Angela Williams worked as a nurse when Willen Hospice first opened its doors

We were honoured to interview Angela who came forward to tell us her wonderful memories about the time she worked at Willen Hospice in the early days of its existence.

She says: “I worked at Willen Hospice when it was just 10 beds in the old farmhouse. It was an eye-opener to work with such lovely people who really cared, and looked after the whole person and their family. It was a totally different attitude to nursing. I had worked at a hospital where, in those days, if someone was dying, their curtains were drawn and they were left alone. At Willen Hospice it was so different and the care was very, very personal. Even the meals were fantastic and patients could have anything they asked for.

“I have so many memories of the Hospice. One day a man was admitted, and both his wife and his ex-wife took turns sitting and crying by his bedside. He died shortly after he came in and five hours later they were still taking turns at his bedside, along with about 20 of his extended family members. They would come and go and it was almost as if nobody wanted to leave. They congregated in the corridors and canteen and eventually, from all the smoking, they set the fire alarms off and the fire engines came racing to the Hospice.

“40 years later I would love to know what happened to my colleagues. I worked with the most hilarious Health Care Assistant called Paul. He was funny and caring and lightened the mood with his antics. Pat Clarke, another brilliant nurse who made a huge impression on me, sadly died a few months ago.

We asked Angela what she thinks it means to have a Hospice serving the local community.

“Willen Hospice is so important. It’s a place that gives people hope, something to hold onto, so they know they don’t have to be alone when their time comes.”