Nurse calls on local people to support Christmas fundraising challenge

A Rennie Grove Peace Hospice Care nurse has shared her experience of being on the receiving end of the service she works for, to encourage local people to support the Big Give Christmas Challenge fundraising appeal.
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Becky Varvel started working as a Hospice at Home nurse with the charity in 2014, following in the footsteps of her mum, Sue, who had been a nurse with the charity since the early days of Iain Rennie Hospice at Home.

In 2022 Becky’s family was in need of the services of the hospice organisation after Sue was diagnosed with a life-limiting illness.

Becky says:

Becky Varvel at work Becky Varvel at work
Becky Varvel at work

“When Mum was diagnosed, she became very unwell, very quickly. I was keen for Rennie Grove to get involved right from the start as I knew that the Hospice at Home team could support all of our needs. I may be a trained nurse but in this case I was a patient’s daughter and it’s entirely different. As well as the care and support for Mum’s clinical needs, my sister and I needed the reassurance that comes from having a team at the end of the phone to call any time for advice and support.

"As well as the nursing team, Mum was referred to the Rapid Personalised Care service. This is the team that provides personal care to patients in their own home. We were so pleased to have their support and Mum was thrilled with the high standard of care she received. Every member of the team who came to the house was just incredible – so kind, caring and compassionate. I will never forget each of them and two of the carers were even with us when Mum died, which provided great comfort to our family.

“Mum died just a week before my wedding. On the day she died, a Hospice at Home nurse helped me to wash Mum and together we dressed her in the outfit she would have worn to our wedding. This was such a special moment and I was so grateful to have the support of the team to help me at such a difficult and poignant time.

“For me, the whole experience of being on the other side of the service offered by Rennie Grove Peace was really eye opening. It gave me a completely different perspective on what our patients and their families go through.

Stewart Marks with Sue Varvel and Stephen Spiro during Sue's time as director of nursingStewart Marks with Sue Varvel and Stephen Spiro during Sue's time as director of nursing
Stewart Marks with Sue Varvel and Stephen Spiro during Sue's time as director of nursing

“Every member of staff from the admin staff to the Hospice at Home team and the Rapid Personalised Care Service team made a huge difference to our family and I want to ensure that every other local family that needs this level of support, is able to access it.”

This year Rennie Grove Peace is aiming to raise £100,000 via the Big Give Christmas Challenge. For one week, any donation made to Rennie Grove Peace via the Big Give website will be doubled, for as long as match funding lasts. The challenge takes place over a seven-day period from noon on Tues 28 November to noon on Tues 5 December.

To double your donation to Rennie Grove Peace, visit thebiggive.org.uk while the challenge is live, and search Rennie Grove Peace. From noon on Tuesday 28 November to noon on Tuesday 5 December the donation page will be live at: https://donate.biggive.org/campaign/a056900002RGLBQAA5.