“She was our guardian angel at the worst time of our lives.” Sharon, Hayley, Summer and Sonny

As a Macmillan Palliative Care Social Worker at the hospice, Wendy Ashton’s mission is to make sure patients get a good quality of life – for however long. Below, a family who Wendy supported explains the value of her role at Eden Valley Hospice and Jigsaw.

Sharon, Hayley, Summer and Sonny explained,

“The impact Wendy made on us - not just our late father but myself, sister and our extended family was truly amazing. She was our guardian angel at the worst time of our lives.

“Before Wendy’s involvement, our father was not receiving the full care and support he needed. My sister and I had reached breaking point and felt unsure of the way to go with his care. Our GP, who works alongside Wendy, knew she was the only one who would be able to help. She was our light at the end of a very dark tunnel.

“Wendy was able to give our father the full support he needed and helped us in looking after ourselves and families alongside caring for our father. She was able to organise respite at Eden Valley Hospice. This was an amazing opportunity for our father as before this he was subjected to laying in his house and looking at four walls from the results of his ill health. This little thing made a huge difference to our father’s last year, as once an active man, he was again able to socialise with new people who were going through a similar experience to him.”

In late 2018 Wendy’s impact as Hospice Social Worker was recognised on a national level as she was awarded the Gold Award in the Making a Difference Category at the Social Worker of the Year Awards.

With a deep passion for caring for people and their families coping with life-limiting illnesses, Wendy’s determination to guide them through the process with knowledge and dedication have made her a shining beacon for palliative care nationally.

Wendy said,

“When it comes to timescales, sometimes they can be very short, so it is important we are positive. It might only be for a couple of days, but quality of that time is so important.

“I work as part of the Family Support Team and together we try to make a difference to people’s lives by offering social, emotional, spiritual and psychological support. Life can be short, but we support patients to live it to the full.”

Along with receiving the Making a Difference Award in London last year, Wendy is representing Eden Valley Hospice, Jigsaw and the UK at the European Association of Palliative Care Conference in Berlin in May this year. At the event, Wendy will be presenting her Creative Frames Project which help to promote the ethos of self-worth, by creating legacy frames containing special achievements, memories and much more.