Kathryn's Story | The Hospice of St. Francis

Kathryn's Story

We were overwhelmed by the generosity of love..

Kathryn, 35 from Great Missenden and Mum of two, describes being overwhelmed by the generosity of love that she and her family received when her Mother, Sue Deeprose, was admitted to the Hospice in May 2019.

Having been newly appointed to the role of Supporter Engagement Fundraiser, Kathryn explains how working at the Hospice has given her a new focus and hopes that her new job will make her Mum proud.

“My mum was my best friend. We did everything together.

Both my mum and dad have been long standing volunteers at the Hospice, taking on various roles. My mum volunteered on reception and as a Bereavement Counsellor on a Monday evening providing phone support to family members. She also loved working at the Berkhamsted shop as part of the ‘Friday Afternoon Crew’ where her love of books meant that she was solely in charge of sorting through donations and displaying books on the shop floor. She would have loved the Hospice’s new book shop!

Mum was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer just two and a half months prior to being admitted to The Hospice of St Francis where she spent her final two days. After her diagnosis, she made the incredibly brave decision to elect for palliative care instead of undergoing the highest levels of chemo.  She informed The Hospice of her diagnosis but continued to volunteer until just a few weeks before she passed.  

As long-standing volunteers, Kathryn’s Mother & Father, Richard Deeprose, were put forward to attend A Garden Party at Buckingham Palace by the Voluntary Services team.

“It was all about benchmarks and goals for my Mum and the Garden Party at Buckingham Palace was one of them. Sadly, my mum’s health declined and after a visit from the Community Nurses the night before, mum was admitted to the Hospice the following morning, the day of The Garden Party which meant she couldn’t attend. However, Mum was relieved; her words were “I’d rather be at The Hospice”.

“Due to my Mum’s passion for the Hospice, I had always been a supporter by attending events, mainly the Garden Party at Ashridge House, but I had never visited the building before Mum was admitted. I couldn’t believe how kind people were. Everyone from staff to volunteers provided help in any way they could, which made us all feel so supported and so reassured. They couldn’t do enough.

“We were overwhelmed by the generosity of love that we received from the moment Mum was admitted and after she passed away.  We had complete privacy for as long as we wanted receiving sympathy and empathy in equal measure.”

Prior to taking on her new role at the Hospice, Kathryn took a five-year career break when her children came along, but knew that she wanted to get back to work in 2020.

“I knew that when I returned to work I wanted to be part of an organisation where I could make an impact somehow. When the role for a Supporter Engagement Fundraiser came up at the Hospice, I wanted to contribute and join the team of inspiring people."