Solly the horse brings calm and comfort to patients at St Giles Hospice

Categories: Care.

Staff at St Giles Hospice go above and beyond to ensure patients live the best life they can until the very end. Recently, a St Giles Healthcare Assistant went the extra mile for her patient, Malcolm Fisher, by bringing a piece of the local Whittington Country Fair to St Giles Hospice.

Malcolm managed a quick visit to the fair and could also see what was going on from his bedroom window on the Inpatient Unit. After hearing of his joy, Ann-Marie decided to continue “the fun of the fair” and surprised Malcolm by bringing her horse, Solly, into the hospice to meet him.

Ann-Marie said: “We often talk about going above and beyond for our patients and their families, helping to make a difference in whatever way possible. This happens on a daily basis at St Giles Hospice, but it doesn’t always involve bringing a horse on to the premises!”

Malcolm spent the afternoon providing Solly with plenty of cuddles and a belly full of carrots. He said: “Being around Solly really lifted my spirits, and provided me calm and comfort in equal measure. He’s a beautiful animal – I’ve never been so close to a horse before – what an experience – I can’t believe Ann-Marie brought him to see me!”

Ann-Marie continued: “Being around pets and animals can have many benefits for our patients. This  activity enables our patients to escape the realities of their present situation and offers a form of relaxation and positive distraction.”

Katie Burbridge, Director of Clinical Services and Quality, at St Giles Hospice, added: “The ethos of hospice care is not just about caring for the clinical needs of our patients, but also looking after their emotional and spiritual needs as well.

“We welcome dogs and cats into the hospice on a regular basis – and this certainly isn’t the first time we’ve had a horse come to visit us!

“It’s about making a difference to our patients and their families in whatever way we can.”

To find out more about St Giles Hospice, visit


St Giles Hospice is a registered charity offering high-quality specialist care free of charge for people living with diseases which are terminal or incurable as well as providing support for their families and carers.

Patients come from across the hospice’s catchment area, which ranges from Ashby-de-la-Zouch and Atherstone in the east, to Cannock in the west – and from Burton and Uttoxeter in the north, to Sutton Coldfield and Coleshill in the south.

Care is offered at the hospice’s centres in Whittington and Sutton Coldfield and in patients’ own homes across the region.

St Giles spends over £10 million a year providing its specialist services and with little more than a third of this funded by the Government, the registered charity relies heavily on donations and income generation from the local community.

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