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29 Dec 2018 Community

Christmas at Kirkwood: Jean and Jo’s Story

Christmas is a very special time of year for all families, but particularly for those receiving care at the end of life. Our teams at Kirkwood make sure to go the extra mile to ensure that our patients and their families have the best quality time together possible, and make special memories each Christmas.

Meet Jean and Jo. Jean and Jo are both volunteers within the Support and Therapy department, Jean has been volunteering for 14 years and Jo has been with the team since June this year. Both Jean and Jo play a vital role in Support & Therapy and know first-hand how special Christmas at Kirkwood is for patients, carers and families. This is their story:

Jean and Jo’s role within Support and Therapy is to make anyone who walks through their door welcome and comfortable. It’s important to them to make every patient and carer feel at home and they often encourage people to chat to each other.

Christmas is a very busy time of year in Support and Therapy with lots going on, Jo said: “This year there’s been quite a lot of arts and crafts, we’ve been getting patients and carers to make various different things, getting people to fold paper reindeers and make felt robins and all sorts of stuff.”

“It’s such a difficult time for so many people but actually to be able to get the bits of Christmas that people really enjoy and get them involved in things, like making things in the arts and crafts department for the Christmas Fair stall, it gives them a real sense of purpose and they really feel like they’ve achieved something.”

Jean has seen many Christmases at Kirkwood and volunteering means so much to her.

Jean said: “After my husband died I found quite a lot of time on my hands and I thought well, use it usefully and I’ve just absolutely loved it working here. I’ve made some nice friends and we go out socially as well, I’ve met some lovely patients and their relatives. I’m so glad I did make the decision to work here.”

“I think my nicest memory of Christmas at Kirkwood is actually today, [the Celebration of Christmas event], when the Honley Male Voice Choir comes in. All the patients, visitors, relatives and the staff would all meet in the meeting space and we sing along with the carols, and it’s just lovely.”

“It’s a really warm place anyway is Kirkwood but especially so at Christmas.”

Jo: “You just walk into the Support and Therapy lounge and people are just together, whether they know each other or not. It’s a lovely atmosphere.”

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