Partnerships Officer, John Garman, describes his recent trip to the new hospice centre in Serbia 

"I visited BELhospice in March this year, five months after the new hospice centre opened. The centre looks incredible - such a light airy space with a homely feeling and relaxed atmosphere.

I was fortunate enough to spend time with some patients in the new day-care centre. One of the patients I met was Slavka who has cancer. When I arrived she was enjoying some colouring and was chatting with the other patients and the staff around her. Slavka made me feel really welcome and we talked about a visit she had made to London. 

The new hospice centre

She was constantly smiling and amused everyone with her jokes and stories. She tried out a virtual reality headset which had been donated by Hospice in the Weald. She experienced the feeling of being on a beach, walking on sand and watching the ocean. This brought back memories and she became quite upset. 

What moved me most was BELhospice's social worker, Katarina, who held her, comforted her and kissed her forehead. 

I will never forget the care and attention that was shown by the social workers, nurses and psychologists. Knowing that this was the only organisation in Serbia providing this sort of care made me realise why our fundraising work here in the UK is so important." 

The day care centre 

Birthday Celebrations     

A recent patient visit by some members of the BELhospice team showed that palliative care is not just about symptom control but also about celebrating life. 

Two members of the team, nurse Ivana and psychologist Miljana, visited Mira to help her celebrate her 93rd birthday. Mira was really touched by this gesture. 

Mira with Ivana and Miljana