Emma and Jane’s story
Emma and her mum Jane work in our Exec Admin team. They both come from an education background and after their beloved grandma and mum died at the Hospice in 2016 they both found their way to a job at St Gemma’s. This is their story.
Emma Farrer – AUPC Administrator
“My grandma was cared for in the Hospice in 2016 and that was the biggest reason I wanted to move to St Gemma’s.
She’d been treated for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in hospital for months but she didn’t like the sterile environment and was really unhappy there. So when we found out she could move to St Gemma’s we were so grateful.
The hospital staff cared for her medically but the St Gemma’s team offered so much more than that. Grandma had always been such a foodie but had really lost her appetite and could only really manage to drink protein shakes. After chatting with her one day about all the food she loved, she told me she really fancied a little plate of grapes and cheese. I went to ask in the Bistro and within a couple of minutes a plate was delivered to her room. It wasn’t a case of ticking a box to say she’d eaten that day, the staff really listened and gave her what she wanted. It really moved me and is something I’ll always remember.
Ever since then I frequently checked the St Gemma’s website for job vacancies – I knew I wanted to work in such a special place.
I come from an education background, having worked in schools for several years, so when an opportunity came up in 2021 to provide admin support to the Academic Unit of Palliative Care, I applied. I’m delighted to be able to give back to the Hospice by using my skills and experience in education.
In my day-to-day role, I provide administrative support to the AUPC and work closely with the Head of Education with her diary management, scheduling meetings and minute taking, as well as providing admin support to other colleagues within the AUPC. I am the main point of call for all external training; ensuring that delegates are given the training information, co-ordinate payment, provide IT support and collate and distribute certificates. I also co-ordinate the 6 monthly and yearly reports for the AUPC, which showcases the activity within the department and is distributed to professionals within the organisation and across the city.
I love my role and the culture at St Gemma’s. It sounds strange to say but it’s a very happy place to work.”
Jane Emmett, Senior Medical Team Administrator
“I first came to St Gemma’s when I was at primary school for a celebration event of some kind and I still remember the warm and friendly welcome we all received.
Years later, I experienced the amazing support first-hand when my mum came into the Hospice in 2016. My mum was so much more comfortable and at peace here and I can’t thank the team enough for the care they gave her.
Before coming to work here, I also joined the St Gemma’s choir. My husband was singing as part of the 40 years celebration event at Leeds Town Hall and I joined the choir soon after this. The Town Hall event was a very special evening and I love coming to Tuesday night choir practices and singing at St Gemma’s events; the Christmas Light Up a Life is a particular favourite.
It’s also interesting to think of other connections I have had to St Gemma’s before coming to work here; I used to work in a school that had St Gemma’s as one their House Charities and I came here from Leeds Trinity University – the same order of nuns that established St Gemma’s also helped to develop a teacher training programme at Trinity and All Saints College (TASC) which then became Leeds Trinity University.
Emma used to talk about how great it was to work at St Gemma’s so when I was looking to move from a full-time position to a part time role, I was delighted to apply for a job here and Emma was right about it being a fantastic place to work.
The culture of St Gemma’s is special. Having education, health, retail and charity all rolled into one is so unique. Most organisations are just defined by one thing but there are so many people from different backgrounds with different skills that it makes it a really diverse place to work.
My role is to support the Chief Medical Officer as well as providing admin support to different meetings, inducting new doctors and managing rotas and medical availability calendars.
It’s hands down the best job I’ve ever had and I feel very blessed to be able to work here. It really is a joy to work in such a positive, caring and flexible environment with such a fabulous group of people. This is definitely where I want to be.”