Melanie Bastow has worked at St Gemma’s Hospice, Leeds for eight years. She works in the hospice’s bistro serving refreshments to staff, volunteers and visitors. However, Melanie also has another very special role, organising special events for patients and their loved ones. She explains:
"We are often asked to help arrange a special event for a patient or their loved ones. We have had weddings, christenings, anniversaries and birthday parties at the hospices.
"I spend time with the patient and their family to find out their wishes and needs. Time is of the essence for some of our patients so I work quickly with my colleagues to organise the event. We deal with preparing the food, drinks, cake, decorations and anything else we can do to make the day memorable.
"For some people facing the end of life, it is the little things we can do that make such a difference. Whatever someone wishes, the St Gemma’s team will do whatever we can to try and make it happen. It is a privilege to be involved with the patients and the events are often very moving. I am just pleased I can play a part in helping people to celebrate something special at a very difficult time in their life.
"The hospice is not just about the expert clinical care. It is about helping people to enjoy each day and that is what makes hospice care so special."