I suppose the simplest way to describe what I do is to say that I tell the people of Sheffield that St Luke’s is there for them all.
When I first started at St Luke’s I was specifically focusing on Sheffield’s South Asian communities but the role has now widened to cover many different communities and different groups.
That can mean meeting the Roma community, Travellers, Chinese communities and the Somali community, dementia groups, mental health groups and LGBT+ groups, explaining how difficult it can be when you are looking after somebody who is terminally ill and sharing with them the services we offer and the things we can do for them.
A hospice isn’t about abandoning your loved ones - the family is still in charge of what happens but we can offer so much to both patients and their loved ones, not just during the illness but with things like our bereavement services, which are there for everybody regardless of faith or belief.
People who don’t know much about how a hospice works can think that our services are quite expensive and part of my job is explaining how everything we deliver is free.
I have been into communities that didn’t understand what a charity shop is and why our shops are so important to St Luke’s but when I explain the concept to them they are fascinated.
I enjoy meeting new people and new cultures, learning about their lives and how we can help to make changes for them and take away the worry and care of terminal illness.
It gives me a real sense of satisfaction, knowing that I am making a positive change in somebody’s life.
It’s really rewarding too to know that more families from different communities are using our services - that they feel they can trust us.
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