a luxury many of our patients can experience at this stage in their life. I am doing the run not only to challenge myself but to support St Catherine’s and be an advocate for our hospice. I believe in all we do here and that we should lead by example in being ambassadors of being here when it matters most.

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Become a Volunteer

St Catherine’s Hospice relies on the hard work and support of its team of more than 700 dedicated volunteers. They are at the heart of the Hospice and play an essential role in enabling us to provide the services we do.

Register your interest

Join Our Lottery

For just £1 you could win the jackpot of £2,000! And the best bit? All profits raised through the lottery are spent directly on patient care delivered by St Catherine's at the hospice in Lostock Hall and in communities across Central Lancashire.

Play Lottery

Take a look around

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