Amelia Hemmings has been supporting Katharine House since her mother Nadia passed away at the hospice nearly three years ago.

"My lovely mum spent 16 days at Katharine House. Before she got to the hospice, she was in a lot of pain but straight away she was made to feel at home. She was out of pain, comfortable and happy for the last few weeks of her life.

"When Mum first got there, she told staff that she just wanted to look around. She wanted to chat to everyone and just get to know her surroundings. The staff were brilliant. They wheeled her around and introduced her to everyone, so she felt more settled.

"Katharine House will try everything to make it personable. They allowed us to come and go as we pleased. I took in my dog. We played games; I never did jigsaws until Mum was at Katharine House and I haven’t been able to do one since because it reminds me too much of that time. 

"My mum used to do these big lunches for friends and family; she often involved the whole village! When she was at Katharine House, she wanted to have another big lunch and we were wondering how on earth we were going to organise that for her. But the staff made it so easy. They told us we could use the kitchen and let us have the day room and moved everything around so we could have a big family meal. It was amazing. They made that happen. They were very flexible and worked with us.

“That’s what stands out for me, the fact that we were made to feel part of this supportive family. Whether it’s immediate family or friends, everyone is welcome. The staff always find time to talk, no matter how busy they are."

"We also received amazing bereavement support from Katharine House. I’m so glad that I did it and will be forever grateful. I really think that to have that bereavement support as part of the charity is incredible. I was told that if there was ever a time – whether it was in two weeks, six months, two years – that I felt wobbly and needed to talk to someone, they would be there. Knowing that there was that support on hand made a big difference.

"It was strange. You’re going through this scary, horrendous, sad time and they made it so that it wasn’t.”

Amelia believes that it’s the extra touches at Katharine House that makes it so special, particularly praising the ‘yummy’ food and the hospice’s beautiful gardens.

"The gardens are stunning, they’re part of the whole experience. And the fact that they are looked after by volunteers is incredible. Mum was a brilliant gardener, so she loved the gardens. They even got the bed outside for her so she could enjoy them more."

Amelia described Nadia, who was 76 when she died, as a warm, kind woman who always had time for other people. "She was amazing. She had a very big heart and would talk to anyone. She was a good listener; open and friendly and would make everyone feel special. She was like a second mum to a lot of people."

"My mother was forever saying, 'It’s perfect here. I’m so lucky to be here. They are all so kind and so wonderful.' She is right, they are! All the staff looked after my mother with the highest care and sensitivity that you can only imagine. They always made time for her. My family are eternally thankful to Katharine House for supporting us."

"I will always raise money for this charity, there couldn’t be anyone else."

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Katharine House Hospice