We recently met with Sandra, who came to the Hospice in 2022 to be supported by the Wellbeing Team to reach her goals. Here, Sandra shares her experience with us.

“I was housebound for six years and my COPD Nurse came to visit me yearly. One time I spoke to them about wanting to get out of the house. They suggested the Hospice’s Wellbeing Programme and said they would put me in touch. That’s where my journey began.

“I was in a wheelchair and I couldn’t walk more than 20 steps and back again, so coming to the Hospice at first meant my anxiety was through the roof. There was no way I could get in a taxi, so Paul, the Wellbeing Driver, used to pick me up and bring me in. I spoke to Colin and Louise in the Wellbeing Team and I said I have two goals, I wanted my life back and I wanted to get a taxi and walk into a café on my own.

“The Wellbeing Programme has really helped with my anxiety and keeping me mobile which is so important to me. I practice some of things I learnt such as Tai Chi and the methods of how to deal with anxiety at home everyday, which really helps.”

Colin, Wellbeing Assistant, adds “From the very beginning of her referral, Sandra had a growing determination and the biggest dollop of bravery. Sandra was always clear on her goals and over two years Sandra was supported by a team including Wellbeing Assistants, Hospice Transport, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists and Community Action Volunteers.”

Lisa, a Community Action Volunteer who has been matched with Sandra to offer light touch support, said; “We go for walks around the Old Town. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know Sandra. We also catch up every week at Thursday Coffee Stop at the Hospice.”

Sandra continues “The week before Christmas for the first time ever, I got a taxi on my own. I went to a garden centre and walked around, got a coffee and came home again. I reached my goal. I never ever thought I’d do that. Going on my own was such a big thing for me, it felt so good! I have a lot to thank Colin, Louise and my Community Action Volunteer Lisa for.

“When it came to the end of my sessions with the Wellbeing Programme I thought, what on earth am I going to do? But then I thought, I’ve got to come along to Thursday Coffee Stop at the Hospice and I’ve been coming to that every week with Lisa. I’m glad I come along as I don’t know if I’d have gone backwards if I didn’t. You only have to have a couple of days without moving about with COPD before your breathing gets worse. It’s my support place and gives me something to look forward to every week. Everyone is lovely here.

“A big thank you to the Hospice because without it, I don’t think I would have achieved my goal. I asked Louise so many questions before but as soon as you get here, the worry just melts away. Everyone is so kind.”

Sandra’s story is inspirational to all of us and we would like to thank her for sharing it.

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