Brentwood: currently 12°C, scattered clouds
high today 20°C, low tonight 12°C
sunrise 4.40am, sunset 9.18pm


I was a carer for Mum – now I’m caring for people and families at Saint Francis Hospice

Chloe Williams

Chloe Williams recently received a Jack Petchey Award in recognition of her role as a carer to her mum Deborah when she was just 17. Here Chloe shares how the team Saint Francis Hospice helped her to cope after her mum died in 2021 and why she’s using her skills as a complementary therapist to help other people and families who need palliative care and support.  

By the time Mum was diagnosed with pancreatic and liver cancer, she was already at stage 4. I didn’t see myself as a carer but from the outside looking in, I was Mum’s carer.

Mum was quite self-sufficient until the last few weeks of her life, but she needed me to arrange her hospital appointments and help with her medication. As Mum could not work, I also had to sort out benefit payments. The Covid pandemic was particularly tough as Mum was in hospital and I was unable to see her for about a month.

I was 17 at the time and in my second year of college. I did not think I was doing much but looking back, it was a huge responsibility and such a stressful time.

Complementary therapy 

I found out about complementary therapy when Mum went to King George Hospital for treatments. One of the the therapists thought I’d be good at complementary therapy and Mum encouraged me to do it. She always said I could do anything if I put my mind to it.

Mum was delighted when I started my complementary therapy course. She was my guinea pig. I would spend hours sitting with Mum doing treatments. She struggled with sleep and anxiety. I put together different blends, and she loved it when I used them while massaging her. Mum was an open book. We would talk about how we were feeling, and I never felt I could not talk to her.

Counselling 

After Mum died, Stella, who is a Child and Family Therapist at the hospice, got in touch.  My life was such a blur, and I didn’t know what was going on from one day to the next. Initially, I put off counselling as I didn’t know how Stella was going to help me, but she did.

I was depressed and I didn’t want to leave the house or to do anything. I had bills to pay, and I had recently started a job and was worried I’d lose my job because I’d taken time off.
My friends thought I could just get on with it but I couldn’t and that made me feel as if I wasn’t normal.

Stella would come to see me at home regularly and once I passed my driving test, I came to the hospice.
She helped to normalise my grief and to come to terms with everything. Thanks to Stella, I was finally talking and dealing with my feelings.

Volunteering  

Stella knew about my qualifications and as we were coming to the end of our counselling sessions, she suggested I consider becoming a volunteer complementary therapist at the hospice.

I started off doing reflexology, massage and aromatherapy treatments on outpatients and when I felt more comfortable and confident with palliative care, I was introduced to the ward. It was so different than a hospital setting where everything is so clinical, it had a homely feel.

It was hard seeing families going through what I went through but if I could be part of their journey and help them and their loved ones to feel a bit better, I was glad. It was so nice when people told me that they had slept better or no longer had nausea or sickness after having a treatment.

After a year of volunteering a job came up and I’ve now joined the team as a part-time Therapy Assistant. Mum didn’t make it to the ward as planned. If we’d known about all the care and support available, we would have come here sooner. The hospice looks after the whole family and it isn’t just a place to come and die as we thought, many people go home after getting the palliative care they need.

Subscribe to our newsletter!
One a month, no spam, honest

Now on air
Coming up
More from Local news
More from
More from Phoenix FM


I was a carer for Mum – now I’m caring for people and families at Saint Francis Hospice

Chloe Williams

Chloe Williams recently received a Jack Petchey Award in recognition of her role as a carer to her mum Deborah when she was just 17. Here Chloe shares how the team Saint Francis Hospice helped her to cope after her mum died in 2021 and why she’s using her skills as a complementary therapist to help other people and families who need palliative care and support.  

By the time Mum was diagnosed with pancreatic and liver cancer, she was already at stage 4. I didn’t see myself as a carer but from the outside looking in, I was Mum’s carer.

Mum was quite self-sufficient until the last few weeks of her life, but she needed me to arrange her hospital appointments and help with her medication. As Mum could not work, I also had to sort out benefit payments. The Covid pandemic was particularly tough as Mum was in hospital and I was unable to see her for about a month.

I was 17 at the time and in my second year of college. I did not think I was doing much but looking back, it was a huge responsibility and such a stressful time.

Complementary therapy 

I found out about complementary therapy when Mum went to King George Hospital for treatments. One of the the therapists thought I’d be good at complementary therapy and Mum encouraged me to do it. She always said I could do anything if I put my mind to it.

Mum was delighted when I started my complementary therapy course. She was my guinea pig. I would spend hours sitting with Mum doing treatments. She struggled with sleep and anxiety. I put together different blends, and she loved it when I used them while massaging her. Mum was an open book. We would talk about how we were feeling, and I never felt I could not talk to her.

Counselling 

After Mum died, Stella, who is a Child and Family Therapist at the hospice, got in touch.  My life was such a blur, and I didn’t know what was going on from one day to the next. Initially, I put off counselling as I didn’t know how Stella was going to help me, but she did.

I was depressed and I didn’t want to leave the house or to do anything. I had bills to pay, and I had recently started a job and was worried I’d lose my job because I’d taken time off.
My friends thought I could just get on with it but I couldn’t and that made me feel as if I wasn’t normal.

Stella would come to see me at home regularly and once I passed my driving test, I came to the hospice.
She helped to normalise my grief and to come to terms with everything. Thanks to Stella, I was finally talking and dealing with my feelings.

Volunteering  

Stella knew about my qualifications and as we were coming to the end of our counselling sessions, she suggested I consider becoming a volunteer complementary therapist at the hospice.

I started off doing reflexology, massage and aromatherapy treatments on outpatients and when I felt more comfortable and confident with palliative care, I was introduced to the ward. It was so different than a hospital setting where everything is so clinical, it had a homely feel.

It was hard seeing families going through what I went through but if I could be part of their journey and help them and their loved ones to feel a bit better, I was glad. It was so nice when people told me that they had slept better or no longer had nausea or sickness after having a treatment.

After a year of volunteering a job came up and I’ve now joined the team as a part-time Therapy Assistant. Mum didn’t make it to the ward as planned. If we’d known about all the care and support available, we would have come here sooner. The hospice looks after the whole family and it isn’t just a place to come and die as we thought, many people go home after getting the palliative care they need.

Subscribe to our newsletter!
One a month, no spam, honest

Now on air
Coming up
More from Local news
More from
More from Phoenix FM


I was a carer for Mum – now I’m caring for people and families at Saint Francis Hospice

Chloe Williams

Chloe Williams recently received a Jack Petchey Award in recognition of her role as a carer to her mum Deborah when she was just 17. Here Chloe shares how the team Saint Francis Hospice helped her to cope after her mum died in 2021 and why she’s using her skills as a complementary therapist to help other people and families who need palliative care and support.  

By the time Mum was diagnosed with pancreatic and liver cancer, she was already at stage 4. I didn’t see myself as a carer but from the outside looking in, I was Mum’s carer.

Mum was quite self-sufficient until the last few weeks of her life, but she needed me to arrange her hospital appointments and help with her medication. As Mum could not work, I also had to sort out benefit payments. The Covid pandemic was particularly tough as Mum was in hospital and I was unable to see her for about a month.

I was 17 at the time and in my second year of college. I did not think I was doing much but looking back, it was a huge responsibility and such a stressful time.

Complementary therapy 

I found out about complementary therapy when Mum went to King George Hospital for treatments. One of the the therapists thought I’d be good at complementary therapy and Mum encouraged me to do it. She always said I could do anything if I put my mind to it.

Mum was delighted when I started my complementary therapy course. She was my guinea pig. I would spend hours sitting with Mum doing treatments. She struggled with sleep and anxiety. I put together different blends, and she loved it when I used them while massaging her. Mum was an open book. We would talk about how we were feeling, and I never felt I could not talk to her.

Counselling 

After Mum died, Stella, who is a Child and Family Therapist at the hospice, got in touch.  My life was such a blur, and I didn’t know what was going on from one day to the next. Initially, I put off counselling as I didn’t know how Stella was going to help me, but she did.

I was depressed and I didn’t want to leave the house or to do anything. I had bills to pay, and I had recently started a job and was worried I’d lose my job because I’d taken time off.
My friends thought I could just get on with it but I couldn’t and that made me feel as if I wasn’t normal.

Stella would come to see me at home regularly and once I passed my driving test, I came to the hospice.
She helped to normalise my grief and to come to terms with everything. Thanks to Stella, I was finally talking and dealing with my feelings.

Volunteering  

Stella knew about my qualifications and as we were coming to the end of our counselling sessions, she suggested I consider becoming a volunteer complementary therapist at the hospice.

I started off doing reflexology, massage and aromatherapy treatments on outpatients and when I felt more comfortable and confident with palliative care, I was introduced to the ward. It was so different than a hospital setting where everything is so clinical, it had a homely feel.

It was hard seeing families going through what I went through but if I could be part of their journey and help them and their loved ones to feel a bit better, I was glad. It was so nice when people told me that they had slept better or no longer had nausea or sickness after having a treatment.

After a year of volunteering a job came up and I’ve now joined the team as a part-time Therapy Assistant. Mum didn’t make it to the ward as planned. If we’d known about all the care and support available, we would have come here sooner. The hospice looks after the whole family and it isn’t just a place to come and die as we thought, many people go home after getting the palliative care they need.

Subscribe to our newsletter!
One a month, no spam, honest

Now on air
Coming up
More from Local news
More from
More from Phoenix FM


I was a carer for Mum – now I’m caring for people and families at Saint Francis Hospice

Chloe Williams

Chloe Williams recently received a Jack Petchey Award in recognition of her role as a carer to her mum Deborah when she was just 17. Here Chloe shares how the team Saint Francis Hospice helped her to cope after her mum died in 2021 and why she’s using her skills as a complementary therapist to help other people and families who need palliative care and support.  

By the time Mum was diagnosed with pancreatic and liver cancer, she was already at stage 4. I didn’t see myself as a carer but from the outside looking in, I was Mum’s carer.

Mum was quite self-sufficient until the last few weeks of her life, but she needed me to arrange her hospital appointments and help with her medication. As Mum could not work, I also had to sort out benefit payments. The Covid pandemic was particularly tough as Mum was in hospital and I was unable to see her for about a month.

I was 17 at the time and in my second year of college. I did not think I was doing much but looking back, it was a huge responsibility and such a stressful time.

Complementary therapy 

I found out about complementary therapy when Mum went to King George Hospital for treatments. One of the the therapists thought I’d be good at complementary therapy and Mum encouraged me to do it. She always said I could do anything if I put my mind to it.

Mum was delighted when I started my complementary therapy course. She was my guinea pig. I would spend hours sitting with Mum doing treatments. She struggled with sleep and anxiety. I put together different blends, and she loved it when I used them while massaging her. Mum was an open book. We would talk about how we were feeling, and I never felt I could not talk to her.

Counselling 

After Mum died, Stella, who is a Child and Family Therapist at the hospice, got in touch.  My life was such a blur, and I didn’t know what was going on from one day to the next. Initially, I put off counselling as I didn’t know how Stella was going to help me, but she did.

I was depressed and I didn’t want to leave the house or to do anything. I had bills to pay, and I had recently started a job and was worried I’d lose my job because I’d taken time off.
My friends thought I could just get on with it but I couldn’t and that made me feel as if I wasn’t normal.

Stella would come to see me at home regularly and once I passed my driving test, I came to the hospice.
She helped to normalise my grief and to come to terms with everything. Thanks to Stella, I was finally talking and dealing with my feelings.

Volunteering  

Stella knew about my qualifications and as we were coming to the end of our counselling sessions, she suggested I consider becoming a volunteer complementary therapist at the hospice.

I started off doing reflexology, massage and aromatherapy treatments on outpatients and when I felt more comfortable and confident with palliative care, I was introduced to the ward. It was so different than a hospital setting where everything is so clinical, it had a homely feel.

It was hard seeing families going through what I went through but if I could be part of their journey and help them and their loved ones to feel a bit better, I was glad. It was so nice when people told me that they had slept better or no longer had nausea or sickness after having a treatment.

After a year of volunteering a job came up and I’ve now joined the team as a part-time Therapy Assistant. Mum didn’t make it to the ward as planned. If we’d known about all the care and support available, we would have come here sooner. The hospice looks after the whole family and it isn’t just a place to come and die as we thought, many people go home after getting the palliative care they need.

Subscribe to our newsletter!
One a month, no spam, honest

Now on air
Coming up
More from Local news
More from
More from Phoenix FM