Jay Rodriguez of Burnley has a very personal connection to Pendleside Hospice.
This is where her grandfather received treatment before he passed away last year at the age of 76.
The forward is now the center’s ambassador and, along with Burnley Women’s player Sarah Agger, has paid a special seasonal visit.
Jay says, “Everyone in this area praises this place and obviously myself, it wasn’t that long ago that I lost my grandfather. My family and I will never thank enough this place.
âThe work they do, their care and helping them go above and beyond. Coming back here shattered some memories, seeing the nurses and the people.
“Being able to thank them for all the work they do on a daily basis is a very good thing.”
Sarah says, âWe have met volunteers, caregivers and it’s nice to meet them and see the good job they are doing. And for us, it’s just nice to give back to the local community.
In addition to posing for photos and signing autographs, Jay also got a glimpse into the lives of hospice staff by trying on the multiple items of PPE nurses are required to wear when dealing with patients.
Jay says, âIt’s really uncomfortable to put on. They said as soon as they got an alarm to say they had to see a patient they had to rush out and put all the equipment I had on me.
It is really difficult. It’s just an honor for them and their families and everyone they help, it’s an amazing place. “
Jay’s support for the hospice goes beyond Christmas visits. At the start of the pandemic, when they could not find PPE, he intervened to procure and provide essential items.
Like hospices across our region, Pendleside has seen more difficult times than ever because of Covid. CEO Helen McVey says the support of people like Jay and Sarah is a big boost to morale.
Helen says, âWe have seen the demand for our services increase due to the pandemic, at the same time we have seen our fundraising be severely affected.
âIt has been a very difficult 18 months for our staff and patients, so having someone to come and take time with them and bring some joy to the hospice made it special. ”