Cheryl's Strictly Story

I’m one of the newest staff nurses here at Willow Wood; I only joined earlier this year but I immediately felt as if I’d come home; the team are just so welcoming and supportive.

Of course, that caring atmosphere is something that everyone comments on when they first come to the Hospice. I first felt it when my mum was cared for here. After all the worry and the stress of her illness, from the moment we arrived it was as if our whole bodies gave a sigh of relief. The family could relax, knowing that she was in the best possible hands, that she was pain-free and being treated with love, with respect and with dignity.

My mum was such a special lady; she gave her heart to others doing various charity work alongside volunteering for different things and she inspired me to become a nurse. I cared for her before the end, and made a promise to her in her final days that I’d go back to college and to university. By obtaining my degree and entering nursing I feel I’m continuing her legacy by caring for others, as she would have done if she still could.

My charity work had to take a back seat while I completed my degree, but now I want to get back into fundraising alongside my nursing – and I’m so thrilled to say that I’m raising funds for Willow Wood by taking part in next March’s Strictly Dance!

I’m so excited and nervous at the same time, but it is another way to support Willow Wood, by raising funds so that our care can continue. It was a bit of a shock to learn that our hourly costs are nearly £320 – and that 80% of that has to be raised by our community! In other words, eight out of every ten of our patients are cared for by donations, so I’m doing whatever I can to ensure people like my mum get the support they need.

As Craig Revel Horwood would say, our Strictly evening on 11 March next year will be “Fab-u-lous!” We’re joining with Dr Kershaw’s Hospice in Oldham to make sure that it’s a fantastic night out. There’ll be ten couples dancing and we’ve even got Edwina Currie as one of the judges – that’s a bit scary! But please, if you can, come along and support the Willow Wood dancers. It will be a totally new experience for me, I’ve never danced before and to get up in front of a crowd and perform will be right out of my comfort zone!

But I’m doing it to raise funds to help us care, and that’s the important thing. Tickets are now on sale here, and for just £35 you’ll have a fantastic night out, with a delicious meal, drinks reception, entertainment and of course me and my partner dancing! I've also got a fundraising page at

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Cheryl-OShe...

I’d appreciate your cheers and applause, you’ll help me get over my butterflies and perform, you’ll help me feel I’m repaying Willow Wood for their care of my lovely mum, and you’ll help care for our patients in the future.

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