Cancer patients provided with space to reflect thanks to funding from local charities

Julie Lucas, Wendy Hepworth, Joanne Ashton and John Holmes

Cancer patients can now attend hospital in a special environment after the Swallow’s Charity and Blue Skies Hospitals Fund joined forces to provide a quiet space.

Patients treated for  specialist cancer care for ear, nose and throat (ENT) conditions at Blackpool Victoria Hospital haven’t previously had an area to reflect on some recent bad news they may have heard or had a space to spend some moments alone in a comforting space.

Clinical Nurse Specialist, Joanne Ashton, was determined to make this happen and worked closely with hospital charity, Blue Skies Hospitals Fund, and local ENT charity, The Swallows, to provide a specialist room which cost £4,156.32.

Chris Curtis, Swallows Charity Chairman, said: “The Swallows Support Charity is so pleased to have part funded the refurbishment of the ENT quiet room.

“We have created a calming and peaceful room where head and neck cancer patients, carers, family and friends are able to relax and take time to reflect on their journeys.”

Joanne Ashton and Wendy Hepworth

Wendy Hepworth is Lifetime President of the Swallows charity and she was asked to officially open the Quiet Room.

She said: “I have been involved with the charity for quite a while following my diagnosis and my cancer treatment.

“Me and Joanne first set up the group in 2010 and we have worked closely together ever since, with the help of Chris Curtis, Swallow’s Chairman.

“I was delighted to open the event. I really want to inspire cancer patients that there is life after cancer. In previous years the room looked very clinical and never really had a purpose.

“I’m so glad the room has been refurbished and now is much brighter and a much nicer environment for patients and their families to use.”

Joanne, Julie and the Swallows team were instrumental in making sure the quiet room was set up and ready to open to patients.

Joanne said: “The space we had wasn’t being put to best use, it was too clinical and we wanted to facilitate different types of meeting and to offer our patients an area to reflect.

“The feedback has been fantastic. Patients have stated how much more welcoming the room is and we hope it really helps to enhance the care for our patients.

“Huge thanks must go to Blue Skies Hospitals Fund and the Swallows Charity and their volunteers.”

Kila Redfearn, Head of Fundraising at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We cannot thank everyone enough for all their help and support on this project. This is another example of how the funds raised by the local community help to enhance patient care at our local hospitals.”

PICTURE CATION: Julie Lucas, Head and Neck cancer care coordinator, Wendy Hepworth, Joanne Ashton and John Holmes from the Swallows Charity



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