Rotherham woman helps at hospice for 20 years

Bereavement counselling volunteer Cynthia Henry and volunteer co-ordinator Tracey Harrison-Marr get ready for the Rotherham Hospice 20th Anniversary blall at Aston Hall Hotel
Bereavement counselling volunteer Cynthia Henry and volunteer co-ordinator Tracey Harrison-Marr get ready for the Rotherham Hospice 20th Anniversary blall at Aston Hall Hotel

A woman who has volunteered at Rotherham hospice for the last 20 years is to use an anniversary ball to relax.

Cynthia Henry, aged 75, has helped out at the hospice since the day it opened its Broom Road doors in 1996.

The mother-of-three, from Wickersley, who has put in over 1,800 hours, offered to help out following the sudden death of her husband, Alan, in 1993.

Alan, 54, died 17 days after being diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus.

He set up the coach travel company Leger Holidays in 1983 and a well-known Rotherham businessman.

“I’ve have been there from the very beginning. It’s been a privilege to be part of the hospice’s team for two decades and what better way to celebrate than by heading to the ball,” said Cynthia.

She said she cared for her husband at home with the help of a nurse as there wasn’t a hospice at the time.

“His death was a great shock. We had such a short time with him after learning of his diagnosis. When the hospice opened I wanted to help it support people going through their own difficult times,” she added.

Cynthia became a driver and receptionist for the hospice’s day unit - the first section to open - and transferred to the in-patient unit as a volunteer visitor, chatting and reading to patients, in 1996.

She now helps the hospice’s bereavement support service.

“I know from experience that no one can ever truly understand exactly how it feels when you lose a loved one, but I also know that in time and with empathy and support, you can get back onto an even footing. It is lovely to see people finding a path through, as I did,” she said.

Rotherham Hospice’s anniversary ball on April 16 is to be held at Aston Hall.

For tickets call 01709 308917.