Bev is a Hospice Day Service volunteer and an important part of the Forget Me Not campaign. Here, Bev explains why she first began supporting Hospice in the Weald and why she continues to volunteer…
“I first became involved with Hospice in the Weald when my mother was a patient. My mother, Joy, was a retired nurse, and incredibly proud to have worked for the NHS when it was first created. When she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, she moved out of her home in South London to a local nursing home. After taking early retirement to spend more time with her, I was able to visit daily, which was lovely to be able to do.
My first contact with the Hospice was when the wonderful nurses from the Hospice in the Home team came to visit my mother. They would arrive smiling and caring and always brightening up the day. Their level of care,
knowledge and support for my mother, my sister and me was truly invaluable in those emotionally difficult days, and we will be forever grateful. It was through some creative memory work that my mother did with Nell, Head of Hospice Day Service, that I learnt about the other parts of the Hospice and I became involved as a volunteer with Hospice Day Service in 2015. I now volunteer once a week as a Creative Arts Volunteer, allowing me to use all my experience and creativity to help support patients and their families.
As a Creative Arts volunteer I help patients create art or craft, sometimes on individual or personal projects or on a group activity. It is through this volunteering that I became involved in the Forget Me Not campaign, now in its third year.
“The wonderful nurses from the Hospice in the Home team came to visit my mother, they would arrive smiling, caring and always brightening up the day.”
The wonderful thing about the Forget Me Not flowers is that it brings together the best and most poignant things about the Hospice to create something very special. The patients are at the heart of the campaign, with everyone – their families, the staff, volunteers and people in our community whose loved ones have died at the Hospice – all coming together to remember them and create something unique. It is so moving to see people making Forget Me Not flowers; loved ones that have died are so obviously at the forefront of their minds and you really can see them thinking about the person that is important to them. Their expressions and the conversations that happen in the sessions are incredibly touching. This is what makes each unique Forget Me Not flower we create so very special and made with much love. I have seen the Forget Me Not campaign grow and change, and it has been a privilege to be a part of it.”