“Everyone was just wonderful”

For Alan Whitehouse, John Taylor Hospice is a very special place. Not only does he help at the Living Well Centre but the hospice also cared for his beloved wife Carole.

Alan was encouraged to volunteer by his daughter Sophie, a nurse who was then working for our Hospice at Home service. He was initially a bit unsure.

“I didn’t really know what to expect of a hospice,” says 69-year-old Alan of Castle Bromwich. “But then I came to the hospice and met the patients and the staff and saw it was such a happy place.”

That was November 2013 and Alan, a retired city council supervisor, soon settled into his role making drinks and helping host the day hospice. But just two months later his wife Carole was diagnosed with incurable stomach cancer.

Carole was admitted to John Taylor’s Inpatient Unit where she received round-the-clock care. The couple’s daughters Sophie, now 37, and Aimee, now 34, often stayed overnight alongside their mum while Alan visited every day.

“Everyone was just wonderful,” recalls Alan. “They were so caring – they are such special people.”

Carole died in February 2014 at the age of 62 and Alan took a short break from volunteering – but he was soon keen to be back.

He has also supported John Taylor by fundraising. Together with more than 20 friends and family, Alan joined the hospice Birthday Walk in memory of Carole and he regularly attends Light up a Life. Earlier this year Alan’s commitment to the hospice was recognised when he won a volunteering award.

Alan (left) with fellow Living Well Centre visitor John Bagnall.

“I just love the hospice,” he says. “Coming back to the hospice after Carole passed away was my counselling. We all laugh so much at the Living Well Centre – it’s a great place to be.”

If you would like to give the gift of time to John Taylor Hospice then please take a look at our current volunteering opportunities.

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What our patients think

“I’d have really struggled without them”

“They’ve been ever so good to me and that’s why I wanted to fundraise and do something to help just like they’ve helped me.”

Philomena Sharpe

“The impact they had will never be forgotten”

“The community nurses were so helpful and they’re lovely people. They put my mind at rest and it’s such a comfort to know you’re not on your own.”

Jackie Day

“An angel sent into my life”

“I can’t thank Angie (patient and family support worker) enough for everything she’s done for us. She’s so reliable and professional – a wonderful person. She took away all these worries and was there for me in my time of need.”

Patricia Smith-Evans

“I’ve really enjoyed it”

“The FAB Programme has helped me to get fitter and my walking is better. Everyone is really nice at the hospice, they’re friendly and they’re good company. I’d recommend it to anyone who is in a similar situation to me.”

Don Bell

Please click here to donate for Light up a Life