Mark Winter, 62, has attended the Barnsley Hospice support and wellbeing service for over four years. Over these years, Mark’s perception of hospice care has changed, and he is now sharing his story to help others.
“I initially heard about the hospice from a GP when I was first diagnosed with cancer.
“Like thousands of others, I heard the word hospice and thought ‘oh dear’. I was totally ignorant to what the hospice did and assumed a referral meant that my time was up.
“A couple of years later, I decided to accept the invite, and I visited the hospice for the first time. I was a bit apprehensive initially, but after four years, I have never looked back.”
Mark first attended the hospice’s Day Therapy services, which was replaced with a support and wellbeing service, The Orangery, after the COVID-19 lockdown.
“When the team called to tell me about The Orangery, I signed up for all programmes straight away. I enjoy coming every week, as I learn so much from the other people who attend and the staff.
“I tell my friends and family that I look forward to coming to the hospice, and some don’t understand it, but when I’m here, I feel more relaxed than I have ever been.
“I’m a typical Barnsley man, and I never thought I’d be one for using relaxation techniques, but the hospice has taught me so many ways to cope with my anxiety that I use all the time at home.
“I think what stands out for me at the hospice is the staff. They are absolutely superb. From the moment I walk into the room, I feel at ease. Everything they do feels completely tailored to me, which is just lovely.
“I haven’t raised the white flag, but in the moments where I am struggling, the team are right there to pick me up and support me. I often don’t even need to say anything, and the team just knows when I need that extra phone call or a chat. I don’t have enough words to describe how great they are!”
Visit The Orangery page on our website to find out more about our support and wellbeing service.