Create98 in Leigh-on-Sea have teamed up with Havens Hospices, which includes Fair Havens Hospice, Little Havens Hospice and The J’s Hospice, to bring Havens to Havens Walk back for its twelfth year this Autumn.
As well as sponsoring the event, Create98 are planning to join hundreds of other walkers for the walk on Sunday 1st September. Many of the walkers take part in memory of a loved one who has been cared for by Havens Hospices within the home, in the community and at their two hospices, like Owner of Create98 Christine Wyatt whose Mum, Shirley, was cared for by the charity’s Hospice at Home service in 2017.
Like many older people Shirley did not want to be a burden to her two daughters. She had been diagnosed with breast cancer when she was in her mid-70s-years but had been successfully treated for this. In 2017, she was coming up to five-years post breast cancer and insisted that she was fine to her family.
However, at the beginning of July Shirley’s friends, Christine and her sister Karen realised she wasn’t fine. She was hospitalised with a blood infection. Whilst in hospital they did a lot of tests and as Christine explains, “they took us aside and explained the tests were showing signs of cancer – Secondary Metastases in her Pancreas and potentially in other areas.”
Shirley was discharged from Southend Hospital once the blood infection had been controlled and went home. Christine and her sister Karen decided to stay with Shirley in her bungalow. The family thought that Shirley had a few weeks left, so the two sisters both put their lives on hold to focus on making these last few weeks as comfortable as possible for Mum.
“We knew from one of her friends that Havens had a highly regarded Hospice at Home service so we immediately contacted her GP to see if we could access this for Mum. Luckily, we could, and the service started on the Sunday. Mum died on the Wednesday 26th July 2018 and her death was exactly how she would have wanted, peaceful, pain free and at home. The Havens Hospices’ Hospice at Home service made that possible and we were so grateful for their support”.
“The Hospice at Home team provided all the care and support Mum needed, also however they were a great support to my sister and me. Not having experienced terminal illness before we did not know what to expect. The Hospice at Home team talked us through all of it, they were very approachable, and we were able to ask the team anything. They guided us through each day instinctively seem to know what we needed to know; so, often they were explaining things to us before we’d asked that question.”
Christine opened Create98 in 2018 and this year the studio decided to partner with Havens Hospices in a variety of ways from hosting workshops at Fair Havens for some of the charity’s patients to volunteering at community events. However, the Havens to Havens walk is the first event that the company are sponsoring and taking part in. Christine’s sister Karen is joining the team for the day, to take part in the walk and raise vital funds for the charity which cared for their Mum.
“Hospice at Home only cared for Mum for a short time, but one that made a huge difference for our family. If we hadn’t been able to access Hospice at Home, we may not have felt confident to look after her ourselves and Mum may have ended up back in hospital. She did not want to die in hospital, so, the hospice helped her have a more dignified and peaceful death and they helped her in that they helped us to be able to be there with her.
“We both really want to raise as much money as possible for them and are hoping to have a big team walking with us made up of friends, family and even some of our customers, neighbours and friends in the local community – anyone is more than welcome to join the Create98 Team.”
If you’ve been inspired by Christine’s story and would like to sign up to join Create98 at the Havens to Havens walk on Sunday 1st September 2019 please click here [https://www.havenshospices.org.uk/events].