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Our doctors and nurses awaiting adoption

It takes a village....

There is an old proverb that it takes a village to raise a child and that same sentiment can be applied to hospice care where it is not just the brilliant care from doctors and nurses that our patients and families need but also the cups of tea, slices of cake, marathon runners, gardeners, donation sorters and collection tin holders who all go into creating a safe, calm, warm and loving environment.

And sometimes it takes the most surprising things. Back towards the end of last year, one of our Health Care Assistants, Emma, wondered if it might be nice if we could offer knitted toys to children to go in with their memory boxes and that it would also be nice if those toys could be doctors and nurses. Emma thought that though we do already have a cute little dog who goes along with our Holding Hands books, it might be helpful to have something else to offer.

We weren’t sure how we could manage it, but Marketing Manager Jill Livermore popped a post onto Facebook on a quiet Friday afternoon in November and we waited to see what would happen. Almost immediately the post took off, reaching over 16,500 people all across the world and giving Jill a very busy weekend replying to all the incredible comments that came in. The offers of help weren’t just local either, with messages coming in from Germany, Ireland and Canada and we even had a request from South Africa with someone wanting to make the same dolls for children orphaned by AIDS who she works with who are often very traumatised by their experiences in hospital.

We took a photocopy of some patterns and by Christmas the doctors and nurses had started to arrive. They were an instant hit and at the time of writing every single one has been adopted and we have found out that is not only children who want to treasure them but many of our patients as well.

Rosa arrived all the way from Germany but unfortunately she arrived just as coronavirus meant we had to take extra infection control measures and Rosa and the other lovely nurses and doctors have had to be withdrawn at this time.

So, while it quite literally takes millions of pounds to run the Hospice, it also takes extraordinary amounts of kindness and we want to thank everyone who so generously poured their love into making these dolls. If anyone else would like a pattern, please email us at and we will get one right over to you.