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Lilian’s ‘bucket list’ bonanza

Lilian Atkinson meets Chris Shaw of RNS Publications who took her out in his Maserati car to give her an experience she never thought shed have.
Lilian Atkinson meets Chris Shaw of RNS Publications who took her out in his Maserati car to give her an experience she never thought shed have.

Trinity Hospice is celebrating local organisations which have gone above and beyond to help make a difference to people with a terminal condition.

Patients who use the Day Therapy Unit at the hospice on Low Moor Road, Bispham, are invited to make a bucket list as part of their 16-week course of therapy sessions, outlining some of the experiences they would like to have while they are well enough to do so.

Some of those experiences which are achievable are brought to life by organisations which have become known at the hospice as ‘Bucketeers’.

Among those who have been able to tick things off their bucket list is Lilian Thornton.

Lilian wrote on her bucket list how much she wanted to have a ride in a sports car and up stepped Chris Shaw at RNS Publications – a long-running supporter of Trinity Hospice.

Speaking as the hospice celebrates Dying Matters Week, Chris said: “We were only too happy to help when we heard that all Lilian wanted was a ride in a fast car.

“I took her out in my Maserati car, and she loved every minute of it.

“Of course, we abided by the speed limit at all times, but she was so grateful to have been given the chance of making one of her last wishes come true.

“It was an absolute pleasure to help make this difference for Lilian and we would do it all over again, or indeed anything we could to make a difference in someone’s life.”

Bucketeers at Fleetwood Town Football Club have also stepped in to offer tickets as well as a signed Town shirt for a Day Therapy Unit patient.

Fleetwood Town is a regular supporter of Trinity Hospice and Brian House Children’s Hospice, and recently offered tickets for three children to attend the last home game of the season with their carers.

The club’s Charity Donation Co-ordinator, Tony Collier, said: “Fleetwood Town acknowledges the wonderful work which the staff at Brian House and Trinity Hospice do, and I am always pleased to receive requests to help facilitate hospice enquiries.

“It is nice to be able to play a small part in assisting with such enquiries.

“To bring enjoyment to patients is most rewarding, particularly so when feedback is received saying how much a small request can mean so much to someone.”

Staff nurse Vicky Rashid said: “When someone talks about a bucket list, you might automatically think about some of the more extreme experiences, like jumping out of a plane or visiting an exotic country.

“But for a lot of our patients it’s the simplest of things others may take for granted, like a ride in a sports car or a trip to the zoo.

“It can be quite emotional seeing our patients presented with something they thought they might only dream of, and often those experiences are something they will never forget.

“When you are dealing with a terminal diagnoses, you can feel as though life is already over with no time to enjoy the things you used to.

“That why our Day Therapy service, and in particular our Bucketeers, can become a lifeline to patients dealing with a new diagnoses or a new symptom of their disease.

“We are so grateful to all the organisations out there which have gone the extra mile for our patients, giving them an experience they thought they would never have again.”

How Trinity helps us all

Trinity’s Day Therapy Unit supported 135 patients last year

- 857 people across the Fylde coast and their families were given end of life care in their own homes last year

- 83 per cent of Trinity’s community patients died in their preferred place of care in 2017 (UK national average is 21 per cent)

- It costs £275,000 a year to run the Day Therapy Unit at Trinity Hospice.