“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

“The care was second to none”

“At such a heartbreaking and difficult time, the nurses and care assistants knew exactly what to do and to say – we’d have been lost without them. The care they provided for my beautiful wife was second to none and I’ll be forever grateful.”

Roger Perks

“Nothing is too much trouble”

“I can’t thank hospice teams enough. From fitting grab rails in my house and ordering a reclining bed, reviewing of all my medication, providing me with new medical equipment and even helping to organise domestic help for us at home – they’ve covered everything but are always willing to do even more.”

Jackie Bannister

“I don’t know where I’d be without them”

“The support I get is truly is invaluable and I honestly don’t know where I’d be without them. I’m able to talk openly about my illness and ask for advice and support if I need it. I’ve made some incredible friends and the hospice is a very special place full of laughter and kindness. “

Liz Warren

Hope and Healing Appeal