My name is Karen and I have been a nurse here at St Luke’s for more than 22 years, each day caring for local people who are at different stages of their illness.

We care around the clock and understand every single moment of the day is precious, so really we only have one chance to get our care right, and you can help us do this.

Thinking back over my years here there are so many examples of unique things we have done, but there is one which stands out for me. We had a patient who really truly didn’t want to leave the comfort of her home, but she needed hospice care. So we re-organised the bedroom she was staying in to remind her of home and changed her bedding to the set she used at home. We do everything we can to make it a happy and positive time for patients and their families. As a nurse at St Luke’s I can honestly say it is my honour and privilege to provide such personalised care to anyone who stays with us.

At this time of year we naturally begin to think about family and those we love, and for people who are staying on our ward this is especially true. Sadly this could be their last Christmas, so it is important that we help create precious memories to help families get through next Christmas without them.

On the ward we care for people who have a life-limiting illness and are too poorly to be at home with their families, so we make their Christmas with us as special as it can be.

As many as 10 local people will be spending their Christmas at St Luke’s this year, that’s 10 local families who will be coming to the Hospice to spend their Christmas here too. So let me tell you about Christmas here and how we make it extra special for everyone.

Well firstly it begins like every other day here; with a nice warm brew! But then everything else is different… we buy gifts for all of our patients which we give at breakfast time and we welcome family, friends and even pets to spend their Christmas here too.

At the Hospice we believe that care stretches beyond just medication and nursing; it includes therapies to calm and relax, incorporates food and nutrition, and nothing we do is too much trouble, so moments shared over a Christmas dinner are incredibly special and will live on as a happy memory for these families.

More than any other time of year food plays such an important part of Christmas celebrations, and we try to make it the same here at the Hospice. Christmas dinner is served by our Chef Phil who is always accompanied by his family, plus Emma who works in kitchen and comes in with her husband, as well as other staff and volunteers!

Each dinner is made specifically for our patients; so if someone needs their food pureed or if they would rather have an ice cream sundae, then that’s what we’ll serve! Families can enjoy their Christmas dinner in the dining room which is beautifully decorated and has a home-from-home feel, or in the conservatory which overlooks the garden, or even as the bedside of their loved one.

St Luke’s Hospice is a charity and over 80% of the funding we need this Christmas comes from voluntary income and donations from kind supporters like you.

Christmas is an incredibly moving time for everyone who experiences it; from our patients and their families to my colleagues and the volunteers who choose to be here.

So often we hear families describe St Luke’s as a life-line, and it is. Our care is unique, personalised, full of surprises, and most importantly it is free. Will you help us be a life-line to a local family this Christmas?

It will cost us £31.78 to care for one of our patients for one hour this Christmas Day. Could you pay for one of these hours?

A very generous gift of £762.72 would pay for all the care a patient needs this Christmas, giving them and their family a safe, peaceful and trusted environment at a time when they need it most.

For every £1 you give today 80p will go directly to care for patients this Christmas and the remaining 20p helps us to raise another £1 in the New Year. A gift of whatever you can afford will make a difference; together we can make this a Christmas to remember.

donate-buttonWith my very best wishes to you and your family this Christmas, and thank you for caring. Karen x