Hospice café tribute to young mum Amelia

Amelia and Stephen Ford with their daughters Imogen and Eva
Amelia and Stephen Ford with their daughters Imogen and Eva
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A ‘fitting tribute’ for a devoted mum who died of lung cancer has been created at the hospice where she was cared for.

Amelia Ford, from Euxton, used to enjoy visiting The Mill café at St Catherine’s Hospice with her husband Stephen and their two beloved daughters, Imogen, aged four, and Eva, two.

Susan Smith from The Mill Caf� at St Catherine's Hospice, in the new outdoor dining area

Susan Smith from The Mill Caf� at St Catherine's Hospice, in the new outdoor dining area

Stephen said the family would retreat to the café during his wife’s stay at the in-patient unit, as it offered a place of ‘normality’ and a change of scenery.

Tragically, Amelia passed away in May aged just 36, but her memory lives on with the creation of a new al-fresco dining area at the café.

“When someone you love is diagnosed with an incurable condition, it’s like getting on a rollercoaster – there are so many ups and downs,” Stephen said. “The Mill offered a place which was normal, somewhere we could simply ‘be’ – all together, as a family.

“The girls could have an ice cream or a piece of cake, and then we could take a stroll around the grounds, Amelia in the wheelchair and the children having a run around.

“The new outside area is a fitting tribute to Amelia and her positive attitude, and I know she’d be very happy that other families can now use it to create their own memories in the future”

Amelia’s husband Stephen

“It was somewhere different to go, without it having to be a big operation. Sometimes getting in and out of a car could be too much effort, so that is what was so fantastic about The Mill.”

After hearing about the Lostock Hall hospice’s hopes for extending the Mill by building a new patio area for outdoor dining, family friend Sarah Warren, a tax advisor at Mazars LLP in Birmingham, decided to apply for the funding needed for the job.

She approached the Mazars Charitable Trust and nominated the scheme, which resulted in a £16,500 grant being awarded to pay for the patio, tables and chairs.

Stephen said: “Amelia’s mantra was always to carry on, to create happy memories for our children.

“The support we got from St Catherine’s helped us to do that, and The Mill provided a lovely venue for precious time together – including special occasions like Mother’s Day, which we spent there having a meal.

“The new outside area is a fitting tribute to Amelia and her positive attitude, and I know she’d be very happy that other families can now use it to create their own memories in the future.”

Sarah added that she was delighted to have helped make a lasting contribution.

“I remember chatting with Amelia and asking her ‘what can I do?’,” Sarah said. “She told me about how much St Catherine’s had helped her and what a support they had been and the idea went from there. I know she loved going to The Mill for family time together and I’m sure lots of other families feel the same.”

The Mill café in the grounds of the hospice in Lostock Lane is open every day from 9.30am until 7pm, and is open to members of the public as well as patients, staff and hospice visitors.