After working as a GP in Calderdale since I qualified in 1957, I was thinking about ‘winding down’ my duties when a friend who worked at Overgate Hospice told me about a vacancy they had for a doctor. I had referred people to the Hospice as a GP and had heard about their wonderful care from my patients.
In 1993 I joined the Hospice team, working as a doctor on the Inpatient Unit, with plans to work there for a year as I retired. However, I soon recognised what a special place Overgate is and that year soon came and went.
I joined at an exciting time as the building work for a new Inpatient Unit had begun. We were currently caring in the old house which had been gifted by Sylvia and I had the pleasure of meeting her many times. The old house had a lovely homely feeling, but the layout and size of the rooms were very restricting, and it was a struggle to get patients up to the first-floor rooms in the small lift.
The purpose-built unit opened in 1994 and the difference this made to the care of our patients was incredible. The space to care for more patients was a huge step forward and meant that we could be there for more local people who needed the Hospice’s special care.
My wife, Dilys, is a founding member of the Hospice choir and I used to enjoy attending their fundraising events, knowing the huge difference every penny raised would make to the patients I cared for.
I eventually retired in 2011 after eighteen years but both my wife and I continue to support the Hospice when we can.
I have such fond memories of my time at the Hospice, particularly attending events such as the Garden Party. Knowing all of the community had come together to support the Hospice still makes me smiles today. Overgate is such a special place and I feel privileged to be a part of its history.