"I'm Channon, I'm the Community Fundraiser at Teesside Hospice and I always get asked what made me work for a charity and how I got into fundraising, so I thought I’d share my story.
Teesside Hospice is very close to my heart, and they are an amazing place because they put their heart and love at the centre of everything they do. As surprising as it is to some people, the hospice is about life and not death.
I first came into contact with Teesside Hospice in February 2017. My Mum had been terminally ill for a while but her illness progressed. She had COPD and Lung Fibrosis. Karen, her community nurse, suggested my Mum access Teesside Hospice and made the referral. I was terrified, I didn’t want her to go. I thought it meant she was going to die and that it would be a scary place. I couldn’t of been more wrong.
I came with my Mum for her first time, to the day centre group ‘Be In Charge’. I found a place my Mum felt comfortable and safe. She made connections and friends with people in similar situations. I found a place that celebrated life and focused on creating experiences to make memories that would last a lifetime. My Mum attend the hospice regularly, twice a week, and looked forward to going, I regularly attended with her, and also brought along my 11 month old baby. I now cherish the memories I got to make there with My Mum and Florence.
My Mum also had care to help manage her pain, and be comfortable. The whole family were welcome anytime and it became a home from home to my whole family. My Mum’s time at the hospice allowed her to stay at home with her family for longer, but also ensured she was happy and pain free at the same time. I always remember my Mum happy and laughing. I don’t remember her in pain or sad in the last days of her life. I believe this was down to the help and support she had received from the hospice.
The hospice and the staff their arranged for my Mum and her partner to have a vow renewal ceremony at the hospice. It was absolutely beautiful, they arranged flowers, food and decorations. When I think of this day, I honestly can’t believe the length the hospice went to create this moment and the photos from the day are among some the favourites I have of my Mum.
On 27th January 2018, my Mum lost her battle and she passed away peacefully holding my hand. When I look back now, I honestly don’t know how I’d have coped or got through this without the hospice and the amazing people who worked there.
Around a week after my Mum’s funeral I received a book within my Mum’s possessions, it was something the day hospice staff had helped my Mum complete and it was filled with stories about hers and my life for my daughter. It’s the little things like this that make the hospice so important.
It wasn’t until after my Mum passed that I realised that the hospice was not fully funded, and they had to raise £7000 per day to keep the hospice and their amazing services running.
Losing a loved one is one of the single most difficult times someone can face. I now work at Teesside Hospice as their Community Fundraiser and I love being part of something that I know will make such a difference to the people of Teesside. I love that I’m working to ensure that people can have the same loving experience and memories that I was fortunate enough to have."
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