Jess’ story – supporting Andy’s

A former staff member was so keen to keep her connection with Andy’s children’s unit and St Andrew’s Hospice, she continues to champion our charity and support the team from Nottinghamshire!

Jess Lewis was until earlier this year a member of the hospice communications team but a move to Nottinghamshire and a return to university study meant she had to make the tough decision to leave a job she loved and enjoyed. Now volunteering for the hospice when she can, Jess has been chatting to patients at Andy’s about their personal experience of the unit.

She said: “Andy’s, and children’s hospices like it, bring people together. Whether they are providing end of life care, respite or support for severe and enduring illnesses, their work is vitally important.

“I have been lucky to chat to a couple of young teenage patients at Andy’s, who have found a lasting friendship for many reasons, the main being that they have the same rare heart condition. Having the same problems has meant that they understand one another; from the mental to the physical, they have a knowledge of one another that few people have. Their connection is lovely and very moving.

“They take trips together, go bowling, have sleepovers, and it is all thanks to being brought together by Andy’s, in addition to being supported by the team at the unit, that all of these things are possible.

“This is why children’s hospice’s such as Andy’s are vital. They not only help those needing end of life care, they also help those with life-limiting illnesses. People think that the hospice is just about dying but it’s not, it’s more often about living! There are so many people who can use the support of Andy’s, and similar hospices, who probably aren’t aware so I am keen to continue helping to spread the word as a volunteer and huge supporter of everything they do.”

Personally, Jess is particularly interested in working with bereaved children when she is qualified. Participating in the St Andrew’s Hospice Light Up A Life event, she spoke of losing her grandad as a youngster and realised the effect his sudden death had upon her then, and as she grew older. As a result of much soul-searching, she is now completing an MSc in Psychology and hopes to work with a hospice or similar when she is qualified.

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