You don’t need to know someone for a really long time to hold them in high regard.
This is what I felt when I met Chris Seddon and Katy Lehman of Nook Mortgages, alongside Wirral Hospice’s Senior Fundraising Officer, Jamie-Leigh Burgess, for the first time, recently.
It is also what comes over loud and clear when Chris describes the care given to his Dad, Colin, by Wirral Hospice St John’s Hospice at Home service in 2017.
Colin and Chris’s mum, Sue, had welcomed their first grandchildren, Pippa and Summer, into their lives by then (Summer was born in September 2016). So alongside Sue, Chris, his wife, Jo, his younger brother Paul and his wife , Beth, and youngest brother Phil and his partner, Emma, Colin had his family close by in the final months of his life.
Colin lived with the knowledge of his oesophageal cancer for only four months, from September 2016, and spent time having treatment in hospital from that November.
As the illness progressed Colin was taken home in January 2017 and Hospice at Home’s Health Care Assistant, Helen Marsh, became involved in his care alongside the Marie Curie nurses (who are also often referred and partnered by the hospice to bring their specialist care into people’s lives).
It was, sadly, to be the final week of Colin’s life and Helen’s natural compassion, while listening intently, had enabled him to open up about what he wanted and his wishes after his passing, although he never spoke with the family about not being around with, and for, them all.
Chris remembers how important the Hospice at Home service was for his Dad and the respite it gave his Mum, him personally, and the whole family.
“As well as caring for dad we were asked how we were feeling too. It was a great help.”
Chris describes his dad as his hero and he remembers Colin had been so brave and considerate with his illness, to the point that he wanted everyone else to be looked after.
When Chris describes the care his dad received you can tell it had a profound effect on him. He resolved to do what he could to help the hospice raise funds and this has been accomplished in a number of ways.
As well as completing walks for sponsorship there is now an annual memorial golf day at Caldy Golf Club where Colin, Chris and his brothers played together happily as members there for many years. There’s also a definite legacy now, as Chris is only too happy to tell me he recently won a prestigious trophy, The Jubilee Trophy, so his name will be on the club winner’s board for infinity. Bravo Chris!
So now Chris and his business partner, Katy, at Nook Mortgages in Hoylake, also make a kind quarterly donation to Wirral Hospice St John’s from any profit they make from their friendly service. It’s a classic ‘affinity’ relationship and we’re very grateful for their kind contributions.
Both Chris and Katy were keen that their customer focused business should operate in as ethical a way as possible. If honest and reliable advice is what they promise, that had to be reflected in their commitment to the wider community and chosen charity.
Another way in which this was clearly highlighted is when full lockdown was in operation Nook arranged a partnership with Dodo Pizza and Wok and Go to deliver food to NHS and hospice staff in Wirral sending more than 2,500 pizzas to key workers in the borough.
They’re just very good people and on 15th October, Chris and Katy, alongside their families celebrated one year of trading as Nook Mortgages.
From Wirral Hospice St John’s we wish them all very many, many happy returns.