“It’s emotional to see my sister’s name on her yellow ribbon, but it’s such a special way to remember her.”
Each year, Cathy Kershaw ties a yellow ribbon in the grounds of St Catherine’s Hospice in honour of her sister Julie Telford, who was cared for on the hospice’s inpatient unit in July 2016, aged 48.
Cathy, from Hoghton, said: “I tie ribbons in memory of Julie and other family members, so it’s nice to remember them all together in this way each year.
“Julie came to the hospice after being diagnosed with breast cancer. The care was so personal to her and the staff were fabulous – we couldn’t have asked for more. Julie was very comfortable and relaxed, and they were wonderful with the whole family.
“It’s nice to be able to come back to St Catherine’s and support the hospice whilst remembering my loved ones. I don’t think people realise just how fantastic the care is and how much support the charity needs until they experience it themselves. I just want to do my part.”
Hundreds of Yellow Ribbon Dedications decorate the beautiful grounds of St Catherine’s Park in Lostock Hall in the run-up to the charity’s Yellow Day garden fete, which this year takes place on Sunday June 23.
Funds raised from the dedications go towards the specialist palliative and end-of-life care provided by St Catherine’s at the hospice and in people’s own homes, as well as the emotional support offered to patients and their families from diagnosis to bereavement.
Cathy’s auntie Christine Jones, also from Hoghton, makes a yellow ribbon dedication in memory of her husband Gordon, who received care from the St Catherine’s Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS) home up until his death in November 2016.
Gordon had bowl cancer for four years, and was able to spend his final months at home where he wanted to be, thanks to the support of the CNS team.
“It was a very hard year because we lost both Julie and Gordon in the space of a few months,” Christine said. “I started attending the St Catherine’s bereavement support group which I found really helpful. Being able to speak with others who were going through something similar meant I didn’t feel like I was going through it on my own.
“Making a yellow ribbon dedication helps me to feel close to Gordon. St Catherine’s is our charity and it means a lot to us.”
Lorraine Charlesworth, director of community and income at the hospice, said: “The yellow ribbons provide a beautiful backdrop to our summer events, and brighten up our glorious grounds which are enjoyed by patients, visitors, volunteers and staff.
“The dedications also provide a meaningful opportunity for members of our community to pay tribute to their loved ones, whether they have a connection with St Catherine’s or not. The names of those being remembered are entered into a special Yellow Ribbon Remembrance Book, which is available to view in the hospice’s chapel all year round and at Yellow Day.
“This year, we’re also sending out personal yellow ribbon pins to our supporters to wear or have as a keepsake. Funds raised in this way enable us to continue offering care and support to local people affected by conditions like cancer, motor neurone disease and heart failure. We simply wouldn’t be able to help them experience quality of life to the end of life, without the wonderful support of our communities.”
To make a Yellow Ribbon Dedication with St Catherine’s Hospice, please click here or call 01772 629171.