Home Charity Family Find Comfort Through A Musical Performance

Family Find Comfort Through A Musical Performance

by Love Wrexham Magazine
Janet and Andy Snowden

In a wholesome moment at Nightingale House Hospice, the Snowden family came together in song, creating precious memories with their mum, Janet Snowden.

An impromptu conversation with a nurse led the family to share that they hadn’t sung together since lockdown. Being a musical family with everyone having some connection to music, they are no strangers to performing. During the first wave of Covid-19, they performed live every night for 150 days.

“A Lot of Songs In Our Back Pocket”

Bethan Snowden, Janet’s daughter, explained how the impromptu concert happened, “Our brother Sam was talking to the nurses in the kitchen, and he mentioned that our Dad (Andy) was in the West End production of Blood Brothers. The nurses said they loved Blood Brothers and suggested we put on a performance. The next thing I knew, Sam rushed into Mum’s room, saying, ‘They want us to put on a concert.’ And just like that, we were singing. Sam got on the piano, we had shakers, and Dad played guitar. Because we had sung 150 songs over lockdown, we had a lot of songs in our back pocket. Then we got singing because that’s what we do.”

Janet’s family have united around her following a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer that spread to her liver and lungs in October 2023. After having a tough time with her treatment, she was transferred from the hospital to Nightingale House Hospice, where her family have continued to support her.

Sharing how welcome they felt at the hospice, Janet’s partner, Andy Snowden, said, “We were a bit worried because we’re a big family. But the staff reassured us, saying it was no trouble at all. There were larger rooms where our family could visit, and nothing was too much trouble. Singing together as a family was really special. We never felt like we were bothering anyone.”

“A Bright And Airy Place”

Andy continued to talk about his parents visiting Janet, “My parents came to visit Janet the day we sang together. They knew Janet wasn’t well, so when they came to the hospice and joined in with the singing, they were pretty surprised. When my Dad left, he said it was one of the best days he’d had in a very long time… My Dad has cancer, too. When we asked him if he would consider coming to a hospice, he said no way. But after coming to see Janet, he has changed his mind. He said he’d definitely come to a hospice.”

Janet shared her thoughts on staying at the Wrexham hospice, “It’s a bright and airy place. You don’t have to whisper like in a hospital. It feels more like a hotel. You have your own space and can do your own thing. Despite dealing with my illness, it’s been a pleasant experience. The staff and volunteers have been incredible. The food has been phenomenal! I want so much of it. The fish finger butty was amazing. People come and chat with you, so you never feel alone.”

The Snowden Family
The Snowden Family

When asked how they felt about Janet being in a hospice, the family chorused, “We love it! We don’t want her to leave…” Followed by laughter.

Bethan summed up their experience, “The biggest takeaway from this experience is that nothing is too much trouble for anyone at Nightingale House. Whether Mum or we needed something, someone was always ready to help.”

For Janet and her family, Nightingale House provided comfort during a tough time, offering support and a sense of home during their journey.

For more information, please get in touch with rachelle.mclachlan@nightingalehouse.co.uk

About The Hospice

Nightingale House Hospice is an independent hospice and a registered charity (number 1035600)

The hospice has been looking at other ways to keep its finances afloat during this difficult time. Most of its running costs are met through fundraising and other income-generating channels, including its on-site café and retail outlets, which make a significant contribution to maintaining services for those with life-limiting illnesses within palliative care.

Our services are completely free of charge to patients and their families across our catchment area, which extends from Wrexham, Flintshire, and East Denbighshire to Barmouth and the border towns, including Oswestry and Whitchurch.

Nightingale House hospice services are available to everyone in its’ catchment area living with a life-limiting illness.

It costs £4,900,513 each year to run Nightingale House Hospice.

That’s equivalent to:

  • £408,376 per month
  • £94,241 per week
  • £13,389 per day

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