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A gift for Christmas


For those who lose a loved one over the festive season, it can be a painful time that may bring sad memories during Christmases to come.

Because of this, at Hospiscare, everyone works especially hard to make sure patients and their families make the most of the time they have and to create precious memories to reflect on for the future.


Jacqui’s story

Jacqui is a volunteer at Hospiscare.  But last Christmas, she experienced Hospiscare from a very different perspective.

Last December, Jacqui’s mother-in-law, Marion, was diagnosed with cancer. Just a couple of weeks later, she was admitted to the hospice at Searle House.


Jacqui at ChristmasJacqui was already a volunteer at Hospiscare

“Two weeks after Marion was diagnosed, she started to go downhill really quickly.” 

“She lost a great deal of weight, and was on strong drugs which made her drowsy and confused. The change was shocking. The Community Nurses from the hospice came to see her, and it was they who arranged for her to be admitted to the hospice when she needed constant nursing.

“Everyone at the hospice was lovely, and so kind. One afternoon while Marion was sleeping, my sister-in-law Louise and I offered to dress the Christmas tree in the ward.  It was lovely to do something so normal, to be able to lighten the atmosphere and have fun. 

Neil, one of the nurses, has a wicked sense of humour and he encouraged us to blow up a rubber glove and put it at the top of the tree like a star, which made the nurses giggle. Marion would have loved it.  The last thing she would have wanted was people sitting mournfully around her bed.  Being normal made it easier for us too.

“Marion was admitted on Thursday 14 December. Just two days later, Marion passed away. 

“We thought we would have one final Christmas together. The end came unexpectedly quickly.”

“Marion was treated with great dignity and respect. We could sit with her for as long as we wanted. It was very peaceful, and later we sat together in a quiet room where we tried to come to terms with what had just happened.  The nurses kept checking on us to see if there was anything that we needed. After that, it all becomes a bit of a blur…

“The hospice is such a special place.  I’m so thankful that even with all the pressure on our healthcare systems last winter, there was space for Marion to spend her last days in a peaceful place, with nurses who made time both for her and for us.

Jacqui and Louise decorating the Christmas tree at the hospiceJacqui and Louise decorating the tree at Searle House 

“Our family witnessed the pressure on Hospiscare’s doctors and nurses, working so hard to make sure that everyone would be in a safe place for Christmas, with all the care and attention that they needed. We want this brilliant local charity to be here for every other family who need it too. We hope that you agree, and if you could make a gift – no matter how small – it would mean a great deal. I know they would put it to good use to help other families make the best of those last precious days together as they did ours.

Could you help others this Christmas?

You can read more about Christmas at Hospiscare here, or if you feel able to do so, please use the form below to make a donation to support families like Jacqui's. 

Or, could you make an extra special gift this Christmas?

“One of the best ways to support Hospiscare is by setting up a regular gift, by Direct Debit. Giving regularly in this way not only helps to fund patient care today, but allows the hospice to plan for the future with a little more certainty. If you would like to help in this way, then please click here.”


Make a donation

If you'd like to help other local people get the care they need this festive season, please make a one-off donation below. Thank you so much for your support. 



Click here to read more about Christmas at Hospiscare