Because of you...

Ros enjoyed having her nails painted for the first time

During her final days of life at Prospect Hospice Ros Marsh enjoyed a special treat by having her fingernails painted.

Ros’s husband, Dave, had never seen her nails painted in their 49 years of marriage and he was moved that Ros was able to enjoy this simple pleasure in the time she had left.

Dave said: “Ros was more interested in spending her money on our family than herself, such as getting her nails painted. But when she was in the hospice she was thrilled to have them done and they were painted bright red!

“They were painted by a volunteer who was in the inpatient unit supporting the nursing staff. Ros also had her arms and legs gently massaged with oils by the volunteer which she loved. It wasn’t done to relieve pain, it was just a nice experience for her and enabled her to relax for a few moments.

“The massage and having her nails painted were little things, but they meant a lot and it was an example of the personalised care the hospice gave Ros.”

Dave and Ros met when they were both teenagers and working at Comptons, a tailors in Sheppard Street, Swindon. Dave worked as a measure cutter while Ros worked as a sewing machinist. They began courting and were married four years later when Ros was 20 and Dave was 23.

“She was lovely, a really friendly person,” he said. “She loved her three children and 15 grandchildren and at work she was popular with her colleagues and pupils. She loved teaching children. She cared about them and they were so fond of her,” he said.

Ros was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2017 and the disease spread quickly meaning only palliative care could be given to manage her symptoms. She died at Prospect Hospice in January 2018, aged 68.

Dave is immensely grateful that the hospice was there to care for Ros and support him. He said: “Ros wasn’t keen to go into the hospice, but in the end she was pleased to be there as she received the expert care she needed. She was very poorly but the staff made sure she was comfortable.

“They looked after her very well and she had everything she needed. The hospice is such a special place. The staff were so welcoming when we visited Ros, making sure we were ok and always asking how we were.”

The compassionate and personalised care his wife received inspired Dave, of Rodbourne, Swindon, to become a volunteer with the charity.

As a retired bus driver and control room operator he was drawn to a volunteer transport role that he saw advertised.

Dave, 75, joined the charity’s retail team in October 2018 as a van driver’s assistant and volunteers eight hours a day, two days a week. He enjoys the team spirit among the charity’s staff and volunteers and knowing that he is helping the hospice to continue providing care to others in need.

He said: “I didn’t really understand what the hospice did until Ros was cared for and I saw for myself why we need hospice care in our community.

“The hospice has to raise a lot of money to provide its services and their shops are an important part in helping to raise income and I get a lot of satisfaction knowing that I’m helping it to do this.

“Volunteering also gives me something to do and it keeps me fit. The people I work with are lovely and it’s nice to chat with the shop managers.”

Find out more about how you can support the work of the hospice with a regular gift here.