Here, Aimee Dawe talks about the care her Mum received from St. Margaret’s Hospice, and the impact this had on their family, enabling them to say goodbye in the best way possible.

My Mum was cared for by St. Margaret's only for a very short time, but the impact that the care had on the last hours of her life was immense. The hospice made a horrible time so much more bearable for her, and for all of our family.

When talking to Mum about end of life care we had always been dismissive of hospice care, grouping it with hospital care, which was something Mum really did not want. However, we severely underestimated how difficult it would be to care for Mum at home in those last weeks and days. We cared for her at home for as long as possible, using district nurses as amazing support. But hospice care finally became our best option, allowing us to say a proper goodbye to Mum, in a safe, peaceful, and calm environment. 

Without St. Margaret's we would probably have continued to try and care for Mum at home. I think this would have been hugely stressful and traumatic for all of us, and I'm certain her last moments would not have been the peaceful experience they were.

From the minute we arrived at the hospice I felt so much calmer. Mum was a little distressed at first but being in a peaceful room, large enough for all her children and grandchildren to be around her, soon calmed her. The staff were all, without exception, incredible. They were so kind and caring and understanding of our needs, and kept us so well-informed to ensure we were there for Mum's last moments. 

The care of St. Margaret's honestly meant the world to all of us. We were able to say goodbye to our Mum in such a lovely environment where she was made as comfortable as possible and had all the support she needed. The staff also provided amazing support to all of the family, which really helped at such a difficult time.

Over the last couple of years, I have run a 10K and taken part in a 10K assault course run to raise money for the hospice, and I have plans to do more fundraising soon. It's so important to raise funds for St. Margaret's Hospice so that they can continue to provide amazing help and support to other families like ours. I know my Mum would approve and taking part in these activities always makes me feel closer to her.