Hospice Hero Helen Stone and her work in our Peter GIllam Support Centre

November 2020

Each Friday we bring you a Hospice Hero.

Helen Stone has been the Peter Gillam Support Leader since 2011, having previously covered the role during her time on the in-patient.

She picks the story in her own words:

It is a place where patients can come and meet with others in similar situations, learn new skills or just relax. I enjoy building up relationships with the patients and their families. Often when I meet them it is the first time they have walked into a hospice, often they are scared to what this will be like and to be able to facilitate helping them to see what we can offer is really rewarding.

I implemented the rehabilitative palliative care model into the centre a couple of years ago, this is focused around asking the patient ‘what matters to you?’ and from this I will work out some goals for patients to work towards, assessing what is preventing them from doing these things currently and working on helping the patient to achieve their goals alongside the other hospice teams.

Seeing patients build up confidence and resilience is amazing, whether within the social group or doing an activity they never thought they would be able to do. Being able to spend 1:1 time with the patients providing emotional support and helping with symptom issues is again very rewarding. I really enjoy meeting the people that come to the centre and working with them in the way that works for them!

It was so sad to have to stop people from coming into the centre in March because of the Covid-19 pandemic, knowing how much it means to those that come and their families. I found it really hard walking into the centre being empty and quiet when it would normally be filled with chatter and laughter. However, I have been able to keep the support going with organising the volunteers to provide phone support to the patients and working with others in the team to provide activity packs which we deliver once a month. The centre would not work without the team around me – health care support workers and the volunteers – they are my hero’s!
During this time I have been also working in other roles in the hospice. I remain passionate about the provision of palliative day services and the development of the Peter Gillam Support Centre once we are able to return to meeting in the hospice once again.

 

Helen, you truly are a Hospice Hero, thank you!

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