Audrey Bramah has been involved with volunteering at, and supporting, Blythe House since its inception in 1989.
The Chinley resident says: ‘When Blythe House first started, there was a small office near the church in Chapel-en-le-Frith. I couldn’t volunteer full-time then as I owned a restaurant but I would sell raffle tickets and host coffee mornings to help raise funds. I always felt this affiliation with the iconic idea of High Peak having its own hospice, and I knew that it was something that I wanted to be involved with.
‘I retired around the same time that the very first Blythe House charity shop was opening in Buxton and so I started to volunteer my time there, and soon after, the New Mills shop opened and I helped there too. I have also given my time at both the Chapel-en-le-Frith store and at the start of the very successful Whaley Bridge department store.
‘Later, when I entered the hospice building itself, and felt the warmth and compassion within their walls, I knew that I had found my niche. After a stint in the kitchen helping Jill [Blythe House’s cook], and another few months at the Whaley Bridge shop, I returned to the hospice itself as a Living Well Service volunteer.
‘Everybody who comes to Blythe House whether it’s for counselling, therapy or treatment, has a unique sensation and feeling of comfort and belonging. The staff here are all professional and dedicated to the well-being and emotional needs for every patient. The people who are involved here, including staff and volunteers, are a reflection on how special the hospice is; the welcome found here is like a big, embracing hug!’