A mum from Dove Holes is urging local people to support their local hospice this Christmas, to help keep families like hers together over the festive period.

A few weeks before Christmas last year, Rebecca Tollerton’s husband, Mark discovered that his lung cancer had spread to his brain and that there was no cure.

The family sought help from Blythe House Hospicecare; including accessing its 24/7 Hospice at Home service where dedicated healthcare assistants provided day and night-time ‘sits’ to fit around life with children, Amelia, 8, and George, 6.

Rebecca explained: ‘Although we knew his lung cancer was advanced, nothing could have prepared us for such news. Up until that point, we had tried to keep life as normal as possible, for the sake of Amelia and George. At that moment, I felt very alone and extremely overwhelmed. It was at that point, in my absolute hour of need that Blythe House came into our lives.’

Alongside hospice care in the comfort of the family home, Blythe House was also able to provide volunteer support with shopping and gardening, as well as counselling services to help Rebecca and the children to come to terms with Mark’s prognosis.

Rebecca added: ‘Perhaps most importantly for the children, Blythe House gave us one last Christmas at home, as a family of four. Thanks to the care and support they provided, Mark was able to stay at home with us and that meant we could spend a very special Christmas together, creating important memories. That is something that my children will never forget – and I know it meant the absolute world to Mark too.

‘Mark died on 30th June this year and the loss we feel is immeasurable. But I am comforted to know that Mark received the best care, and his last Christmas was in his own home, surrounded by the people he adored.’

Since Hospice at Home started in 2016, the service has enabled over 450 people to die at home with their families and friends by their side. Providing over 33,000 hours of home care throughout the day and night across the High Peak and Hope Valley, is more than double what was originally planned because the demand for the service is so great.

Your donation this Christmas will make a huge difference to families in your local area. A donation of £50 could pay for a qualified healthcare professional from Blythe House Hospice to visit a patient at home for three hours, providing specialist medical care.

Watch Rebecca and Mark’s video.