This year’s Hospice Care Week (8-14 October) is all about celebrating the extraordinary work that hospices do at the heart of their communities.

We are marking the week by telling the stories of the real people of Brighton & Hove who work for, support or receive care from the hospice.  It’s an opportunity to inspire people from across the city to get involved with our charity, whether that’s by giving their time, donating or simply by showing their appreciation for our work on social media.

Retired Infant School Teacher and hospice volunteer Robina Williams visits patients with her Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Topsy and Jacob, it’s a role she’s enjoyed for 28 years.  She said, “I think it gives people a sense of normality, having a dog to stroke, it really is a source of comfort for some people.  Sometimes I have to lift the dogs up, so that a patient can reach them, and they’ll be given a little lick.  That is what’s so nice about Martlets; they allow people to be people and not just patients.”

Occupational Therapist Heidi Pession and Physiotherapist Ruth Edwards work in our Rehabilitation Team.  Heidi said, “We treat each person in a holistic way, focusing on their main wishes and goals and help them to adapt to the changes in their lives. I feel privileged to work at Martlets; helping to give hope in the face of adversity is humbling.”

Ruth added, “In Palliative Care you have to think outside of the box; I never know from one day to the next what I might be dealing with which is something I love.  One day I could be helping a wheelchair-bound lady try on her wedding dress and the next I might be helping a patient relearn to walk. 

“One of the best things about my job is when patients gain enough confidence to start going out and about and reconnecting with the things they enjoy.  There is something very special about being involved with patients and their families at this stage of their lives and being able to empower them to do as much as they can every day.”

Our CEO Imelda Glackin said, “You can’t miss our giant Snails, which are currently dotted around the city.  I think they’re a very tangible representation of everything that Martlets is about.  Like the Snails, our amazing team, wonderful volunteers and supporters are in every corner of the community; enabling people to still feel hope, purpose and possibility.

“They work tirelessly to support our patients, their families and friends across Brighton & Hove and the surrounding areas.  Their dedication, care and humanity are totally inspirational.

“Hospice care is all about living life and enjoying every moment.  Thanks to you, our team is right at the heart of the community doing just that.”