TV star Richard Madeley will become patron for St Francis Hospice
�TV star Richard Madeley visited St Francis Hospice – and was so inspired by what he saw he has agreed to become a patron.
Richard, who grew up in Romford and Brentwood, visited St Francis Hospice in Havering-atte-Bower.
He said: “St Francis Hospice is not what you expect. It’s an amazing, uplifting place.
“People think hospices are sad and places of death, which is part of their work. However, there is a party atmosphere, patients are upbeat and there is a lot of humour. The staff are brilliant and are not phased by illness and death and because of this the patients are at ease and not phased by it.”
Patient Gerry Worster, from Shenfield, who has idiopathic lung disease and is awaiting a double lung transplant chatted to Richard.
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He has been attending the day hospice since September, and said: “The hospice is a real support. They have given me a wheelchair and other equipment to help me at home, I don’t know how I would have coped or got about without it. It is also reassuring to know I can contact the staff at any time if I need help or advice.”
Patient Sheila Hunt, from Brentwood, said: “It was nice to meet Richard, he was lovely and spoke to me about the hospice and care I’m receiving. St Francis Hospice is really helping me through my illness and the staff and volunteers are so kind.”
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Carole Skinner, from Upminster, who has the blood cancer multiple myeloma, was doing some crafts with other patients when Richard visited. She said: “He was really friendly and we had a quick chat. I get a lot out of coming to the hospice, the patients support each other and the staff are there if we need them.”
Hospice chief executive, Pam Court, said: “Richard was so generous with his time and the staff and patients really appreciated talking to him. I am delighted he has agreed to be a Patron and look forward to his ongoing support.”
Richard, who has been presenting Chris Evans breakfast show on Radio 2 and has just signed a two-book deal, grew up in Dagenham Road, Rush Green, and attended Rush Green Junior School in Romford before his family moved to Harstwood Road in Brentwood and then he went to Shenfield High School.
n To see a video of Richard on his visit or find out more about supporting the hospice, visit www.sfh.org.uk or call 01708 753319.