A team of staff from Imperial Commercials has signed up to the Treetops Starlight Strut, in support of their colleague Emma Murdock, whose late grandma was supported by the hospice.

Treetops Hospice Care provides nursing care and emotional support for adults with life limiting conditions living in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, including Hospice at Home nurses who care for people at the end of life in their own homes.

I was my grandma’s main carer for over 10 years

Emma, 38yrs from Sawley, is Group HR Manager for Imperial Commercials and is joining the charity walk as the hospice supported her grandma, Audrey:

“As my family lived further away, I was my grandma’s main carer for over 10 years and every weekend I picked her up, we went shopping and sometimes for lunch.

“She was an extremely independent person and she would always help any of her grandchildren out when needed. She helped us with the big things in life like a first deposit on a house, money towards a wedding, any babies born into the family - she wanted to know we were okay.

“Grandma was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2015. She went through treatment but in 2016 her life came to an abrupt end. I knew she was suddenly very poorly - within hours she went downhill and became bed ridden.

“Due to her rapid deterioration, I struggled to get any support, but when I contacted Treetops, they offered to send a Hospice at Home nurse on the Friday night to give me a break and sit with her.

The support was invaluable

“Unfortunately, she died half an hour before the nurse turned up, but she took control of the situation, cleaned my grandma up and made her comfortable, and dealt with the under takers. The support was invaluable.

“Just having her there gave me peace of mind. Even though she was gone, I needed to know grandma was okay and the nurse gave us this reassurance. She enabled us to spend peaceful time with her until she was taken by the undertakers.

There in our hour of need

“The Treetops nurse had such an impact - I don’t think she will ever realise it - and I will never forget her. This is the reason I strongly support Treetops as they were literally there in our hour of need when no one else was. Although it was too late for my grandma, it was not too late to support us.”

The team from Imperial Commercials will be joining hundreds of other men, women and children on Friday 17 May as they walk the 5km or 10km route through Derby city centre to raise money for Treetops. People can register for the Starlight Strut online for £10.

The Starlight Strut has raised over £400,000 for Treetops Hospice Care since it began ten years ago. In previous years, the event (also known as the Moonlight Walk) has been for women only but this year has been opened up to men and children as well.

Treetops services include Support and Information, Wellbeing Space, Hospice at Home nurses and Therapeutic Services including counselling, art therapy and complementary therapy.