A Tribute to Mr Bill Evans: A Life, Well-Lived #lifestory #patientcare #wirralhospice #caring #nursing #thankyou #wellbeing

Bill EvansYou would have really liked our Wellbeing Centre patient, Mr Bill Evans. He was open and welcoming when you first met him. He’d flash you a smile and enquire, “Hello, I’m Bill and, may I ask, who are you?”  After I told him, “I’m a Bill too”, we had a nice series of conversations. He was very happy to tell me about his life, family and the great calm he found at Wirral Hospice St John’s.

(Bill is pictured here with Bernice, left, and Patricia from Wellbeing )

He lived in West Kirby for all his life and his great passion was sea fishing – venturing out on his motorcruiser, Seawitch, from West Kirby Sailing Club. Seawitch had all the mod cons, echo sounders, satnav, all the safety equipment for when the Irish Sea got a bit rough.

He often sailed out of the Dee Estuary with friends and his son Rob. They’d go sailing around the Great Orme at Llandudno, over to Anglesey, and, in fact, all along the North Wales coast. He was especially animated when telling me about the time he caught an 18lb Pollock. Spreading his arms, in the time-honoured fashion, “It was this big, Billy!”

Bill was proud of his heritage. Being close to the sea it’s no surprise that his great, great, Grandfather ‘Fiddler Evans’ was locally renowned for being able to single-handedly lift half a ton of anchor and chain. You see, Fiddler manned the lifeboat, stationed then at Hilbre Island. That was when the boat was powered by rowing or sailing – there were no motors in those days!

Bill’s dad, William Evans, was a keen golfer and indulged his passion all around Wirral. He was a member of the Royal Liverpool Artisans Village Golf Club, based at Meols Drive. This is a membership group which pay a reduced membership fee in return for their commitment to helping the upkeep of the course. He was good too. When William died they scattered his ashes on the 18th Fairway on the Open Championship course.

Bill Evans Army CookSo what about Bill himself? He joined the army in the late 1950’s as a regular. He was an army cook for 19 Field Ambulance, part of the Royal Army Medical Corps and was stationed in Malaya as it transitioned into Malaysia. His unit’s job, in those days, was largely preparing the local population for independence in a time before Malaysia was recognised for its massive industrial and technological development.

Bill was also capable of ‘looking after himself’. He showed me the boxing certificate he won when he was posted in Berjaya in 1965 (pictured). It proudly heralds ‘W Evans has won first place in the Berjaya Boxing (Middle Weight) Competition held in Sibu Sarawak, 1st-7th November 1965.’ He’d got the Trophy too (also pictured). What a knock-out, Bill!


Bill married the love of his life, Eileen, in 1991 at Birkenhead Town Hall, followed by a blessing at the picturesque St Bridget’s Church in West Kirby. They’d been together for 25 years and Bill had taken stepchildren, Lynn and Robert for his own. They shared a very special bond.

He beamed when talking about his grandchildren. Granddaughter, Charlotte, is training to be a Vet at  the Leahurst Campus on Wirral, part of Liverpool University. She’s also spent some time in India learning and advising on farming methods.

Grandson Max, 27, is doing well, working near Southampton fitting water meters. Bill was a bit concerned for him though as he tells a story about a colleague who was bitten by a False Widow spider which must have come over on a ship berthed at the docks there. (Thankfully he made a full recovery).

He radiated happiness when telling me that his other granddaughter, Shara, had blessed them all with great-granddaughter, Lola.

We talked about Bill’s illness and he was very open. He was diagnosed with Prostate and Bone Cancer in 2015. He was undergoing treatment at Clatterbridge Oncology until he was referred to Outpatients at Wirral Hospice St John’s. He is appreciative of the honest and helpful discussions he undertook with our specialist consultants in palliative medicine.

He described the hospice as “the best place I could possibly imagine, so calming and relaxing.” He attended the Wellbeing Centre on Friday’s and had previously spent a few days in the Inpatient ward to ease the pain and discomfort he was feeling after being brought back from a break in North Wales. He was admitted feeling pain, on a level Bill described as 8 out of 10, but after receiving treatment at the hospice, he marked his pain at “zero!”

WellbeingHe credited our activities co-ordinator, Penny and all the volunteers and the staff team with keeping him busy and welcome in our Wellbeing Centre. He enjoyed the hands-on craft and baking sessions and joined in (often started) the fun and banter with everybody in there. (Bill joined in creating the Christmas Choir Cakes pictured on the right).

One other thing he insisted on mentioning was that  he loved the food at the hospice (imagine this accolade, coming from a former army cook), “The scouse is my favourite, tell the kitchen team they’re absolutely fantastic”.

Bill told me “I can’t praise this place enough. It’s so peaceful, home-from-home, I just feel like I belong to another new family.”

Rest in Peace, Bill, from your extended family!

Bill passed away at Wirral Hospice St John’s on 30th January, 2019.

Author: Billy Howard





Meet #fundraiser Julia and learn more about the most recent campaign @wirralhospice

julia pond barrow summer memoriesWhat is your role at Wirral Hospice St John’s?
My day to day role includes looking after all donations that come through to Wirral Hospice St John’s Fundraising Office. I also look after the fundraising database, gifts in wills and liaise with solicitors.

I am responsible for our different giving campaigns; we promote about three big campaigns a year, which includes Light up a Life, Make a Will month and Summer Memories.

Another aspect of my role is to apply for charitable trust funding to secure grants towards important pieces of equipment for the hospice or support for our essential day-to-day patient care costs, which are in the region of £3.6million a year.

Why did you choose to work/volunteer at Wirral Hospice St John’s?
I began my career at Wirral Hospice in 2002 when I applied for a Fundraising Administrator role advertised in the local paper. I chose to apply as it was a local charity and my father-in-law was working here so I already knew how fantastic it was in supporting the local community.

I have worked here for more than 15 years and progressed in experience and responsibility to my current role as a Fundraising Development Manager.

My days in the fundraising office are always different and I love the variety my role brings!

What is the most rewarding part of your role?
I feel a great sense of achievement when I apply for funding for Wirral Hospice and we are successful, as I know the donations we are receiving are going towards the Hospice and will be extremely beneficial for our patients and their loved ones.

I also find it rewarding when a campaign I have been working on for months is successful and the response we get back from our supporters is positive. From personally getting to know the patients and families it always means to know that I am helping to make a difference to the care and support that they are able to receive from us.

What is the latest campaign you are working on?
I am currently in the middle of working on Summer Memories. This is our second year of running this particular campaign and it encourages supporters to sponsor a sunflower.

The sunflowers about 25cm high and made from a durable, high quality material which means they will last in our unpredictable British weather!

summer memories 2017 2 Saturated

What is the main aim of the campaign?
The main aim is for supporters to be able to have a thoughtful keepsake, which can be kept inside or even out in the garden or perhaps at the grave of a loved one.

Donations, no matter how small someone may think a gift might be, really can help our charity to keep delivering outstanding care for our patients, their families and carers.

How can people get a flower?
To sponsor a Summer Memories sunflower, please pop into the Fundraising Office (open 9am-5pm Mon to Fri), call 0151 343 0778 or visit www.wirralhospice.org.

To find out about other ways you can support Wirral Hospice St John’s, please visit our Get Involved section of our website or call 0151 343 0778 to speak with a member of the Fundraising Team.

Make A Will Month – April 2015 #futureplanning #family #charity

wirral_hospice_extension_square_july_2014Making a legally valid will is one of the most important things you can do to ensure that your loved ones are provided for when you are no longer around to look out for them.

Many people do not want to consider making a will yet or think that they will get to it another time, or they may even be worried about the cost of it.

Unfortunately in this country, if your wishes are not drawn up officially then legally your assets are at the mercy of the government, which could leave behind big problems for your loved ones that could take many years to sort out.

If you have assets of any kind and loved ones you would like to look after, it’s crucial that you have a will. The law does not recognise unmarried couples either so if one of you dies suddenly without a will, your partner could be left without anything.

Wills are legally-binding documents and although you can make wills online cheaply and even for free, it is advisable to get professional support because even small errors could cause big problems for the future.

It can usually cost in the region of £150+ for a single will and £250+ for a double will. More complex estates, for example those involving several properties, savings accounts or business assets can take much longer to work on and are understandably more expensive.

Wirral Hospice St John’s has formed partnerships with a number of local solicitors who are all willing to draw up wills at their own expense throughout April.

However, the solicitors are requesting that individuals make a fair donation to the Hospice in return for this service, which is a suggested minimum donation of £80 for a single will and £150 for a double will.

Appointments need to be booked in advance with each of the participating solicitors. Slots will fill up very quickly; early booking is advised so as not to be disappointed!

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Judi Ebbrell, new clinical leader joins Wirral Hospice from @CCCNHS

wirral_hospice_judi_ebbrellJudi Ebbrell has joined Wirral Hospice St John’s in the newly created role of Head of Clinical Services.

Tasked with contributing to the development and implementation of new strategies for end of life care which will reach out beyond the physical constraints of the Hospice site, Judi describes her role as ‘smoothing boundaries and working in partnership’ with other services.

Judi began her career as a care assistant, quickly progressing on to professional nurse training. In fact, continually pushing her own boundaries characterises her life: she became a district nurse in Wallasey, then qualified as an Advance Nurse Practitioner at Salford Royal Hospital, finally joining Wirral Hospice St John’s from Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, where she was Head of Nursing. She is currently studying for her Masters in Healthcare Leadership on the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson leadership programme.

“I understood very early on that undertaking holistic care in a Hospice setting was a unique thing: it is my perfect job,” she said. “The right leadership is crucially important in ensuring the patient is at the heart of everything we do.”

Author: Liz Rice, Wirral Hospice Volunteer

Texting ‘WHSJ88’ £5 to 70070 can make a huge difference to our patients and their loved ones #familiesmatter #hospicecare

teresa_nightingale_photo“Looking after our patients and their families is central to everything we do at Wirral Hospice St John’s. It’s the reason we are here and the reason we have grown and evolved our care so much over the last 30 years. Support from the Wirral community has helped us to do that. YOU have helped us to do that. Thank you!”

Teresa Nightingale, the Hospice’s Head of Fundraising knows it’s not as simple as just asking people for money. “Everyone has personal pressures on what they can spend their money on: mortgage or rent, bills, food, clothing, family trips, school trips, presents. We understand that, which is why we offer people options on how they might wish to support us.

Anything from taking part in a running event, where they are asking lots of people to sponsor smaller amounts towards a bigger pot, or organising their own event such as a coffee morning or afternoon tea, where again other people can contribute smaller amounts to raise a larger amount of money.

Even texting ‘WHSJ88’ £5 to 70070 can make a huge difference to our patients and their loved ones. Or you can donate online via our JustGiving Appeal page.

We are also asking local companies to get involved, they can pick us as a Charity of the Year or organise a one-off employee event to support us. People can join our weekly lottery or buy something from one of our charity shops or gift shop. Or have a collection box in their home to catch loose change – and this is only a few suggestions of how people can help!

We also appreciate that other charities ask and need support, so we are one of several deserving organisations that people may be approached by.”

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