Gift of a Day in memory of Jean Hockaday

Posted: April 2nd, 2024

By Willow Burn Hospice

On Tuesday 2 April the costs to operate one day of Day Care in the Sir Tom Cowie Wing have been donated in loving memory of Jean Hockaday.

On her birthday, her loving husband Jeff wanted to share Jean's story.

"When the careers teacher asked Jean what she would like to do when she left school, she immediately said she wanted to be a nurse, to which the teacher replied, “think again, girl”.  Thank goodness she did not think again and on leaving school she became a nurse progressing up the line to be a sister.

After a while she decided that she would like to teach nursing and after several years of study she became a clinical teacher at Shotley Bridge Hospital and then progressed again to become Director of Continuing Education for Durham and Cleveland Colleges of Nursing.  When teaching was taken over by universities, she became senior tutor at Teesside University.

Jean retired early and by this time our parents’ health was deteriorating so she took on the task of caring for them, until the last parent passed away in 2005.  After this, grandchildren started to arrive and for the next fifteen years we cared for them, doing the daily school run and if they were ill Jean would care for them at home.

When in August 2023 she discovered that she had terminal cancer and only had a short time to live her first thought was not about herself but how I would manage.  Over the next three months she taught me how to cook and be self-sufficient.

When we first saw the oncologist on 13 October 2023 one of the first questions she asked was where Jean wanted to die. Jean said at home if possible but as this was unlikely, she would like to go to Willow Burn.

Jean spent a lifetime caring for others whether as a nurse, teacher, daughter, mother, grandmother and wife and it was only right that in her passing she received the same care that she had provided for others.  At Willow Burn Jean certainly received that care. 

The staff at Willow Burn are loving, caring and supportive not only to their patients but also to the families of those whom they care for. 

I want to thank Jean for being a wonderful wife, mother and grandmother.

To anyone who reads this, I would ask them to consider giving to Willow Burn by donations of money or unneeded items to one of the Willow Burn charity shops.  Another way you could help is by volunteering for one of the many jobs that keep Willow Burn doing the marvellous work they do.

I would like to dedicate the following prayer to the nurses and staff at Willow Burn.

A Nurses Prayer

Long before you entered nursing,

The Lord had played his part,

Planting seeds of love and kindness,

In the portals of your heart.

For it’s clear that you’d been gifted,

With a sympathetic ear,

And blessed from the beginning,

With a willingness to cheer.

And the people whom you cared for,

Were better off by far,

When they were touched by your compassion,

By the person that you are.

For in times of woe and worry,

When they were frightened or were blue,

No one could be more consoling,

Than the friend they found in you."

Our Shops

We know how keen you are to get your donations to us and we are so grateful for your patience. You can donate your items to all of our shops by appointment only.