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Ashgate Hospice > Christmas Appeal: Caring for families during the festive season – by Chrissie Neal, Senior Healthcare Assistant
As a Senior Healthcare Assistant, Chrissie is part of the remarkable team that provides care and support to local people as they near the end of their life. For 32 years, Chrissie has devoted herself to compassion and caregiving, and luckily for us she has spent the last 15 of those years at Ashgate Hospice.
As part of our Christmas Appeal, she has shared how our Inpatient Unit team went above and beyond to make special memories for Glennis and her family during last year’s festive season.

To be a healthcare assistant in this setting is nothing short of a privilege.

We are granted the profound honour of accompanying individuals through their most private and vulnerable moments, and we embrace each patient as if they were our own family.

The hospice isn’t a place where people go to die; it’s a place where they come to live their remaining days to the fullest.

Together, we ensure that every patient’s physical, emotional, and spiritual needs are met. We aim to enhance the quality of life for our patients, manage pain and symptoms to provide comfort, and offer emotional support to patients and their families.”

Each day, the demand for our care grows, and more patients and families seek our support, both within the hospice’s walls and in the comfort of their own homes. Now, as we approach Christmas, the already busy schedules become even more demanding.

We prepare for long shifts that often extend to twelve and half hours, beginning at the crack of dawn. Christmas Day, like any other, is a working day for me. It’s unconventional for some, but to me, it’s a real honour.

I embrace the privilege of being present with families on Christmas Day. For those who find themselves here with us, we work tirelessly to create cherished memories.

Our care becomes even more important in the holiday season. Every extra mile we go, every added touch of warmth, matters profoundly to our patients and their families.

How the hospice helps families at Christmas

Of course, every patient Ashgate cares for has different needs, but Chrissie and the rest of the team are always up to the task of making each one of them comfortable in their own way.
Due to her longstanding commitment to the hospice, Chrissie was asked to write a letter to our supporters this year, asking if they would consider giving to Ashgate Hospice for our Christmas Appeal, so we can help more local people receive the level of care and support they deserve.

We had a patient last winter, Glennis. She came to Ashgate with her entire family by her side – her husband Mick, her children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren!

You could really feel their desire for togetherness, so we made the necessary arrangements to ensure that they could stay with her.

We decorated her room with a Christmas tree and lights, and strived to bring a sprinkle of Christmas magic into Glennis’ life because, after all, that’s what the season is all about.

The level of care we strive to provide every patient, regardless of their circumstances, is what makes Ashgate truly an amazing place to be a healthcare assistant.

Whatever way people can support us, helps us continue to provide comfort, care, and love to those in need. This Christmas, I can’t wait to go the extra mile for our patients once more.

To support us, please visit the Ashgate Hospice’s Christmas Appeal webpage or call 01246 567250.