Mark wasn't sure what to expect but he found the Hospice made a real difference to him and the people he cared about. This is his story.
'I heard about the Hospice through the nurses who were looking after me. When I first heard about it, I thought ‘No. I don’t want to go there. It’ll be like a hospital. I won’t be able to go out, people won’t be able to visit me. They’ll give me painkillers and not do much else.’
'But I couldn’t ask for anything better. Everyone’s been so caring and welcoming. They’re so friendly. Whatever you want, people here try to make it happen. They’re here for you.
'I’d say to anyone in my position, don’t knock it. It could be the best thing for you. My family and friends can visit any time – 24 hours. I’ve had about 15 people in my room at times! Almost like a party! Being here really relaxes me. I can sit out in the garden and enjoy the sunshine. And I can spend time with the people who’re important to me. It’s made life easier for me.
'My daughter’s 11 and I wasn’t sure how to tell her what was happening. I’m not religious but the Chaplain here helped me think about what to say to her and how to help her understand. It was just me, her, and my dad. That’s how I wanted to do it. And everyone here helped me do it.
'I don’t have much appetite but everyone in the kitchen does what they can to tempt me to eat. When breakfast came round I said I wasn’t hungry but the woman bringing the breakfasts said she’d make me an omelette or a sausage sandwich – whatever I wanted. Nothing is too much trouble.
'And the chef comes to see me and tries to tempt me to eat something. He’s always suggesting something he hopes I might like.
'The Hospice has made a real difference to me and everyone around me. I can’t thank people here enough for everything they’ve done.'