Help hospice to make it a special Mother’s Day

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Sisters Sarah and Mel Plant, are asking people across Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire to join them in helping to raise vital funds to support a local hospice.

Every year Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice in Moggerhanger cares for more than 1,000 people living with life-limiting conditions, through a range of services, so that people can have choice and control over how and where they receive their care.

All the services provided by the hospice are completely free to patients and their loved ones, but it costs the hospice £7,500 every day to keep its doors open. Only part of these costs is covered by statutory funds while more than 50% is covered by voluntary donations. The hospice’s Mother’s Day appeal helps to ensure it has enough funds to continue to be here when people need it most.

Sarah, 41 and Mel, 38, know too well how important the work of the hospice is.

‘“It’s been over a year since my sister Mel and I lost our mum, Veronica. Mum was diagnosed with gall bladder cancer in 2014. The diagnosis was a complete shock and we both felt angry, heartbroken and lost.

“Mum’s decline was rapid, and when the dreaded word ‘hospice’ was mentioned, we tried to deny what was to come. We were unsure what to expect on my first visit to see mum but as I pulled up into the grounds the beautiful gardens surrounding the hospice, the friendly smile as you walk to reception and the attention received from the staff who could not do enough for Mum, immediately put me at ease. It felt like Mum was in the right place.

“When we received the news that mum only had days left, my sister and I decided we did not want to leave and spent her last few days next to her. For four nights we stayed by her side in the hospice; stayed up chatting and talking about everything you could think of, now and again getting a nod or a smile from mum. The nurses could not do enough. They made sure we had enough bedding, offering cups of tea (even glasses of wine) biscuits, letting us play music and read to her. The last week spent at St John’s will always stay with us, and I manage to look back now and smile at the time that we spent there. We all laughed, got angry, got upset and we cried, but most importantly it allowed the family to be together and spend those last few precious days with her.”

About Mother’s Day, Mel said: “It’s very difficult to see the messages and posts about people celebrating their mum and families out together enjoying the day. Something I wish we could still do. I have my own daughter but losing our mum has been the hardest thing in our lives.

Nowadays we tend to spend the day together reflecting and remembering all the good memories I have of our mum and turn the day into a positive. I would give anything for just one more day with my mum.”

Sarah added: “Mother’s Day is a mixture of emotions; it feels longer than a day because you have the lead up to it, the adverts, the cards and banners all shouting about Mother’s Day. On the day I just miss mum so much, the whole day reminds me of how great a Mother she was and how much she really did love us. Mum was our only family member left as our Dad passed away when we were younger. We want to say appreciate your family, love them and remember to be kind to each other you never know when they can be taken from you.”

If you would like to ensure that other people like Sarah and Mel can access hospice care when most needed, please support the appeal with a donation. You can:

>Make a donation online at www.sueryder.o rg/stjohns/mother

>Send a cheque to Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice, St John’s Road, Moggerhanger, Bedford, MK44 3RJ- Call the fundraising team on 01767 642412We want to be here for every family who needs us at such difficult times.

>£14 could pay for an hour of incredible care on Mother’s Day;

>£35 can pay for a complementary therapy session helping to alleviate symptoms such as anxiety, breathlessness, pain and feeling sick;

>£50 can pay for one session of bereavement counselling for someone struggling to cope with the loss of a loved one;great to be working with Sue Ryder St John’s for the eight years.”

To donate visit: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/miller27