Woman who lost both parents says special thanks to Willen hospice for looking after them in their final days

Her tribute forms part of the hospice Christmas appeal

A Milton Keynes woman whose parents were both cared for by Willen Hospice is urging the public to support the charity's 2021 Christmas appeal.

Jules White is hoping to boost much-needed donations for the charity by sharing her story.

Willen Hospice cared for her mum at the end of her life then, just three years later, looked after her dad at the lakeside the in-patient unit during his last few weeks.

Jules with her late mum

Jules said: "Mum was cared for at home and I really felt like the nurses loved her almost as much as I did.

"There was so much care taken when they washed her, and every time they’d been to see her the room was filled with the smell of Chanel No 5, her favourite perfume, where they’d gone to the trouble to spritz it on her. It was amazing that they’d taken that time to make her feel as lovely as they could."

Three years later, around Christmas time, Jules's dad went into the hospice after been diagnosed with leukaemia. He was predicted to survive for 10 days at the most.

"He ended up being there for four weeks, which is testament to how amazing Willen Hospice is," she said.

Jules and her dad

"When dad arrived he was given a room at the back of the hospice which overlooked the car park, which doesn’t sound great, but it was warm, cosy and private. I knew straight away that there was something special about the hospice. I went home feeling relieved and knew that I had done the best thing for him.

"The following day, a lovely room became available which overlooked Willen Lake in all its glory. Dad thought it was marvellous and told everyone that he now had a room with a sea view! He went on to say that it was the best hotel he had ever stayed in. It’s going to be great when the refurbishment and extension of the Hospice is complete, and every room will have a ‘sea view’."

Jules added: "Dad had a beautiful energy, always with a smile and aiming to please. Most mornings when I arrived at the hospice he would have a group of nurses gathered around his bed, listening to him telling stories. Dad at his best during his last days. It was such a lovely atmosphere, and everybody had time to come and speak to him, have conversations with him, and that was just so lovely.

"Everything about the hospice, everything they did, was just wonderful, especially considering the difficult time we were going through."

After her father died, Jules said Willen Hospice continued to support her.

"I was offered counselling both before and after dad died. It was so comforting just knowing that somebody was there who really cared about me. Whenever I need it now, Willen is there for me - for life."

She added: This message is to help you understand how important every single penny is, that you raise for Willen Hospice. Your donation makes such a difference, not only to the lives of the patients, but to the families that are there, and left behind. I hope that you’ll be able to support Willen Hospice this Christmas, to help families who, right now, are finding comfort from Willen when they need it most, just as I did this time six years ago, and still do.”

Peta Wilkinson, Chief Executive at Willen Hospice, said: “We can’t thank Jules enough for supporting our Christmas appeal. We pride

ourselves on giving the best possible care we can all year round, and this has been another challenging year for us.

"We need to raise £4.7M a year to carry on doing what we do, that’s £9 every minute. We simply cannot do what we do without the generosity of our

community, who have continued to be there for us during an incredibly tough time.”

You can make a donation to Willen Hospice here.