A much-loved employee of a Derbyshire hospice has thanked staff past and present – and the patients and families she has met over the years – for their warmth and kindness as she prepares to retire.
Cheryl Webster will leave charity Treetops Hospice, in Risley, at the end of this month after more than 20-years of service.
The Support Services Manager joined Treetops shortly before it appointed its first chief executive, Clare Janes, in 2002. She has seen it grow from a hospice caring for just 54 patients in its daycare centre to a pillar in the community providing counselling, therapeutic services and a Hospice at Home service which has been important to so many during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Treetops Hospice has always been a very forward-thinking hospice. Right from the start, we weren’t just a hospice that provided end-of-life care; we also gave care for things like neurological conditions, which people can live with for many years.
“We have always tried to help people to help themselves and encouraged them to make every day count.
“During the past 20 years, our services haven’t changed much in name, but they have changed vastly in capacity and what we offer. We’ve invested more in training for our nurses and continued to develop and expand our services and what we’re able to do.
“During the pandemic, we introduced the Roaming Nurse Service. The team – which includes a Treetops registered nurse and healthcare assistant – respond to calls for assistance each evening and can visit up to seven more patients each evening to help with symptom or pain management.
“The Roaming Service has been a game-changer during the lockdowns and has saved the NHS time, resources and capacity. It’s an amazing addition to what Treetops Hospice offers.”
Cheryl says that she will miss the warmth and welcoming feeling that you get when you visit Treetops – but there are some things that she won’t miss.
“The volunteer reception staff are always very welcoming, the colleagues I have worked with have been amazing – so kind and supportive – but I’m not going to miss working!”, laughed Cheryl.
“I’ll miss the social side of going to work and have been so fortunate to be able to work for Treetops. I have grown personally and professionally during my time here and I certainly won’t be a stranger to Treetops; it has been such a big part of my life for so many years and I will always be a supporter. The charity is in good hands.”
Treetops chief executive, Julie Heath said:
“Cheryl is our longest serving employee and when you meet her, you can be in no doubt of her values or her passion for Treetops.
“She has been a pivotal member of the Treetops community over many years with her wisdom, integrity and personable approach. We all hold her in very high esteem as a caring manager and a much-valued member of the Senior Leadership Team.
“We want to thank her for her sterling contribution to the hospice over the years. She has been a brilliant colleague and will be greatly missed. We wish her all the best for a happy, healthy and content retirement.”
Treetops has welcomed John O’Neill as Director of Operations and Compliance, taking on much of Cheryl’s role.