When the St. Rocco’s Starlight Ladies Walk sets off at midnight on Saturday June 23, there will be a team of St. Rocco’s nurses and healthcare assistants marching in their midst.
As with many ladies putting their best foot forward raising much-needed funds for their local hospice, the team Jayne Daly, Janice Moorcroft, Wendy Unsworth, Andrea Crowley and Kim Dicocco have a special reason for walking.
Last Autumn healthcare assistant Kim’s beloved father was cared for by St. Rocco’s and they will all be walking in his memory.
“When a couple of the girls decided to walk in memory of my Dad, I knew that I would have to take part as well,” said Kim.
“Having my Dad being looked after at St. Rocco’s has just given me and my whole family a different perspective.
“Working here you are always aware and are sympathetic to what families are going through when their loved one is very ill, but it has really brought home to me the intensity of the emotions that everyone is experiencing.
“When Dad was here I didn’t feel like I worked here, I felt looked after as a family member, just like everyone else.”
Kim had hoped to care for her father at home but when things took a turn for the worst, he was admitted to St. Rocco’s.
“My Dad and a lot of my family had the idea that St. Rocco’s would be like a hospital setting but they couldn’t believe how different it was.
“My Dad actually said he loved it here – the staff got him eating and he even had a cooked breakfast one day! We saw him smiling for the first time in weeks. There was a lot of smiling and memories made whilst he was here.”
Lots of the family came to visit and Kim’s sister Gina was impressed with the camaraderie and relationship that built up with other patients and families. So much so that she and Kim’s nieces Lisa and Leanne Dicocco and Krystal Lomax will be joining the team for the walk.
“My Dad was scared of dying but being at St. Rocco’s meant that we had the opportunity to be with him and stay with him which really helped him and us deal with the situation.”
Kim also felt that coming back to work actually helped her:
“I wasn’t worried about coming back to work because I knew I would be supported and here we are all more used to talking about death and grief. Here people speak openly and I didn’t have to hide how I was feeling from my colleagues.
“In fact I felt proud to come back to work and proud to do the job that I do. I feel as if my Dad has actually been a part of what I do and I know that I see my job through fresh eyes now.”
St. Rocco’s looks after people in Warrington with life-limiting and terminal illnesses. As a charity it costs £3.6million a year to keep running and, with only 20% of that amount coming from the NHS,
St. Rocco’s relies on the generosity and support of the local community for the rest.
The hospice needs as many ladies as possible to sign up and walk. There is still time for ladies to join Kim and the rest of the team for this year’s Starlight Walk and at the moment there is a half price offer on registration, so sign up now at www.starlightladieswalk.co.uk.