Imagine being told ‘you make life worth living’.
That’s just what one physio was told by one of her patients at Sue Ryder Neurological Care Centre at Cuerden Hall in Bamber Bridge.
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Now the centre is moving to a state-of the-art, purpose-built site in Fulwood and the Sue Ryder charity is inviting people to be part of doing just that - making life worth living and revolutionising care for people with neurological conditions.
Sue Ryder’s national volunteering manager Bluebell Smith says that volunteers can make a patient’s day and she wants to see dozens doing just that, joining forces with the staff to improve the quality of life for people living with conditions which can take away their ability to speak and walk.
Bluebell says: “With our new centre at D’Urton Manor, we want to start up a new volunteer team.
“When we move premises to the site off Eastway we’ll be really focused on Motor Neurone disease and Huntington’s and it would support people to achieve their personal goals and improve their quality of life.
“I think the lovely thing about volunteering at one of our centres is you never know what kind of difference you can make in people’s lives.
“Volunteers can literally go in and change their day - that’s an incredibly impactful thing to do.”
For physiotherapist Sinead Gallery, it was seeing the difference her skill could make to people’s lives that led her to focus on working with people with neurological conditions.
She said: “One resident was told he would never be able to walk again and he’s up and using a walking frame at the minute.
“It’s his family as well. Obviously being told at the hospital that you’re never going to be able to walk again and then for his family to see him walking is amazing. It just gives him that little bit of hope.
“Not everybody is going to be able to get up and walk again but just being able to reach for the phone or something like that, it’s amazing.
“I’ll never forget one resident we had.
“He said, ‘The doctors made it so that we can live but you made it worth living’ and that’s stuck with me since.
“It made me cry when he told me. It’s a privilege as well gaining their trust. It just makes your job worth doing.”
Bluebell says that the difference volunteers, like staff can make is remarkable and she’s urging people to take up volunteering at the new Sue Ryder Specialist Care Centre when it opens in the spring.
“It’s a fantastic New Year’s resolution to make because it’s really good for people with neurological conditions as well as being good for Sue Ryder,” she said.
“There are different reasons why people volunteer - for health care and to help fundraise for example.
“It’s quite often that people have a personal connection or reason for volunteering.
“A massive reason that people volunteer with us is to make friends. We know that social isolation in the country is a problem and volunteering is a great way to meet people.
“If people are feeling a bit lonely they make friends and it makes a huge difference to their community and it also makes a difference to us.
“People also volunteer with us because it really really helps them into a job.
“It improves their employment prospects if they need a change of direction and they ultimately play a big part in helping us.”
To find out more about volunteering at Sue Ryder go to www.sueryder.org/support-us/volunteer/volunteer-opportunities
Sponsor a Star Campaign
The Lancashire Post is campaigning to help raise money to add sparkle to the lives of people with degenerative neurological conditions.
We are asking our readers to help raise cash to kit out the centre with things which will help patients live fuller lives.
People living with illnesses such as Huntington’s, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s or Motor Neurone disease can lose access to hobbies and interests because of their illnesses, which in turn affects their health and mental wellbeing.
Our Sponsor a Star fund aims to collect cash to buy items such as an anti-gravity treadmill, which could allow someone with limited mobility to experience a form of running again for example. We also want patients to benefit from ceiling hoists which will make moving around easier and virtual reality headsets which can give people a chance to escape and relax.
There are lots of ways that Sue Ryder is hoping to improve the quality of life for people at the new centre in Fulwood from encouraging volunteers to give up their time or to help raise money for technology which helps make life easier.
Readers are welcome to donate any amount to the appeal.
To donate, go to www.sueryder.org/makeadonation
Or send a cheque to:
Lancashire Post Appeal,
183 Eversholt Street,
London NW1 1BU