75-year-old Mick Birley from Crewe attends Day Hospice for support with his symptoms .

“I’ve got pulmonary hypertension, heart failure and emphysema. In November the doctors said that they couldn’t do anything more for me and told me that I probably wouldn’t make it to Christmas. I thought ‘God, what do I do now’, said Mick.

“One of the nurses asked me if I’d considered the Day Hospice at St Luke’s and I politely put her off. It’s the word hospice – preconceived ideas, silly really. But my daughter nagged me to come and so I thought I’d do it just to get some peace and quiet. I haven’t looked back since and I’ve kicked my own backside for having that preconceived idea because I have gone from strength to strength since I started coming here.

“I’ve put weight on, so things are well on the up. I mean I know I’m not well but I feel like I could take on the world! The nurses are wonderful, the volunteers look after you, the ladies who do the painting sessions are marvellous and the driver John has been brilliant. And I’ve made some friends. I can’t fault the place.”

Mick, who has lived on his own since the death of his wife four years ago, has now been referred to our Befriending Service as he loves chatting and going out but has struggled to do so without a companion. We have helped him fill in forms for benefits he is entitled to, and has found enjoyment in art thanks to our art sessions. He has also felt comfortable enough to discuss and plan his end of life care with nurses.