Willow Wood to celebrate hospice care week

WILLOW Wood Hospice will be celebrating Hospice Care Week from Monday, October 9.

The occasion is a chance to celebrate hospice care nationwide, and the incredible work being done to ensure everyone can benefit from the very best end-of-life care.

This year, it will focus on workforce under the theme ‘We are hospice care’.

Laura Marinelli, events fundraiser

During the week, Willow Wood will be acknowledging the different departments which make the hospice a special place to work – everyone from the inpatient and catering teams to the dedicated volunteers and finance staff.

The hospice’s retail shops in Glossop, Hyde, Stalybridge, Denton, Mossley and Ashton-under-Lyne will also be decorated with yellow-themed windows – the colour associated with Hospice Care Week.

Julie Hafford

Karen Houlston first joined Willow Wood as a part-time bookkeeper and has been at the hospice, based in Ashton-under-Lyne in Greater Manchester, since January 2000. She progressed to the role of CEO but will retire at the end of May next year.

Karen has spoken fondly about her varied journey at the hospice and is a shining example of the possibilities that a career at a hospice can bring.

She said: “You meet so many incredible people in hospices. I’ve found working at Willow Wood so rewarding – from the patients, staff, families and volunteers.

CEO Karen Houlston

“There can be a lot of myths around what hospices are like. Sometimes people can feel very anxious before coming in but they’re often pleasantly surprised. Willow Wood is a really friendly, calm and welcoming place.

“There’s never been a day where I have not wanted to come into work. I would recommend working at Willow Wood to anyone.

“The main qualities I have learned in my job is good listening and communication skills, and the ability to empathise.

Zak Hollian support worker

“The hospice is deeply rooted in the communities of Tameside and Glossop and serves an essential human need in caring for people with a life-limiting illness and those that love them. For me, there remains something special about doing that.”

Toby Porter, CEO at Hospice UK, said: “From clinical staff to bereavement counsellors, kitchen staff to volunteer gardeners, the staff and volunteers who support over 300,000 people every year are what makes hospice care so special. This Hospice Care Week, we want to celebrate them.

“Hospices are exciting, rewarding places to work, and with the need for hospice care growing, we need more people to take up the opportunity to work in this incredible profession. If you’re interested, reach out to your local hospice.”

Look out for content throughout Hospice Care Week on the Willow Wood Hospice social media channels. You can also follow the hashtags #HospiceCareWeek and #WeAreHospiceCare 

Working for a hospice can be very beneficial and Willow Wood Hospice has a number of voluntary and paid roles available throughout the year. Keep an eye on the hospice website https://willowwood.org.uk/vacancies for more details.

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