A health and safety officer at St Catherine’s is taking advantage of the hospice’s Wills Week, after experiencing the ‘amazing care’ offered to her own family by the charity.
Sue Doran has seen first-hand how the hospice provides specialist care and support to patients and families during her five years with the organisation.
But after her own father, Trevor Hampton, experienced the compassionate care of the staff and volunteers, she came to understand what a truly meaningful difference the hospice makes to local people when they need it most.
Now, after putting it off for years, she’s vowed to write a will through the charity’s Wills Week campaign during November 13 – 17, which sees a host of local solicitors waive their will-writing fees in return for a donation to the Lostock Hall hospice.
Sue, a mum-of-two from Hoghton, explained: “I’ve been conscious for a while that I really need to get my affairs in order, but it’s just one of those things that you keep putting off because you don’t necessarily see the results straight away. It’s like buying new tyres for your car; it’s not something you particularly want to spend your money on, but it’s really important and gives you that peace of mind that everything is sorted.
“After my dad died in April this year, it also made me realise how much I appreciated that he’d made a will, because it gave the family one less thing to worry or stress about at a very difficult time. You know your loved ones will benefit in the future, so that’s enough of an incentive to get the job done.”
Sue first came into contact with St Catherine’s when her friend was cared for in the inpatient unit, and she decided she wanted to get involved with the cause. Shortly afterwards, the position of health and safety officer became available and she successfully applied for the job.
“I’ve always had empathy for the families supported by St Catherine’s,” she added. “But you really can’t imagine what they’re going through properly until you go through it yourself – that’s when you start to appreciate just how brilliant the service is.
“My dad attended Day Therapy, was cared for at home by the Clinical Nurse Specialists, spent time in the inpatient unit, and was then helped by the Family Support Team to move in to a care home. Everywhere we turned, we received amazing support.
“It just made me want to do my bit for the hospice even more, and taking part in Wills Week seems such a simple and valuable way of doing this. It means I can tick the job off my list, and one hundred per cent of my donation will go towards funding patient care at St Catherine’s. It’s such a great idea and very generous of the solicitors to support the scheme.”
Solicitors from across Preston, Chorley and South Ribble have teamed up with the charity for this year’s Wills Week campaign, which last year raised enough funds to cover the cost of a nurse for a year.
Lorraine Charlesworth, director of community and income at St Catherine’s, said: “Writing a will ensures that your wishes are formally recorded and your loved ones are taken care of. It doesn’t just cover finances and property, but also legal guardians for your children, funeral arrangements, and any donations you’d like to leave to charity.
“Our team of solicitors are on hand to offer their expert advice, and people taking advantage of Wills Week benefit from this professional service at a discounted rate, whilst enjoying the satisfaction that their donation will help St Catherine’s to continue offering specialist palliative and end-of-life care to local people, helping them to have quality of life, to the end of life.
“We’re so grateful to all of the solicitors and everyone who has made an appointment for the week of November 13 – 17 so far, and I’d really urge anyone thinking about making a will to get in touch and request an information pack to find out more about this really unique and worthwhile initiative.”