Joe's father, also known as Joe, was cared for by the Wandsworth Care Coordination Service team last year. The Service helps patients and their families by providing a one-stop-shop for all their care needs, while they are being cared for at home. The service is available to anyone aged 18 or over who is living in Wandsworth or who is registered with a Wandsworth GP.

"My father was diagnosed with cancer (a glioblastoma) six months prior to passing in mid-August 2017. After being diagnosed, he went for an operation to take out what could be removed of the tumour. Some complications arose and he was then moved straight to intensive care. He spent some time there - and then he discharged himself from  hospital. 

Home was where he wanted to be and we all knew the best thing for him was to stay at home. So, as a family, we made every effort to keep him there, whilst being totally oblivious to the difficulties we would face later when the simplest of exercises became a struggle.

I am one of 11 children, which, including my mother, makes 12 of us. Even with all of us being willing to help, none of us had any real experience of caring. We had no idea of how to support him as he became less able.  

Without the help of Gilly, one of the nurses at Trinity, and her team, we would never have been able to keep my father at home where he really wanted to spend his final days. We simply would not have managed.

Gilly and her team of carers brought beds and equipment and a vast amount of knowledge. They came every day to help care for my father, from changing sheets to helping him up for breakfast and everything in between, always treating him with dignity and warmth. 

They showed real expertise and attention to detail and were always incredibly punctual which was so important in the situation we were in. The whole team was amazing. They were flexible and allowed us all to get more involved, or less, with my father’s care. We wanted to know everything and they were very patient, always taking the time to explain what was going on and to share their expertise. 

When Trinity came along, we had one single team to help with my father’s needs and the family’s needs and questions. They helped make everything feel under control.  And none of this cost us anything at all.

Based on our experience with Trinity, I wanted to give something back to them to show my support and give someone else the same opportunity my father had. Shortly prior to my father’s diagnosis he suggested that I join a club both to do sport and meet people. I found a cycle club based in Clapham that I now help to run.

What better way to pay tribute to my father and thank the team that made him so comfortable in the last weeks of his life than to do a charity ride in both their names? I cycled from London to Madrid in August a distance I’d never reached before in one continuous ride. 

The Trinity team always showed the utmost care and attention to my father and always pushed for the best.

So, in the same vein I pushed myself to do the ride in the shortest time and raise the maximum sponsorship I can in doing so. Training is tiring but it's so worthwhile. My efforts might give someone else the opportunity to spend time with their loved one unhindered, to be able to enjoy the time in the same way my family did.

Trinity’s team is invaluable to our community but easily overlooked since there are very few who understand what a hospice actually does, how it differs so much from a hospital and how it can offer an amazing quality of life for those that pass through it.

If Trinity had not been there for my family we simply wouldn’t have been able to keep my father at home.

If you are able to support Trinity, especially as they look to grow their services to reach even more people who want to stay at home with their families, then I would say please do it – none of us know when we might need to turn to Trinity for support and it’s so important to make sure they’re able to keep delivering care and hope to families like mine."

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