Jackie Sharpe was admitted to St Wilfrid’s Hospice in June and, sadly, died here a few weeks later. Her effervescent personality and zest for life meant she was well known around the building and, before she died, Jackie shared what hospice care meant to her.

‘When I was diagnosed I was in full-time work and living on my own. I was diagnosed quickly: in work on Friday and admitted to hospital the next Tuesday. Stage 4. Terminal. All on Christmas Eve. It was impossible to get my head around. In just four days my life changed completely. I began chemotherapy soon after.

‘The chemo worked for a while but the cancer came back aggressively. There is no curing this – there is only palliative care to ease things and to keep me as healthy as possible until I die. I thank my lucky stars that of all the places I could end up, I ended up at St Wilfrid’s. It has meant the world to me at a difficult time in my life. Of course, at first, I was very nervous. You come here and you expect to die – so to feel better has been wonderful.

‘The volunteers are absolutely something else. They all knew my name from the first day; whether bringing me an egg for breakfast or checking in on me later in the day, I am always their priority. It makes you feel not "in the way" and it makes you feel cared about. After just a few hours, I felt it in this place, that the caring was of a quality that went to the bones of the building and the people.

‘Dignity. That’s a very good word for what they have given me. For the very first time since I became ill I have been treated with dignity, like I was a valuable human being. Extreme kindness, patience and empathy; those are the things you see in the faces of the people here. Everyone who has visited me has noticed it.

‘One of the doctors here asked me outright where I want to be approaching the end of my life. Without a shadow of a doubt, I said the hospice. Please, bring me here. Bring me here where dignity is automatic and doors can be opened or closed to respect the family.

'I’ve been helped and that care has transformed what remains for me. I’m still learning what a hospice means, how they look after your loved ones, what they do in the wider community: supporting you to live and helping you to relax with counselling, wellbeing and physiotherapy. I’m immobile and yet I’ve been given so much love and care that I want to dance out of my chair!

‘To be poetic, I was falling and I was caught.’