WHEN you hear the word ‘hospice’ what thoughts cross your mind?
People may think they are dark, sombre places where terminally ill patients go to die.
Visit Rugby Myton Day Hospice and you will find it an uplifting experience.
It has a warm atmosphere, a dedicated team and lots of humour.
Staff at Myton Hospice, based in the grounds of Rugby’s St Cross Hospital in Barby Road, are not phased by illness and death and because of this the patients are also at ease and not phased by it.
The hospice is celebrating ten years of providing an invalable service to the people of Rugby.
At the moment, their youngest patient is in their 20s and the oldest in their 90s.
Iris Gatenne, 91, and Sheila Bell, 87, have been going to the hospice ever Friday for nearly three years.
“We can’t wait for Fridays to come around,” said Iris. “It’s such a wonderful place and we get so much out of it.”
The ladies struck up a friendship when they started visiting the hospice. They enjoy taking part in quizzes, puzzles, games and arts and crafts.
“I’m not a very artistic person,” said Sheila. “But I really enjoy my time in the arts and crafts room. One of my pictures was selected to be framed and go on the wall. It was quite an honour. The picture was of a cottage by the sea.”
Iris and Sheila paid tribute to the staff and volunteers who run the hospice.
“They are so friendly,” said Iris.
Sheila said: “They make it so special for us.”
The friends also enjoy having their hair done at the hospice, a free service that boosts patients’ spirits.
Patients are able to see complementary therapists free of charge at the hospice, receiving treatments for aches and pains as well as psychological symptoms.
Sister Camilla Brooks is manager of Rugby Myton Day Hospice.
She said the hospice can cater for 70 patients a week.
“It’s a wonderful place to work,” she said.
“The people here make it what it is. Some of the courage shown by some of the patients is inpsiring and there is always a lot of laughter here. It can surprise a lot of people.”
Rachel Nicholson is assistant director of nursing for Myton at Home, which is celebrating its first successful year. She said: “Our staff may not be able to add days to life, but they work hard to add life to those remaining days.
“At Myton at Home we go to great lengths to ensure all of our patients make the most of every day and, by doing so, help families build positive memories to help them though the most difficult of times.”
Rachel added: “I’ve got the best team anyone could ask for.”
The hospice relies on donations to keep running and rely greatly on Rugby Myton Hospice Support Group.
Jean Smith, treasurer Chris Tye, secretary, and Maureen Spencer, volunteer, stage regular activities from plant sales to concerts to collections keep the pounds coming in.
They raise around £10,000 each year and paid tribute to the people of Rugby for their generosity.
“We would like to thank everybody who supports us in any way,” said Jean.
Rugby Community Choir is staging a fundraising event at Rugby Methodist Church in Russellsheim Way on October 21. It’s called Mellow Music for Autumn and the £3 fee includes tea/coffee and cakes. It starts at 2.30pm and it’s admission on the door.
For more information telephone (01788) 550085, email@example.comWebsitewww.mytonhospice.org