St Barnabas Hospice patients ride around on Harley Davidsons

Categories: Community Engagement.

The bike owners’ group have been visiting the hospice’s day centre every summer for the last four years.

Paul Taylor, the lead rider for the Hogsback Chapter on the day, said:

“Hospices have always been close to me because I lost my wife at a hospice. It is nice to come down and support the people that are here. It means a lot because I know by experience what it means to them and to help them enjoy one day is unbelievable for all of us.”

Patient Della Heath has been attending the day hospice since January and described the experience of riding a Harley Davidson as “phenomenal”. She said:

“It was my first time on a bike and first time on a Harley. It is really important to have opportunities like this because it just makes you feel alive. Coming to the hospice is not about dying, it is about making the most of your life before you die and I really did feel alive today, it was really, really good!”

“Even those using oxygen are able to have a go and I just think it is wonderful. You would not get the opportunity anywhere else so I am very thankful.”

Hayley Kilhams, staff nurse at the day hospice, explained that for patients who spend much of their time contending with treatment and their disease, the experience offers a feeling of freedom. Commenting on the day, she said:

 “If you just walk around and listen to some of the amazing conversations, we have patients who used to ride bikes so it is a real nostalgia thing for them.”

“Even if they do not like bikes, it is a brilliant event because it brings life and vitality into the hospice, and that is what we try to do with all our activities.”

“Days like these actually do make me quite emotional. I went on one of the bikes last year with the Hogsback and it is such a feeling of liberation that you have on the back of these bikes.”

Hugh Lowson, chief executive of the hospice, said:

“We are hugely grateful to the Hogsback Chapter for coming down and making the day so perfect. The trips make a world of difference for the patients and create special memories.”

For more information visit St Barnabas House Day Hospice