In April 2014, Tricia Foster from Endon took voluntary redundancy from the Department of Work and Pensions.
This was a job that Tricia that had worked at for 34 years, and she decided that a change of direction was needed.
Before her redundancy her mother was diagnosed with cancer, she started to look at ways she could help care for her; which led to learning about complementary therapies.
The 56 year old was hooked, and began to learn more and study at Buxton and Leek College before pursuing a degree at Staffordshire University in the Science of Complementary Therapy in Clinical Practice; which led her to Douglas Macmillan Hospice.
“As part of my course we had a talk at the university from Jackie about the hospice, and after this I organised a 3 month placement,” Tricia said.
“The team here were so supportive of me and I was allowed to learn whilst doing the job.”
After graduating from Staffordshire University, Tricia decided to carry on volunteering at the hospice as a Complementary Therapist, as well as running her own business.
“Being part of this team is really special to me. This role gives more structure to my week, and every day is different.
“Some days we will have appointments from the Day Therapy Unit, the In Patient Unit, out in the community as well as people having bereavement support. It’s great to meet so many different people, and some people we get know really well,” Tricia added.
Her knowledge of palliative and end of life care has also increased over the past 2 years, including attending an Essentials of Palliative Care course.
“What I’ve learnt the most is that care here at the hospice is tailor made to the person, it’s really specific for each individual,” she said.
“Also we don’t just care for people with cancer, there are people with motor neurone disease and the hospice is now working with people with dementia too.”
Tricia also told us what she feels is the most satisfying part of her role.
“I find that when someone falls asleep, that the treatment our team is providing is working. Sometimes we have people who have been bereaved or are struggling to relax that reflexology and other treatments can help to alleviate anxiety and stress,” Tricia commented.