At the Hospice we have lots of interesting patients from different walks of life, one of them is called Audrey who has lived in several countries and spent her life fundraising and giving back to local communities. Audrey Brammer from Cullercoats and she is one of our Day Hospice patients who comes to our Focus On Living Centre every Thursday. Our Day Hospice offers respite, symptom management and support to people with incurable conditions during the day. The patients attending often come for group sessions which aim to improve wellbeing and create lasting friendships, giving patients a place to come to access these vital sessions.
Audrey has been coming to St Oswald’s for 7 months now and we love to hear her amazing stories. Living in 5 countries over the years, Audrey has now settled in Cullercoats, North Tyneside after growing up in South Shields. Over the last 70 years Audrey has been an avid fundraiser for many charities and is always helping local communities.
We caught up with Audrey to find out about her exciting life of travelling and fundraising:
I’ve lived all over the world really, in Brazil, Fiji, Spain, Gibraltar and England of course. My favourite place was definitely Fiji though, the way of life there is incredible, it was lovely and the weather was just amazing. My husband worked in the Merchant Navy so I moved around with him.
I have a daughter who travelled around with us until she was about 10 years old. She went to nursery in Brazil and spoke fluent Portuguese. It was great listening to her sing the alphabet in different languages. When she was 10 we were living in Fiji, but the education system wasn’t as good as England, so she returned to the UK to go to boarding school. It was one of the hardest days of my life, but I knew it was the best thing to do.
Every time my husband was deployed somewhere, he could be gone 2-3 years at a time, I filled my time volunteering and spending time with the local communities. I started volunteering at the age of 8 years old and I’m now 49+Vat so you do the maths.
I’ve been volunteering for a long time and I love it, I’ve raised over £1000 alone just giving talks about my time in Fiji and the way of life there. I go into schools, community groups, churches and just tell my stories. I donate all the money straight to charity.
Audrey continued about the care and support she receives from the Hospice:
I love coming to St Oswald’s, the nurses here say they could sit and listen to me all day, so I thought it would be nice to bring in some of the items from my time in Fiji and do a little presentation on it. I think everyone really enjoyed it, some of the nurses even put on the grass skirts I brought and everyone was looking at all the art. I just wanted to show everyone about my time abroad and I think all the staff and other Day Hospice patients loved it.
Every time I walk into St Oswald’s, it’s like receiving a big hug, just like someone is wrapping their arms around you. Everyone here is wonderful and incredibly kind, I’m just so grateful that I can come to use a service like this. I would say it’s the highlight of my week, it’s my happy day and I look forward to coming. Not only the staff but the volunteers here are amazing. It’s lovely that people come in just to sit and talk to us, it’s such a nice feeling and I can’t thank the Hospice enough for being there for me.