Rams fan Lisa honoured for her efforts as a Hospice Keyworker during pandemic with a place on Derby County Community Trust 1884 wall

Categories: Care and Community Engagement.

A DERBY County supporter who works as a registered nurse for leading end-of-life charity Treetops Hospice has been surprised with her name on the club’s community wall.

Lisa Rutter’s husband Danny wanted to honour his wife’s achievements, particularly during the pandemic. Having heard about Derby County Community Trust’s plans to pay homage to fans on a dedicated area outside Pride Park Stadium, he nominated her for a space on the ‘1884 Wall’ for Lisa and she was chosen as one of the deserving winners.

The Derby County Community Trust, the charitable arm of the Championship football club, have raised more than £11,000 from the project, which will go towards funding the Sensory Room used by Lisa’s son, Charlie, who has Autism.

“It was such a lovely surprise to see my name on the wall,” said Lisa, who lives in Derby with husband Danny and children, Charlie (14), Ellie (12) and 10-year-old Harry.

“Danny and I, plus the two boys, have season tickets to watch Derby – Ellie comes along occasionally – and the Derby County Community Trust have helped us out enormously as a family; as well as using the Sensory Room, Charlie also participates in their Tackle It group which supports young men with their mental wellbeing. They go paintballing and talk about their feelings. It has been such a great help to Charlie, who’s made so many friends through the scheme.

“Going to watch Derby County is something which we love to do as a family. Charlie in particular lives and breathes Derby County and watching the Rams, seeing him waving his black and white flag around, makes me quite emotional; Pride Park Stadium is Charlie’s happy place.

Lisa’s son, Charlie, with Derby County manager Wayne Rooney

“During the Covid pandemic, when football was played behind-closed-doors, we really missed it. We missed the matchday ritual and the other fans who sit close to us.”

Lisa has worked as a Treetops Hospice at Home nurse for the last five years. She is one of over forty nurses and health care assistants who help care for patients at the very end of life in their own home, a role she finds incredibly rewarding:

“You wouldn’t always think about it with end of life care, but Treetops is such a positive and supportive place to work.

“When I go into patients’ homes, I feel like I’m making a difference to them and their families at one of the most difficult times of their lives. To be able to help them at this time, whether it’s managing symptoms, providing medication or just talking to them and holding their hand, it’s a true privilege.

“We’re there for families, just as much as the patient. It gives them time to go and have a rest and a good sleep that they need, knowing that their loved one is being looked after. This is the most rewarding job I’ve ever had.”

The pandemic was ‘the toughest time’ of her career.

“Looking back, it all seems a little surreal,” said Lisa, whose favourite Derby County player is forward Colin Kazim-Richards.

“When the country first went into lockdown, in March 2020, we were on the frontline as hospice nurses. We had to go out there – and we wanted to go out there – but it was quite frightening.

“There was no vaccine, lots of people were in hospital very poorly and we were visiting vulnerable people in their homes kitted out in full PPE. We were wearing masks for up to nine hours a night and there was a lot of uncertainty. It was the toughest couple of years of my career.

“Myself, Danny and Ellie all caught Covid in May 2020 and it wasn’t nice; Treetops were very supportive and sent us a hamper of food, as we couldn’t leave the house for groceries.

Lisa is also conscious of how the pandemic has affected her children.

“As a keyworker, the children were given places at school,” she said, “which we were very grateful for, but all three of them have missed key milestones.

“All three are doing well now, though, and people lost loved ones during Covid; that kind of puts everything into perspective.

“We’re thankful that, now that restrictions have been eased, we can return to some kind of normality and for us, that involves watching Derby County – and seeing my name on the 1884 Wall always brings a smile to the face.”

The Treetops Hospice at Home team offer nursing and emotional support for terminally-ill patients in their own homes. Overnight one-to-one care gives families and carers the chance to have a good night’s sleep, while a few hours during the day, gives carers a break to go shopping or have time for themselves.

All Treetops services are provided free of charge and are not means-tested. Further information is available by contacting the Hospice at Home team on 0115 949 6940 or info@treetopshospice.org.uk or by heading to the Treetops website www.treetops.org.uk


Cover Photo: Lisa Rutter, Treetops Hospice at Home nurse with her plaque

About Treetops Hospice

Treetops Hospice, the leading end-of-life care charity in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, provides nursing care and emotional support for adults with life-limiting conditions, and their families.

The charity provides support from diagnosis onwards for patients with conditions such as cancer, motor neurone disease and heart and respiratory conditions.

Founded in 1983, Treetops supports thousands of local people – and their families – through the most difficult time of their lives. Our team of over 40 Hospice at Home nurses provided over 23,800 hours of care to terminally-ill patients last year, working day and night to give much-needed support.

We have a team of bereavement counsellors who provide over 4,000 counselling sessions – over 900 of them to children and young people. Wellbeing team members provide valuable information and support to those who need it, while our experts in end-of life care and bereavement support dedicate many hours to training NHS staff about death and dying.

Treetops are lucky to have over 450 amazing volunteers who help to keep the hospice running smoothly.

It costs £4.2m each year to run the hospice. A counselling session for a bereaved child costs £34. An overnight Hospice at Home nursing shift for a patient at the end of life costs £108.

Treetops is doing all it can to continue to support those in most need and welcomes donations to ensure the future of the hospice and its services: www.treetopshospice.org.uk/donate

Treetops Hospice, Derby Road, Risley, Derbyshire, DE72 3SS

0115 949 1264 | www.treetopshospice.org.uk

Registered Charity Number 519540


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