A 62-year-old woman with a rare neurological disease has spoken movingly about the help she receives at a hospice.
Jackie Faker, from Rossett, was the guest of honour at the presentation of a £10,000 cheque to the Nightingale House Hospice in Wrexham by Ifor Williams Trailers.
The hospice provides specialist palliative care services, completely free of charge.
Around 21 per cent of the cost of running the hospice comes from statutory funding – and they have to raise £2.8 million annually just to maintain the same level of service.
Former cook Jackie is a weekly visitor to the hospice where she loves socialising with patients and staff, particularly in their boutique cafe, Caffi Cwtch, which opened last September.
She was diagnosed with Multiple System Atrophy 18 month ago.
The condition, which affects less than 3,000 people in the UK, is caused by a degeneration of nerve cells in several areas of the brain.
Jackie is now in a wheelchair because it has resulted in problems with her movement, balance and her nervous system.
Her husband, Peter, who worked in the shipping industry, has given up his career to become a full-time carer.
As well as being a supporter of the hospice, Jackie is keen to let people know about the disease itself.
She said: From my point of view I think it’s important for people to know about MSA. It’s very rare and I haven’t yet met another person who has it.
“I hadn’t heard of it before I was diagnosed but what it means is that the back part of my cerebellum is diminishing.
“I come to Nightingale House every Thursday and it means a lot to me to be able to get out and meet normal people, and socialise. That’s what it’s all about, and if you can feel normal for a while it’s worth it.
“Coming here has made a huge difference and I can’t think of a better place for Ifor Williams Trailers to give their donation.
“The important thing is to get more and more people to give money to Nightingale House to make sure this fantastic service continues.”
Representing Ifor Williams Trailers was Stuart Evans who also had a personal reason to be grateful to Nightingale House.
His wife’s best friend, Emma Hughes, passed away at the hospice last year at the age of 35.
Stuart, from Johnstown, who works in the company’s research and development department, said: “It’s a vital service for the Wrexham area and North Wales really. “They don’t get much funding at all from the government or anybody else which means they have to raise virtually all the money themselves which is a really big ask. “I think it’s fantastic that Ifor Williams Trailers is donating money to Nightingale House.
“My wife’s best friend passed away here on April 20 last year. It was tough because my wife, Samantha, grew up with her and their parents were best friends as well.
“Now my daughter and Emma’s daughter are also best friends, making three generations of friends.
“As a family, we know what a wonderful place Nightingale House is and it deserves all our support.”
The hospice provides specialist palliative care services to patients and their families across a wide area stretching from Wrexham, Flintshire and East Denbighshire to Barmouth and the border towns including Oswestry and Whitchurch.
Chief executive Steve Parry, who previously worked for the HSBC bank, said: “Ifor Williams trailers have been a loyal supporter for many years and we are very grateful to them.
“One of the big things we’re looking to do at the moment is to provide more outreach services, where people can receive help and support at home or in their local communities.
“I’ve worked in a number of work environments over the years, and I’ve worked with some excellent teams but none can compare with the team here.
“We have in excess of 700 volunteers and they’re a workforce in their own right.
“Without the help and support of the volunteers we probably couldn’t function. They and the staff are part of one big team.”
For more information about Nightingale House and to find out how to make a donation to www.nightingalehouse.co.uk