“I was referred to Rennie Grove by my GP after I was told I was terminally ill around two years ago. When I first came to Grove House I did feel daunted. It is natural to feel like that but the staff and volunteers here are great people who will support you.
“Every Thursday I take part in The Movement classes and on Friday I visit Day Hospice. The Movement classes are not too onerous as you can move at your own pace. I am trying to build my strength up now which can be hard but it gives me mental and physical motivation for the rest of the day. What I like most about the classes is that you can work at your own level. There are exercises you can do if you are sitting down or if you are feeling stronger you can stand up. There are no more than 10 of us in each class so you get to know everyone. It is great to be doing something that’s good for you with like-minded people who are facing similar struggles to you.
“Because I visit Grove House regularly two days a week my wife is able to have some time to herself at home. It is good for both of us as she needs time to not worry about me. While I am here she knows that I am provided with invaluable care and support from the Rennie Grove staff and volunteers and she knows I love to come here.
“Every now and then when I visit Day Hospice I get the chance to visit Anne, the volunteer complementary therapist. She does the best foot massages in the world. My mobility isn’t brilliant as I’ve got a left-sided weakness in my foot which Anne massages when I see her. It relieves any pain or aggravation I might have in my foot that day which is a big help.
“There is always something going on in Day Hospice. We have visits from Pets as Therapy (PAT) dogs, the volunteers often host quizzes and we have choirs and steel bands performing. The other week we had a lady come in and talk to us about her cycling holidays in France. The activities are always interesting and spark interest and conversation amongst everyone.
“The services Rennie Grove offer are fantastic. The staff, patients and volunteers are all lovely people. There’s no pressure to do anything. The nurses talk you through what you need to know. Because of my brain tumour I sometimes forget what the nurses have said to me about medication, for example. The nurses write in my communication book, which my wife will read so she is kept in the loop with what has happened that day. Small things like that that make a big difference.
“Although I’m hoping my condition won’t get worse in the future, it’s reassuring to know that Rennie Grove’s Hospice at Home service can be an option for me. When I have to go into a hospital, all I want to do is go home. I live in a nice little bungalow in Harpenden so if I become more ill I would like to be cared for in the comfort of my own home.
“There are times where my wife and I sit and think about how lucky we are to have such a wonderful family and that our children have got their family around them. My daughters and their families are big Rennie Grove supporters. They took part in The Farm Run in 2018 and helped to organise a golf day which raised over £6,000.
“I don’t know what I would do without Rennie Grove’s services. Being a Rennie Grove patient at Grove House gives me structure and routine each week as well as incredible care and support. It’s a way of getting out of the house as well as being cared for in a happy and positive environment.”