Penwortham woman helped by St Catherine’s Hospice bereavement support gives back to the charity

Posted on - 30th November, 2021 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Charities, Lostock Hall, Penwortham, South Ribble News
Sarah Gunning

A Penwortham woman has told her story about how St Catherine’s Hospice’s bereavement support helped her through a difficult time, and now she is giving back by making special dedications in memory of her parents.


Sarah Gunning pays tribute to Maureen and Alan Tetsill through Light Up A Life every year.

Her dad was cared for by the charity’s Clinical Nurse Specialists at home, and she says that the bereavement support she received helped her to cope with the enormity of losing both of her parents to cancer in the same year.

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Sarah said: “My mum died in January 2012 and my dad died that December; by the summer of 2013 I was extremely low and visited my doctors where I was told there was a waiting list for counselling.

“Not long after I received a letter from St Catherine’s with information of their bereavement group. I spent a few hours every couple of weeks with other people who had lost relatives to illnesses like cancer, and the support from the hospice’s Support Team was just fantastic.

“I wasn’t sure what to expect from the bereavement group and I was a bit nervous the first time I went. The idea of expressing my feelings to strangers seemed daunting but everyone was so welcoming and the Support Team really put me at ease.

“I realised that all the feelings that I was experiencing were the same as everyone else in the room, and it was a place where I could express my emotions freely.

“It was an environment where nobody was judged and everybody got a chance to speak if they wanted to, or to just listen.

“For me, St Catherine’s is a really special place and the care and attention that the staff give the patients and their families is outstanding. The hospice is a happy place to visit and everyone is made to feel welcome.

“Light Up A Life is a special way to give back and thank them for their support, whilst also taking time to pay tribute to my parents.”

Dedications are welcome in memory of anyone – not only those who have experienced the hospice’s specialist care – and donations help fund the charity’s important work at this poignant time of year.

Names of everyone being honoured are entered into the Light Up A Life Remembrance Book, which will be available to view in The Mill Shop in St Catherine’s Park, Lostock Hall, and online this December.

To make a Light Up A Life dedication or to find out more about the monthly bereavement drop-ins which are open to anyone, visit or call 01772 629171.

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