Back in the spring, we had a visit from PC Paul Thompson who offered a petrol-fuelled dream day out for one of our day hospice patients to play VIP as the Thames Valley Police protection team were put through their paces in a high-octane training day.

Needless to say, there was a lot of interest in the experience, so patients keen to take part put their names in to a hat and we pulled out a winner. Arriving at Banbury Police Station just after dawn, lucky winner Bill was whisked into the back of a smart BMW and driven around the county in a motorcade that would make most celebrities green with envy.

The team of 10 protection officers and two motorcycle outriders usually protect members of the royal family and high-profile celebrities, and spent their day making sure Bill was as safe as could be, practicing high speed manoeuvres designed to escape trouble and get the VIP to a safe location as quickly as possible.

Bill certainly won't forget the day in a hurry, he said;

"The guys were so professional and some of the things they were doing were unbelievable. At one point we screeched around a roundabout the wrong way and were flying the wrong way along a dual carriageway in no time! Absolutely one of the best days of my life!"

It wasn't all sirens and smoking tyres though, the Police team made sure that Bill was treated like a true VIP, with coffee and refreshments at the famous Michelin-starred Le Manoir Aux Quat'Saisions.

PC Thompson, who manages the training days, said;

“Bill helped us out by dropping into the role of VIP for the day. I hope he enjoyed being escorted with a police escort
parting the traffic and not complying with normal traffic regulations, he seemed to take it in his stride! My team enjoyed brightening his day.”

At Katharine House it's always been our philosophy to help people live as best they can with their illness. We can't always offer such amazing days out to everyone, but every so often something comes along that is truly unforgettable.

Bill couldn't let too many secrets out, but it's safe to say the kind offer from the team at Thames Valley Police gave him a fantastic trip which he can share with his family and friends.