By Jack Goodman
A HOSPICE in Headingley is raising funds to continue providing services on Christmas Day.
Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice provide care for people with life-limiting illnesses in the north-west, west and south of Leeds.
The hospice have launched a festive appeal in an attempt to raise £12,000 to cover the cost of running their services on Christmas Day.
Janice Edgar, a staff nurse (pictured), explained how the hospice attempted to make Christmas as cheerful as possible for residents and their families.
She said: “At Christmas, the atmosphere is anything but gloomy. The rooms are decorated ready to welcome visitors – there are always mince pies and mulled wine ready in reception to welcome families and friends.”
Mrs Edgar also explained how the staff all dress up for the occasion to help families create happy memories to treasure in the future.
“I have chosen to work this Christmas,” added Mrs Edgar. “I will spend Christmas Day in the morning with my family and then start my shift in the afternoon.
“Some of our patients might not be going home after the festive season – the least I can do for them is to be there with them and their loved ones to make sure it’s a special day.”
The service includes serving Christmas Dinner to people spending the day in the hospice – and will be run by volunteers giving up their Christmas Day to help the cause.
Jackie Barlow was full of praise for the hospice’s work – after her mother Ann spent her last Christmas and New Year’s Eve with her family in their care.
“One of the nurses on the night shift made a bunting for mum saying ‘Merry Christmas’, and there were presents on her bed,” she said. “She took the time to do that at home for her.
“It was so special. Every Christmas now I take out that bunting – it has special memories for me.
“We could not have hoped for a better place for mum to end her last days.”
Sue Ryder’s Headingley charity shop are raising money for the appeal through donation boxes in store.
Shop manager Jenny Stapleton highlighted how the shop helps Wheatfields hospice to fundraise.
“We hold a charity sale twice a week to raise money directly for Wheatfields, and we also hold a joint vintage sale twice a year to help with their fundraising.”