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Ashgate Hospice nurse Amy Millward is giving up her Christmas Day celebrations this year so she can be there to care for patients on what could be their last.
The 34-year-old Registered Nurse, who joined the North Derbyshire charity in September, usually spends Christmas with her husband and two children, aged nine and 13.
But this year she’ll be working on the hospice’s Inpatient Unit in Chesterfield, so families who are experiencing an incredibly difficult time can still make “magical memories” together.
Amy wanted to work at Ashgate to give back after experiencing first-hand the care her great grandmother, Florence Botham, received back in 2010.
She says she’s proud to be part of the hospice team and is looking forward to spreading some festive cheer this year.
“There’s something magical about being at the hospice around Christmas time,” said Amy, from Brampton. “From being able to give a small gift to the patients to seeing families spending precious time together – we’ll do everything we can to go above and beyond for them.
“As well as doing our normal work, we will be spreading a little Christmas around the hospice and ensuring our patients are not just comfortable in our care but have some festive fun too.
“For many of our patients, this is likely to be their last Christmas and it is so important we are able to make it extra special for them and their families.”
Amy’s role sees her care for patients – many of whom are in the final weeks and days of their lives – on the hospice’s Inpatient Unit.
She will be working at the hospice between 7am and 7:30pm on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day this year.
Prior to joining the team at Ashgate, Amy was a carer at a nursing home before training to be a nurse and working on the Emergency Department at Chesterfield Royal Hospital.
Amy added: “I got married in August so this will be the first Christmas I have with my husband, but we will have to celebrate a bit differently this year.
“I’m always proud to represent the hospice but getting the chance to help our patients and their families celebrate this year will be extra special for me.
“And for those who won’t feel like celebrating Christmas, sometimes it’s the little things that mean the most for our patients.
“Whether it’s getting someone a book to read, asking kitchens to make their favourite meal or just speaking with a patient about something other than what’s happening to them.
“I love getting to know my patients and their family – we want to make their stay with us as comfortable and stress-free as possible.”
Ashgate Hospice is inviting people to support its Christmas Appeal this year so it can be there to provide care for patients and families in the future.
This year, Ashgate must raise another £8 million over and above NHS funding to provide its care.
A donation of £25 will help make a patient’s Christmas extra special by offering them and their family a delicious home-cooked meal, complete with a specially dressed table, a Christmas cracker and a gift too.
Anyone who would like to support Ashgate Hospice’s Christmas Appeal can find out more by going to www.ashgatehospice.org.uk/christmas-appeal or calling the charity’s fundraising team on 01246 567250.