Julie, 44yrs, has been a Hospice at Home nurse for Treetops Hospice Care for ten years. On Friday 19 May, she will join hundreds of other women in the Starlight Strut, a 5k and 10k walk through Derby city centre.
Treetops provides nursing care and emotional support for adults, their families and carers across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire including over sixty Hospice at Home nurses and health care assistants who are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
I do night sits in patient’s houses – not just to care for the patients but for their families to take a break too
The service is as important for the family as it is for the patient themselves, Julie explained:
“I do night sits in patient’s houses – not just to care for the patients but for their families to take a break too. It’s having that added security that there’s a nurse there if they are needed for whatever reason. Every sit is different and I always go in with the emphasis of just trying to keep things as normal as possible and maintaining privacy and dignity.
“It’s always really difficult to have a stranger in your house but families do appreciate that in order to keep their loved one at home, they need that support. Once they have had a few nurses through the door, they always say ‘I don’t know how I couldn’t have coped without you’.
“Patients like to talk at night as they often can’t often talk openly to their families as they don’t want to upset them – so there’s a chance for them to ask questions about what might happen.
“Sometimes it’s the relatives that can be anxious – they need the support. It’s having that quality time to be able to answer questions and be honest and open with them.”
Vital for us to raise as much money as possible so that even more local people can benefit
Every penny raised on the sponsored Starlight Strut makes a big difference as Jennifer Sheehy, head of fundraising, explained:
“The Starlight Strut through Derby city centre starts at 10pm which is when a Hospice at Home nurse would normally start their evening shift. It costs just over £300 for us to provide a nurse overnight which is why it’s so vital for us to raise as much money as possible so that even more local people can benefit.
“We’re asking people to register today to join us or please make a donation and support the Starlight Strut so that we can ensure even more of our Hospice at Home nurses, like Julie, are available in the future.”
The Starlight Strut takes place on Friday 19 May starting at 10pm at the University of Derby. Those interested in taking part in the 5k or 10k sponsored walk through Derby city can register online.