Sam and Zoe support our summer raffle in memory of their Dad

Sam and Zoe's story

You may remember that this time last year, our dad, Chris Marlow, shared his story with you in a letter like this one. We wanted to let you know that sadly dad died at the beginning of this year at home, still being supported by Prospect Hospice, and surrounded by his family.

One of his final wishes was to raise even more money for Prospect Hospice. He was so proud of the help he gave to the raffle last year. So to carry on his legacy, as his daughters, we wanted to share our story with you, letting you know of the support the hospice has given not only to our dad but to us as a family too.

Like many people, we were nervous when dad said he was going to the hospice. Before then, we’d always been a little uncertain of the hospice. To us, it was a place of sadness. How wrong could we have been?

Dad absolutely loved it there. He was very open with us about the care he was receiving and spoke so highly of everyone at the hospice. He opened our eyes to all the services that were available and taught us so much about hospice care. He knew they were always there for him and it was comforting for us to know that should he have a bad day, he had someone else to talk to who could support and care for him, understanding what he was going through.

One of the best things for us when we spoke to anyone at the hospice was that they all knew what was going on with dad. We didn’t have to start each conversation by giving them an update. They already knew everything and that meant we were able to speak about the things that were maybe troubling us, but that we perhaps didn’t want to talk to family and friends about. They made that time all about us and what we needed, which was incredibly helpful.

We were planning to go to the carers days to find out a little more but unfortunately that was cancelled due to the pandemic. That seems to be all that was cancelled though, because right throughout the pandemic, despite everything, dad’s care continued and so did ours. Karen, from the hospice’s family support team, was on the phone for us whenever we needed her – she almost feels like part of the family now.

Karen has been absolutely fantastic. If we’re honest, we don’t know what we would have done without her. She supported us in a way that we can’t put into words. She’d even offer to have a word with other members of the family she was supporting and give them a gentle nudge if they were annoying us. Thankfully we never needed that but it was so good to know someone understood. We’re so grateful to Karen for everything she’s done for us.

We both deal differently with these things. One of us much prefers to talk and see people face to face (when we can) and the other finds it more useful to have the odd text and some information sent in the post so it’s there when we need it. The hospice adapted to both of us and didn’t offer us a ‘one size fits all’ approach. We knew this was how they were working with dad, making sure his care was personalised and tailored to his wants and needs, but we were surprised and reassured when they did the same for the care they gave all of us as a family.

From the first time we met with everyone at the hospice, the care was consistent. While dad missed the face to face interaction (he loved to talk!) the care and support continued for him. Dad encouraged us to talk so, for us too, the support was consistent and, with everything going on in the world, they were still always there for us.

The hospice was with dad to the very end and we can’t thank them enough for the support they gave to him, and us, throughout that time. While dad may now be gone and we are learning to live without him, his legacy lives on. We’ve pledged to make dad’s final wish to raise more money a priority for us and we so hope that you can too.

Prospect Hospice is an amazing local community charity that has meant so much to our family. By buying some raffle tickets you are helping to support their work, so they can continue to care for all the patients and families like ours that need them so badly when facing such a difficult time.

The hospice is still working hard to raise enough to cover the £1m funding gap they foresee for 2021 caused as a result of Covid-19, so your support remains incredibly important.

We’re hoping that this raffle is a huge success because we know first-hand just how essential the care and support of Prospect Hospice is. Each book of tickets for £25 could pay for a nurse’s fuel for a whole day, allowing them to visit patients like dad, in their own home, so every book sold is vital.

Please help us to make this raffle the biggest ever – our dad would have been so proud. Thank you again for your fantastic support for our local hospice. We wish you the very best of luck!

Sam and Zoe Marlow

Proud daughters of Chris Marlow

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