One of Ashgate Hospice’s longest serving members of staff is marking 30 years caring for palliative and end of life patients this month – and her ‘desire’ and ‘dedication’ has been praised by charity bosses.
Pam Garvey, who as a Palliative Care Support Worker, cares for patients and their families in their own homes, celebrated her 30th anniversary at Ashgate on Thursday (21st October).
Over the past three decades, the 65-year-old has been there to provide compassionate and comforting care to thousands across North Derbyshire.
Before starting at the hospice, Pam worked in a role supporting people across the county with mental health problems.
She says although it wasn’t her first job when she started at Ashgate in 1991, she ‘knew quickly after starting that it would be her last’.
After reaching the milestone this week, Pam said: “The past 30 years have passed by so quickly, but I’m so glad that I followed my heart and joined the hospice team back in 1991.
“So much has changed at Ashgate over the years to meet the needs of our patients but our goal has always remained the same: to provide excellent, compassionate palliative and end of life care to the people who need us.
“I meet so many inspirational people, who make me feel so humble and grateful for everything I have. I have learnt something from all of them.
“I feel a sense of pride when I tell people I work at Ashgate Hospice; I still have the letter offering me the post from all those years ago. I just can’t believe it’s been 30 years!”
Pam initially started at the hospice as a volunteer in 1989, before being offered a permanent position on the hospice’s Inpatient Unit two years later.
After a short length of time supporting patients on the ward, Ashgate started caring for patients and their families in their own homes – and Pam instantly knew that was her dream job.
She added: “Two years after starting out on the Inpatient Unit, Ashgate extended our care offering to people in their own homes, and I instantly knew that’s where I wanted to be.
“The role has certainly changed since then, there were no mobile phones or sat navs; our matron, Jean, would wave us off, armed with just a map and the patient’s details – that’s where each day began!”
When Pam started at Ashgate, there were approximately 12 nurses, four health care assistants, a few doctors, three kitchen staff and three office staff.
Today, there are 340 members of staff and 600 volunteers at the charity, which last year cared for more than 2,500 patients across a range of different services.
Barbara-Anne Walker, Chief Executive at Ashgate Hospice, said: “On behalf of everyone at Ashgate I’d like to wish Pam a huge congratulations as she reaches her 30th year caring for patients.
“From starting as a volunteer when we first started providing care on our Inpatient Unit to being involved with the launch of our community services – she’s achieved so much over the past three decades.
“She has helped and continues to help make a positive impact on the lives of so many families – she’s truly one in a million.
“I’m so grateful to Pam for her incredible service over the years and the desire, commitment and hard work she brings to work each day emulates everything Ashgate is about. Thank you, Pam – Ashgate wouldn’t be the same without you!”
Would you like to work alongside Pam and other Ashgate colleagues? The charity is currently hiring for Bank Registered Nurses to join its award-winning ‘Outstanding’-rated team on the hospice’s newly refurbished 21-bed Inpatient Unit.
To find out more about the role and other vacancies at Ashgate Hospice, go to: www.ashgatehospice.org.uk/vacancies
Ashgate Hospice supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.