Nurse confident community will come to rescue

Donna Hanmer, a senior staff nurse at St John's Hospice.
Donna Hanmer, a senior staff nurse at St John's Hospice.

A senior staff nurse who has worked at St John’s Hospice for 16 years says she is confident the public will “come to its rescue.”

As the charity faces financial uncertainty with daily costs running into the thousands, Donna Hanmer backed our campaign to save the hospice for future generations as we try and raise £500,000 over the next year.

The 52-year-old, originally from East London, but now of Carnforth, said: “I think we are really well-supported and the campaign will bump up that support and we will get that half a million.”

Donna, who works four days a week at the charity, is responsible for overseeing the care of all patients.

And, although she described the role as “intense”, she enjoys getting to know the patients.

“Some people come in for repeat admissions, some people just come in for one admission and you get to know them and their family really well,” she said.

“It’s like seeing friends again and you build up a relationship with them. I’m there for them at a really difficult time in their lives.”

Urging readers to get behind the Save Our Hospice campaign, Donna went on: “A life-limiting illness can affect any one of us or our family and we need this hospice to be here for everybody and I have faith that the community will come to the rescue.

“I can’t imagine it not being here. It would be a huge loss to the community as a whole.”

She explained that while hospitals do valuable work, the support offered by a hospice was a different focus.

And the camaraderie between the close-knit team is equally special.

“There will always be a need for in-patient care when things get difficult at home,” Donna added. “Inpatient care is part of the whole service that the hospice offers. We are busy, and that reflects that we are needed.

“We support each other a great deal because we all know it’s very emotional and we talk to each other and let each other know how we are feeling.

“There is a lot of laughter at times. It would surprise people who come here and think it’s going to be doom and gloom.”