“It’s the simple things that mean a lot”

Brenda Hughes and Val Grogan

As the Great Daffodil Appeal – our biggest fundraising campaign – enters its final week, there’s still time to support the appeal. Please donate today and help us give hands-on care and support to more people living with a terminal illness, and their loved ones.
One way we do this is through Marie Curie Helper volunteers like Brenda Hughes, from Liverpool. Brenda has been visiting Val Grogan, who has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), since January 2012. Val describes just what this means to her. “I was first supported by Marie Curie when I went into their hospice in Liverpool as an in-patient. Now I’m at home, the Marie Curie Helper service is wonderful. My volunteer, Brenda is a lovely person, and I find I can really speak to her. “She is very thoughtful and puts herself out for me. She will call me to check I’m OK. It’s the simple things like that that mean a lot – the things most people take for granted. I can’t thank her or the Marie Curie Helper service enough. “I enjoy talking to Brenda. I can talk in confidence with her and we have fun together. We have gone into town to have a look round, to a garden centre for a walk and out for a coffee. Brenda will come here to see me if I’m not feeling well. “My illness means every day is different and I don’t know what to expect, which makes planning difficult. I can only do a little before having to go on oxygen. I get tired very quickly and that gets me down. Brenda cheers me up. We bounce off one another and that’s a really good thing.”

"I like to make Val laugh"

Brenda says: “Meeting up gives Val something to aim for – something to get up and get ready for. My visits also give her husband a bit of a break from caring for her. “We have a good natter. I like to make her laugh. She always says how much she has enjoyed herself and we do have a similar sense of humour. I think it’s easier for her to switch off from her illness when she’s with me. “Val wants to remain as independent as possible and can find it frustrating when her illness makes things difficult, so we like go out to get things she needs. We’ve done some Christmas present shopping together and we’ve been to the shops to get her some new clothes. I get enormous satisfaction from this role. I like being with Val and get pleasure from seeing her enjoy our days out.” Please support our Great Daffodil Appeal so we can help more people like Val to make the most of their lives. You can donate through our website or text DAFF to 70030 to give £5.