BBC journalist supports the Cotswold Care Hospice that helped her mother

Gazette Series: Ali Vowles and her mother Joan received invaluable support from Cotswold Care Hospice Ali Vowles and her mother Joan received invaluable support from Cotswold Care Hospice

AHEAD of an annual service to remember loved ones a BBC journalist has shared her experiences of Cotswold Care Hospice.

The charity’s service of celebration – Light Up a Life – is held at 7pm on Monday December 9.

Members of Tyndale Choral Society, the Dursley Male Voice Choir and Minchinhampton Primary School will sing during the service.

BBC Points West and Radio Bristol presenter Ali Vowles will be hosting the service in Minchinhampton Parish Church.

She has personal experience of the support Cotswold Care Hospice offers as the charity’s hospice at home nurses helped Ali and her sister Nicola fulfil their mother’s last wish - to die at home.

Ali grew up on a farm near Wotton-under-Edge and her parents David and Joan moved into the town when they retired.

When her mother became ill with cancer and dementia, support from Cotswold Care Hospice provided a vital lifeline for the family.

“Mum’s desire was to die at home. All of her life she was scared of hospitals,” explained Ali. “The hospice at home nurses helped us fulfil Mum’s wish.

“Lisa, the hospice at home nurse turned up and at once made us feel that we could trust her. That was incredibly comforting.”

Having help at home meant that the rest of the family could take the time to also look after themselves.

Ali added: “It allowed us to become daughters again and not just carers. We were able to sit there and hold her hand and talk to her. We could sleep and then be with her during the day.”

Joan died at home on April 27, aged 86.

The Light Up a Life service is for anyone who wishes to celebrate the memory of a loved one at this time of year. People can dedicate a star in memory of a loved one which will be included on the Christmas tree at the church.

The charity supports hundreds of people with life-threatening or life-limiting illnesses each year, as well families and carers. All of its services are provided free of charge and support people living in Gloucestershire.

Money raised from the Light up a Life appeal will go to providing more vital services in the county.

The Hospice at Home team will provide vital support to families this Christmas, a time of year when it can be difficult to cope with the physical and emotional stress of caring for their family member who is at the end of their life.

By providing a range of support in the home, the hospice at home nurses can ensure that families can have some quality time with their loved one this Christmas.

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