Having seen her husband, Hugh, donate to us throughout his career as a firefighter with Scottish FRS, Susan always knew we were there should they ever need some support.
However, deep down she never thought she’d need to call on us.
That changed in early 2023 when her and her family went through a difficult time – and she says a rest and recharge stay with us at Jubilee House, our centre in Cumbria, gave them the break they needed to spend some quality time together.
“I never realised the level of support available, particularly to families. Hugh’s always paid in, but I didn’t truly realise the extent until we needed that support ourselves,” says Susan, 48.
“Hugh ended up going into hospital earlier in the year with an irregular heartbeat, which luckily turned out to be nothing, but around that same time we went through a particularly difficult time in our family.
“We were off work at the time, and we were all invited – as a family, so Hugh, myself, and our two teenage children – to go to Jubilee House and stay in one of the houses on a rest and recharge stay.
“We were privileged to use this outstanding facility. It was at a time when we really needed it, and it was extremely beneficial for us all. The facilities are amazing and the staff are so caring, respectful and compassionate.
“Being able to use the bar and the swimming pool for the kids was great. They told us when we left, ‘don’t be strangers’ and it stuck in my mind. We’d enquired about a year or two before about Hugh’s parents, as his mum had a stroke a few years ago and can’t walk now, and his dad has Alzheimer’s.
“It didn’t work for us to go at that time, but we’d always had it in the back of our minds.”
Sure enough, Susan returned home and told her parents-in-law about the stay, and how we may be able to support her mother-in-law, Jean, following her stroke, thanks to our nursing provision at Jubilee House.
“We’d seen other nursing clients there when we visited in May, so it was clear Jean would be okay in a wheelchair, so we enquired again about her attending,” says Susan.
“We were invited as a family again to go with Hugh’s dad and stay in one of the separate houses, in the October, while Jean stayed in the main house in the nursing area.
“Again, the care and attention that she received was superb. She had all the physio and time in the hydropool… she hasn’t walked since the stroke, but she was actually able to take some steps in the pool which was amazing.
“We could eat in the main house and see her too which was great, and we had access to the main pool as a family.
“They would never have been able to get a holiday if it wasn’t for this – they both need carers to come in four times a day, and they care a lot for each other, so the week away eased that burden for both of them.”
Susan was keen to organise a fundraiser following their second visit, to thank us for the support they received, and entered the Chester Marathon in October, in which she raised £1,210. She returned to Jubilee House to present the cheque shortly after, and to express her gratitude face to face.
“The fundraising was a token of our appreciation for this fantastic facility and the help we received,” says Susan.
To find out more about our rest and recharge stays, click here: