We spoke to local supporter Matthew about our Family Walk and Fun Day and why he's committed to supporting Trinity.

“I live in Clapham and I’ve lived in Clapham all my life – I was born in south Lambeth Hospital! I’m a builder by trade - a multi-trader - which means I do a little bit of everything.

I’m the sort of person who goes to work, works hard and tries to have fun. I’ve lost people and it’s a true saying that life is short. So I just say to myself: try and smile and laugh every day and make things good. 

My first experience of Trinity was when my cousin Darrell was here, that’s going back some seven years now.

Me and Darrell worked on the buses together. He would come and pick me up for the morning shift at about three o’clock in the morning and beep outside! On one particular morning he asked me to drive because he had a cracking headache that he couldn’t get rid of, and after that he wasn’t in work.

He got diagnosed with cancer and it was only nine or ten months from beginning to end which was hard.

But Trinity, it’s a peaceful place – he stayed on the inpatient unit. It was calm, people could come easily and freely and it’s a nice place to come.

He arranged it all with Trinity; he didn’t want to die at home. It was so rapid.

And then Joe, my friend, he was rapid too. We played football together with lots of other guys. About seven months previously he'd been playing with us well. He'd just got promoted, he was enjoying work – he was a grafter. A fit guy as well, you didn’t want to cross him on the pitch!

So then it was devastation. We’d just played football a few months before and suddenly the guys realised Joe had stopped coming. When I called his wife, Julie, she said everything was fine – but looking back now her voice was a bit shaky.

Julie made the decision at the end and told everyone: Joe’s at Trinity and you need to come and see him. So a load of us guys met up outside. 

I remember walking in the room and thinking what a big space it was for one person and their family. And Julie said to me: he’s comfortable. And that’s everything.

I’m a believer of Trinity and the people who work there, and the care and attention they give. The nurses and doctors have to be able to read people, to know when to step back, and they do. 

If Trinity wasn’t there, life would have been a hospital bed for Darrell and Joe – which isn’t where they wanted to be. At Trinity we had our own space, we were able to shut the door, and that made a huge difference, you know, if somebody wanted to say those final words.

A few years ago I decided to do the Magnolia Walk to raise money in memory of my cousin. This year I took part in Trinity’s Family Walk Fun Day for both Darrell and Joe. I was glad to be part of it; it’s a good way to remember them.

I think it’s great that the event was made bigger and better this year – it will hopefully mean a bigger difference to people like me and my friends and family."

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