It’s strange to think that after two years there is a new Thorpe Hall that’s replaced, my Thorpe hall. I sort of forgot, in all the speeches I’ve done and fundraising that what I was actually doing was working towards replacing my version of Thorpe Hall. Of course the new hospice is fantastic, there’s no creaky lift with a picture of a tortoise to remind you it’s slow and that you could potentially be stuck in their forever, no wheelchair stuck in gravel issues, it’s all functional and designed for the patients best interest. I think Dad would be livid if he knew that he’d missed out on having his own fridge, I mean just think of the cornetto’s he could have stored in there!
It was also rather strange that I untied the ribbon with the Duchess of Gloucester. I mean number one, she’s the Duchess of Gloucester so what a enormous privilege and number two, surely there are thousands of me? Thousands of children from Thorpe Hall who have lost parents and fundraised in their memory, so it seems strange that out of everyone it was me. I think that was the point though, I am just one of the thousands of bereaved children and I stand for that loss, but also the support that families who’ve been cared for in TH have for it’s staff, because of the incredible care they provide.
The journey has been an interesting one, I’ve got to see how a charity works, the fundraising aspects, meet many a donator, see how organisations and trusts are persuaded to donate their hard earned money in reputable charities. It’s also meant that I could easily prolong my involvement with the hospice, as for a while there it was a second home of mine, I think to begin with we had withdrawal symptoms, considering we left the hospice the morning Dad passed away and then returned a few hours later. I still think of the bathroom on the third floor as my own changing room and the lounge on that floor as my GCSE study. I can’t remember everything, but some moments are more vivid than others, and probably the most vivid ones are the ones where I’m shocked, mostly by little kindnesses of the staff or their humour as I definitely didn’t think that hospices would be filled with laughter before I’d spent time in one. I imagined Thorpe Hall to be a long room with patient beds in a line and a walk way in the middle sort of like how I imagine a military hospital layout (not that I have ever been to one). Now, that image, and my sceptical thoughts about TH seem absurd. I can’t imagine not having my experience and not fighting for this new build and raising money for them. I would definitely have a very boring life if I wasn’t constantly challenging myself to do more in Dad’s memory, for TH, so perhaps things do happen for a reason. Whatever that reason may be, I can’t change what has happened and it’s reached the point where I’m just grateful for having Dad, Thorpe Hall and the appeal. And I’m honoured to have been there to see the new hospice open.