I got quite involved with St Gemma’s and I was amazed at what I learnt. I just thought of it as a place where you go to die of cancer so it was very tunnel vision.
Now I’ve been there a few times it’s a lovely place, they do amazing things. I’m quite a spiritual person so I was very interested from that point of view. I think very often at the end of life, that’s when people turn to their spirituality, their faith. So far I’ve been really impressed with what they’ve done.
My uncle was in St Gemma’s, he died of cancer. I still didn’t really know much about it, I just visited. Since coming and getting involved, I’ve learnt more about it and the things you do.
The word ‘hospice’ was affiliated with doom and gloom and death, but now I’ve learnt differently. I had a tour around the place and I can see that people can make it very homely; they put a lot of effort into it.
I think in my community, which is the South Asian community, a lot of people don’t even know what a hospice is. The ones that do know probably think it’s a place where you just go and die, that’s it. I think the younger people are a bit more clued up compared to the older generation. The message is getting out there through people like us and what you’re doing.