John’s wife Charlotte came to Blythe House after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2015, and the Hospice at Home service supported the couple in their home, in the last weeks of Charlotte’s life. John, who is now a Chelsea Pensioner, says: ‘I cannot find words to express my admiration and thanks for this marvellous service. Loving, compassionate and caring, it enabled me to spend the last moments with my darling wife, with her in my arms. For that you have my eternal gratitude.

‘To put into words what Blythe House has meant and continues to mean to me is not easy – it goes into the heart of my emotion and grieving. My wife Charlotte was diagnosed with ovarian cancer three years ago, and began the long process of chemotherapy treatment. We registered Charlotte at Blythe House it was the best thing we ever did. From her first visit she really enjoyed her time there, and the staff and people she met. I was happy that she was connected to such a wonderful place, an oasis of calm, friendly and compassionate professionalism. Charlotte really looked forward to her visits. The lovely people she met there helped her to keep positive and in good spirits. Her illness initially responded into a brief remission, enabling us to have a nice holiday, but then her cancer returned.

‘This was when Hospice at Home was offered and for us it was a godsend. Until then I had looked after all of Charlotte’s care and needs, but after so long I was beginning to get tired. Eventually I accepted their help, and from the outset it was marvellous. The sitters allowed me to get some rest, all of the wonderful carers who came to our home were kind, helpful and professional and nothing was too much trouble. Eventually, as Charlotte became weaker, the Hospice at Home manager, Ruth, kept in daily contact with me and increased the service provision as required.

‘Then, inevitably, one morning my beautiful wife of 54 years slipped peacefully away with me by her side, as it was meant to be. The wonderful Hospice at Home nurse who had been with us throughout the night, stayed with us for several more hours, holding my hand in my grief. The total compassion and kindness shown to us on that day is something that I will never forget.’