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Bereaved people in Bolsover have been benefiting from a new Ashgate Hospice drop-in service after it was started in memory of a popular woman in the town.
Loving grandmother Jeanette Haigh died in June 2021, aged 72, after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
She received care at the end of her life on the hospice’s Inpatient Unit and at home by its Palliative Care Specialist Nurses.
The “exceptional” end of life care she received prompted her husband, Bernard, and their family to raise an incredible £4,500 to support future families.
In tribute to Jeanette’s dedication to the community of Bolsover, Bernard decided the money could be used to start a bereavement drop-in service locally.
“Jeanette brightened up every room she entered,” said Bernard. “She was an amazing woman and was so popular, always putting other people first before herself.
“I miss her all of the time, life is very different now that she’s not around. I’m just glad that Ashgate was able to be there to provide its compassionate care.
“From the excellent community team who supplied us with a hospital bed, stairlift, a bathing facility and more, to the incredible Inpatient Unit staff, who treated her with so much kindness and compassion.”
Bernard added: “We were so appreciative of Ashgate’s services – the professionalism, the care, the kindness – it was simply off the scale, far beyond anything we ever expected. We’re so grateful to everyone who helped us during such a difficult time.”
Jeanette, who lived in Bolsover with Bernard, was a popular figure in the community, having worked as a special needs teacher whilst being heavily involved with several groups in the area, including the local Methodist church and a Cancer Research UK support network.
She loved to knit, crochet, weave and spin, so when her illness meant she wasn’t as mobile as before, Jeanette’s passion motivated her to teach her carers how to do it instead.
Since the launch of the bereavement drop-in centre in April, the service has helped support many people following the death of a loved one.
“Establishing a bereavement peer support drop in Bolsover seemed like the perfect way to use the sponsorship money raised in Bolsover and in Jeanette’s name,” said Bernard.
“Bereavement and grief are difficult experiences for all of us at some time in our lives and particularly so for the recently bereaved.
“You need to speak about it but other people can find this difficult, while others often hold back because they don’t know what to say or they’re worried they might upset you.”
Bernard continued: “The drop in has been working well with some regular people attending, in addition to those who come now and again.
“The sessions are informal with a mixture of getting to know each other better and sharing coping mechanisms of how we each manage bereavement. We all do this in our own ways and exchanging ideas together offers great self-help.”
The money that has helped fund the service was raised in numerous ways – from a charity bike ride by Jeanette’s grandchildren Florence and Samuel to a collection at her funeral.
Bernard and his family also backed the hospice’s poignant Light Up a Life campaign months after Jeanette’s death.
After seeing celebrities switch on Christmas lights in Blackpool in previous years, Florence and Samuel were thrilled to get the opportunity to switch on the hospice’s lights at the hospice in memory of their grandmother.
To find out how you can benefit from the hospice’s bereavement services email email@example.com or call 01246 568 801.