As we celebrate 40 years of Overgate I am celebrating my 40th year as a nurse here, and I can’t quite believe it! There has been so much change across the years, but the quality of care hasn’t changed at all and I feel so honoured to have played my part. I go home each day knowing that we have made people going through such an awful time as comfortable as they can be, that we have had the time to really focus on them and, even when we’re busy, to ensure that they get the best care we can possibly give. It is such a privilege.
I am also grateful for the friends I have made across the years. My colleagues, our patients and their loved ones, we all support each other and it’s a lovely thing. I have received some lovely letters from people I have cared for across the years and I treasure them. I remember once commenting on a stuffed rabbit that a patient had on her bed and after she died her daughter gave it to me to remember her by. I have so many memories, both happy and naturally, at times, sad. But as sad as some days are there is also a lot of laughter at the Hospice, and always has been. People often mistake it for a sombre place, but it really isn’t.
Over the years I have taken on other elements to my role. I get the bereavement pack that we pass on to bereaved family members together and am also a Dignity Champion for the Hospice, helping to ensure that all who come through our doors are treated with dignity and respect. I also enjoy volunteering for the fundraising team whenever I can. The Colour Run is my favourite event, so much laughing and joking and dancing, it’s lovely. I most recently volunteered at the Midnight Walk with my friend and colleague Sue. It was a very late night for us, but it is so humbling to see how many people take on the challenge. I’m in awe of everyone that does it!
To me Overgate is the absolute heart of this community and I feel honoured and privileged to be celebrating 40 years as part of this amazing team.