Billie White-Fensom was 12 years old when her father David Fensom died. David was cared for by the Arthur Rank Hospice Charity and 13 years on Billie has spoken about how important the care delivered to her family has been.
David was diagnosed with cancer in 2008 and admitted to the inpatient unit at the original Arthur Rank Hospice on Mill Road in 2009. Billie remembers regularly visiting the Hospice and the Hospice at Home care also provided to her father in their family home.
Billie said “I used to visit the Hospice after school. Everyone was so kind, the nurses were always there for me, they would arrange drinks and they always had a hug ready if needed. I felt like part of the Arthur Rank Hospice family.”
With the support of the Charity’s therapy team, Billie’s dad was able to write his life story, something that the charity still helps people to do today. More than a decade on, Billie added that she often looks back at her dad’s book and is grateful that he had the opportunity to write this for her to read as she grew up.
Billie said “I was young when my dad died but I never felt that the hospice was a place of doom and gloom, everyone was so friendly and upbeat. It wasn’t the scary place that you would perhaps imagine it to be.”
Billie’s personal experience inspired her to join the Charity and she now manages the Mill Road Shop, just metres away from where her dad was previously cared for. Billie has a strong connection to the people who support the charity adding,
“People often come into the shop with donations belonging to loved ones and I can empathise as I know the importance of parting with those items. My own experience helps me to understand what they are going through. People share how good the care the charity provides is and the difference that it has made to them and their families. It makes me proud that I work in one of the shops that helps to fund the care. I am so pleased that the care provided now, is as good as the care my dad and my family received 13 years ago.”
To find out more about the fantastic work that Arthur Rank Hospice Charity do, head to their website below!