The difference we make together

Just some of the unique stories and experiences from those who have been touched by our work.

How our care and support has made a difference to local families

Each year we help hundreds of local people to live life their way, and our personalised care and support focuses on what matters most to the individuals using our services. Here, we share just some of the unique stories and experiences from those who have been touched by our work.

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Mrs Todd

Here, Caroline Wilson from Crayke, near York, shares her experience of the care we provided to her much-loved Grandma, Mrs Todd, who died in July last year, aged 91.

Caroline said: “My Grandma was a massive part of my life. Like a second mum to me, she would always be there to chat to, sharing her wisdom and perspective in a way that made me feel calm and supported.

“Growing up behind the farm where she lived, my sister and I would potter across the field and pop in for a cup of tea. Grandma would always say yes when we wanted a special treat or to go out for the day.

“She had an incredible work ethic, always keeping on top of the accounts for the family farm, and even totting up the figures on her 90th birthday, saying it was “her living!”

Nonetheless, she’d always be sure to remind me when I needed to treat myself in between balancing my work and my small children.

“Grandma was a fantastic supporter of local businesses and gave years of loyal custom to Lewis & Cooper of Northallerton, who kept her stocked up with her groceries, and Pennita’s of Helmsley, who always kitted her out with the most wonderfully glamourous clothes.

“She was an absolute powerhouse of a woman and a real tough cookie, but she never failed to put her family first and make time for us when we needed her. She was so good at forming genuine connections with people and putting them at ease.

“During the pandemic, my family and I including my aunties, uncle and dad rotated caring for Grandma round the clock and made sure she was never alone. In her last days though, helping Grandma move around became difficult and we didn’t want to hurt her without the correct technique.

“Herriot Hospice Homecare were like hidden fairies in Grandma’s final fortnight. They politely and respectfully supported our family, taking a load off as well as giving peace of mind that she would be comfortable. They knew just how to look after her with their expertise, helping with personal care and getting her into bed.

“Grandma was very keen to stay at home when she became frail, in the house that has been in our family for several generations. Having Herriot’s healthcare assistants come in three times a day meant she could be where she wanted: near her family and with a view of her beautiful garden with the colourful hydrangeas and pansies which she loved so much.

“We’re incredibly grateful to Herriot Hospice Homecare for the massive impact they made in helping our family manage Grandma’s care. “

John Digby

Here, Sarah Hex shares her experience of the care we provided her dad, John Digby, before his death from melanoma, in 2021. John was a well-known and much-loved figure in the Thirsk community as well as an ardent supporter of Herriot Hospice Homecare while living and working in the town.

Sarah said: “My dad was a popular figure in Thirsk after many years working as a local bank manager. He was known for his friendliness, smile and wicked sense of humour that would often make those around him laugh. He would always make time to chat to people and for that reason, he is missed by many.

“Dad knew lots about Herriot Hospice Homecare even before he became ill. He admired the care that they provided in and around Thirsk and was therefore keen for his funeral collection to be in aid of this local cause.

“Once he needed support himself, he and our family were so grateful for both the physical and moral support that Herriot Hospice Homecare provided. Just knowing they were there when we needed them meant so much. In his last week, Dad received great care from the Herriot team, district nurses and Macmillan nurses. He was reassured to know that Herriot’s familiar presence in Thirsk was now right at his side.

“After Dad died in June 2021, our family and friends wanted to keep his memory alive beyond his funeral. My youngest son suggested we make an occasion to remember him, while supporting Herriot. We decided to do a family walk together from Boltby to the former Lambert Memorial Hospital, which we know Herriot Hospice Homecare plans to transform into a community hub for those living with terminal illness and bereavement.

“The Lambert is especially close to our hearts as Mum not only worked there as a nurse when it was still a community hospital, but has also volunteered answering Herriot’s Hear to Help helpline over the past year. We could think of no better destination for our walk.

“Dad was loved so much by our family, and his grandchildren have fond memories of sharing Ringtons biscuits and Percy Pigs with him while enjoying his company.

“We’re so thankful to Herriot Hospice Homecare for being such an important part of the Thirsk community, and we’re sure Dad would love the fact that we’re supporting them and their plans for the Lambert.”

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