We were thrilled to be able to help create a special celebration day for our patient David and his partner Tracey recently. David, who was admitted to our care after spending several weeks in hospital in Leicester, Kettering and then Northampton had a birthday coming up that he wanted to share with family and friends. In addition, the couple wanted to celebrate their love for each other with a commitment ceremony so the two events were combined into a party to end all parties! Family and friends travelled from as far away as Cumbria for the double celebration and our Wellbeing Centre served as party central while the commitment ceremony took place in our Chapel.
With the help of the Northampton Hilton Hotel who let us borrow seat covers to glam up the chapel and Tesco Extra over the road from the Hospice who donated buffet food, the Hospice team together with David’s sister, ensured everything was ready for the big day. Tracey said: “We were planning for family to sort out the food and decorations but the next thing we knew the fundraising staff and Hospice team had got involved and just made everything happen for us. The chapel looked gorgeous! We weren’t expecting anything like that so it made it so much more special. It was amazing how everyone just pulled together and it was a lovely day from start to finish.”
Like with organising any family celebration, avoiding stress is the main objective as David commented: “It was all so well planned, everyone knew where they were going and what time they had to be there, it was made completely easy for everyone.” The incredible couple even made a very generous gesture by asking their guests to make a donation to the Hospice instead of giving them gifts to celebrate their commitment ceremony which raised £135.
It isn’t just the support they received with the celebrations that has made such a difference to David and Tracey’s experience. Tracey said: “When David was first admitted to the Hospice we went round the woodland walk several times which was so nice because he had been stuck in hospital for such a long time but was able to get around the path easily in his wheelchair. It also feels like David has got his spark back and his cheeky sense of humour since being here. What also makes such a big difference is I can visit as often as I like, I’ve stayed over quite a few times, we’ve watched a film together and had takeaways delivered so that’s given us that bit of normality back. When coming to the Hospice was first mentioned David was adamant that there was no way he was going to come here because he’d got it in his mind that ‘it’s the end of the line’ but that has not been the case at all, it’s not a depressing place in the slightest and the staff have all been amazing.”