I have cancer – but it doesn’t have me – and the hospice has helped me to realise that.
I look forward to my visits here so much, my hospice days are my best days of the week.
They understand me and how I feel and the therapies they provide leave me feeling like a new person every time. They saved my sanity and I know I wouldn’t still be here without them.
Porters are an integral part of the team here at the hospice. On a daily basis they come in to contact with patients, families, staff and volunteers. From picking up patients from their homes to take them to the hospice for Day Services, to covering reception, the job of a porter is incredibly varied.
Gilby Morrison is a porter at the hospice. He tells us a little about his role.
“As a Porter, I work across all departments of the Hospice. My job is really varied and no two days are the same.
At the start of each day, I cover reception for two hours. Three days a week we collect patients from their homes to bring them to the hospice for Day Services, and then drive them home at night.
We often have to transfer a patient from hospital or home to the hospice. In between times we carry out general portering duties.
The best part of my job is looking after the patients and their families for the short time they are in my care and working with a good team of workers.
It means a great deal to me to work at the hospice, getting to care for so many folk and helping them in any way I can. If I can bring a smile to their face then it’s a very rewarding day.”
When Tommy Easton's brother was diagnosed with life-limiting cancer there was only one place he knew Eddie would get the care and attention he needed.
"The hospice is a wonderful place, it is all about the care and attention to detail, the dignity they give people."
"It wasn't just the care and attention for Eddie, it was the whole family and the way everyone was treated," says Tommy.
Now Tommy and his family are keeping Eddie's memory alive through vital fundraising for our Brick by Brick Appeal.
Through his company VR Construction in Hillington, Tommy has pledged to raise the £60,000 needed to buy a patient en-suite bedroom in the new hospice. After a golf day late last year at Dundonald golf course in Irvine, which he thought would raise £15,000 but actually brought in £27,000, he is nearly half-way to his target already.
His fundraising will provide a lasting memory of Eddie, a carefree man, full of life who will always be remembered by friends and family as being the life and soul of the party.
Thank you Tommy for all your support!
When Bobbi MacIntyre is asked to think back on the happiest memories she has of her Gran, she smiles warmly and says she doesn't know where to start, as she has so many.
The 12-year-old from Giffnock was very close to her Gran, Mary Ashmead, and devastated when she died of cancer five years ago.
Thanks to the help and support of the Butterfly Project, Bobbi learned how to cope with her grief and channel it into positive feelings.
"When I came in at first I thought, 'Oh, I don't know'," remembers Bobbi. "I didn't think it was going to help. I thought it was just going to be talking about things, but it really helped me so much.
"Obviously I'm going to miss my Gran still, but it has made such a difference."
Every Monday after school for a couple of months after Mary died, Bobbi and her mum Donna visited the hospice. While the children - every one of them with a relative suffering from life-threatening or life-limiting illness - took part in group activities, the parents had a chance to talk.
"We made a salt jar with salt and chalk and every colour represented something about the person we had lost," says Bobbi, a pupil at St Ninian's High School in Giffnock.
"I chose brown for my Gran's hair, pink for her dressing gown, purple for her slippers and green for her eyes.
"It helped me a lot. It just gave me hope that I would be able to cope without Gran, and it gave my mum hope.
"If other children don't think it will help by coming in to the project I would say that's what I thought - but when I came in it was totally different. Don't make your mind up until you try it, because it works."
Mary only had a short time after her diagnosis, and she encouraged her daughter Donna to talk to doctors and staff.
It was on one of these visits when Donna heard about plans to set up the Butterfly Project. Donna says she was concerned because Bobbi, who was only seven at the time, was so young when she lost her Gran. "I thought, what about the kids? It's hard enough for us to work our way through it but how will Bobbi cope?" explains Donna.
"Kids are often forgotten about but they have feelings. They get confused, upset and angry. My concern was what was there for them?"
Not only has the project helped Bobbi cope with her grief, she has passed on the experiences to come to the assistance of friends who have lost a relative.
"We can't take the pain away. We still feel her loss all the time and always will, but we've used that experience to try and help others," says Donna proudly. "It's not something you can teach.
"What I saw with the kids is that unspoken thing, they just know how each other feels. They understand without having to go into a big explantation about it."
Meet Jamie Gallen, he discovered his artistic talent at the hospice's Outpatient Service.
He was encouraged to get creative after attending our Day Services. The former gas engineer admits he had been surprised to discover his once hidden artistic talent. He said: “When I was diagnosed with cancer I was asked if I wanted to come to the hospice. I walked into the art room one day because I wanted to see what was going on and the staff encouraged me to paint.”
Jeni Pearson, our Artist Practitioner, first persuaded Jamie to pick up a paintbrush. She said: “He is very, very talented. I love his paintings. Since I’ve been working with Jamie I’ve seen him grow in confidence. He’s just amazing, really inspiring.”
Jamie continued: “I really just want to show people that you don’t just go into hospices to die. You can still have a life if you want to.”
“I used to try sketching with a pencil and a bit of paper for my kids but I wasn’t very good. Drawing is definitely not my thing. Oil painting seems to suit me though. I just fell in love with it. It makes me feel at peace. I feel as if I’m doing something with my life rather than just lying down waiting.”
I’m Lisa and I am the Reception Services Coordinator here at the hospice.
I am the first point of contact for people visiting and it is my job to attend to everyone when they come in. An average day in the hospice is very busy, with reception a constant hub of activity. I work alongside another member of the reception team, and at certain points of the day a volunteer, and between us we do our very best to provide gold-star service to each and every visitor to the hospice.
I love working in a busy and challenging environment. No day is ever the same and I really enjoy interacting with all the different staff members, visitors and patients. I really enjoy being in a job that feels worthwhile and that I am contributing towards sustaining the high levels of care that the hospice offers.
It means a great deal to me that most of the people and their families that I meet are experiencing a very difficult moment in their life at that point and I do my best to make this time easier in any way I can. Whether it is something I can say or do or simply my manner.
Most of all though, I feel very proud to work for the hospice because of the amazing work and care that is provided to its patients and their families. I have unfortunately experienced it first-hand so know how important it can be, which makes me very proud to be part of the team.