During the summer months, the obelisks in the Ashgate Hospicecare gardens will be splashed with coloured ribbons, with each length of ribbon displaying a special dedication to a loved one.
In return for a donation to the Rainbow Ribbons appeal, you will receive a length of brightly coloured ribbon for you to write your own special personal message for someone who has brought colour to your life.
Alan Oliver, from Dronfield in North Derbyshire, who is supporting the Rainbow Ribbons appeal, said: “This year, I am dedicating a colourful ribbon to my mum, Vera. I want to ensure that people, like mum, who need hospice care at home can get it when they need it – day or night.
In 2016, my mum was diagnosed as terminally ill at age 85. I was planning on spending the summer with her, but unfortunately she went downhill very quickly and died in the spring of last year. It was all quite quick.
During her final weeks, I pretty much devoted all of my time to looking after her. To watch what mum had to go through was really distressing. She needed looking after all the time. I wasn’t sleeping properly as I was getting up to check on mum every few hours throughout the night, just to make sure she was alright. As the weeks passed, I became more and more exhausted.
One of the Hospice at Home support workers started coming once a week. That was such a relief as it gave me the break I really needed. Things were getting so difficult by that point. Just being able to get out of the house for a couple of hours to do some shopping was a massive help. I don’t know what I would have done without that time to myself and I’m really grateful to Ashgate for that.
Mum didn’t want to go into a hospice or a home, so fortunately she was able to stay with me until the end. However, the care she needed was too much for me to deal with on my own. I don’t want anyone to go through this without the support of Ashgate Hospicecare and that is why I’m dedicating a ribbon to my wonderful mum, Vera.”
By supporting the appeal, you can write your own special message for someone who has brought colour to your life. You might wish to tie it to your wrist or hang it in your home or garden. The Hospice will also hang a ribbon in memory of your loved one in their gardens for all the patients and visitors to see.
Not only will your ribbon honour your loved one, it will help somebody facing a tragedy of their own right now. For more information, please visit http://rainbowribbons.org.uk/ or call the Ashgate Hospicecare fundraising team on 01246 567250.