“I decided to leave a gift to the Hospice in my Will, in memory of my late husband Ivor, and to thank everyone for the wonderful care he received,” says Penny Dugdale, who is secretary of our Maidenhead Fundraising Group.
“Whilst he was a patient, Ivor was treated with the utmost care, compassion, respect and dignity. We as a family were also so well supported – able to be with him 24 hours a day – and after he passed away, we were all treated with the greatest kindness. Our eldest son took advantage of the counselling that was offered and benefitted greatly.”
Penny and Ivor met when they both worked for Reckitt and Coleman (now Reckitt), where Ivor was an accountant in the European Division and Penny was secretary to a director in the Overseas Division. Ivor was originally from Lancashire, but Penny, a Yorkshire lass, forgave him that!
Early in their married life, Ivor’s work took them to Germany and France for several years. When they moved back to the UK, they settled in Maidenhead, where their sons Chris and Will grew up. In 1997, Ivor was able to take early retirement and they moved to Beverley in Yorkshire, where they lived very happily for many years.
Ivor was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour in 2010. He consulted a specialist at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London, who agreed to treat him although he could not promise a cure. Ivor and Penny moved to Windsor for his treatment. When he was discharged from the Royal Marsden, the hospital made sure they had contact with all the local services who were going to help them, including Thames Hospice
“We benefitted from the lovely Hospice nurse who used to sit with Ivor for a couple of hours during the day, enabling me to have a break.
“The Hospice differed in many ways from a hospital - smaller, fewer patients and a higher nurse to patient ratio. There were lovely gardens and the choice of food was amazing. I always got the impression that nothing was too much trouble.
“Before Ivor was an inpatient I did not realise that, despite all the sadness which naturally occurs, the atmosphere could be so positive, uplifting and happy and this is due to the wonderful doctors, nursing staff, kitchen staff and volunteers who are all so skilled and dedicated.
“I knew that I wanted to support the Hospice in a more practical way. On the advice of a friend, I joined the Maidenhead Fundraising Group. I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of the Group and being involved in all the fundraising activities.
“The Hospice does such wonderful work, but it relies on the generosity of its community to raise over 50% of the funds needed to keep it running. I think there is a slight misconception that Hospices only cater for patients suffering from cancer but in fact, they care for anyone with a terminal illness - which will probably apply to most of us in the end. It assists the NHS considerably by looking after these patients and providing day patient care and outpatient services.”
If you are interested in including a gift to the Hospice in your Will, please visit our Gifts in Wills page for further information.
Make a difference
We rely on the generosity of our amazing community, whose support enables us to provide the best possible end-of-life care for local people. It costs £12 million every year to keep our Hospice running - through charitable support we need to raise over 50% of the funds required annually to provide our services free of charge, 365 days a year, to the people who need us most.
We’ve never needed you, our wonderful supporters, more than we need you today. Please donate what you can to help keep hospice care available for those in desperate need.