Some of our patients were happy to share their stories with us to support those who might want to access our services.
Paul has no local family support and had become very isolated following his COPD diagnosis. Although he had the help of a good friend, Paul felt he just needed something different as he found the logistics of getting out and about while needing mobile oxygen, just too difficult.
During a Monday session at the Hospice, Paul is transported by taxi from his home and spends a day at the Hospice, where he attends group chair-based exercise sessions, peer to peer support sessions and has reiki & massage treatments, which he finds helpful and enjoyable. At lunch he is able to chat with other patients and he also has a one-to one session with a nurse which allows him to discuss pain and management of his symptoms.
Paul feels that attending the hospice is ‘life affirming’. He says, “it stops me feeling, ‘woe is me’, helping me with my depression by improving my sociability but also I leave feeling more positive as I can also support others with similar conditions to my own”
Moving forward Paul is hoping to attend the Bedfordshire & Luton Recovery college which provides courses, workshops and support on mental health well being and recovery for people who may want to return to work.
Kirstie self-referred to the Hospice as she felt she wanted to be around others in a safe haven while she was still waiting for an operation. Kirstie attended the Hospice whilst undergoing her treatment and although it was tough some days, she said “I felt like I had a group of researchers around me with lots of useful information”, so I knew what to expect and could get support, nursing care and advice when I needed it”.
Kirstie found that the weekly education part of the programme provided all the information she needed, but in bite sized chunks, making it easier to understand and useful in helping to deal with the side effects of treatments such as fatigue. Later in her treatment Kirstie also found the chair-based exercises and holistic treatments both helpful and relaxing after her operation.
Kirstie says that attending the Hospice “gave me a much better understanding of my situation. I was able to share with others, in a warm and compassionate environment, enabling me to move forward following my treatment”
During one of her Tuesday sessions, Kirstie saw an advert at the Hospice for a driving job and decided to apply. We are very grateful she did and regularly see Kirstie back at the Hospice now she has completed her 12-week programme, picking up donations and making deliveries for our Hospice shops in Bedford, Kempston and Biggleswade. She has also been back and attended a 6-week HOPE course here at the Hospice each Friday, where she can catch up with friends she has made while attending the Hospice.