Tim Farrer, a secondary school headteacher from Verwood has launched the Macmillan hospice’s annual Christmas appeal, after the charity gave him and his mother a ‘wonderful’ last Christmas together in 2019.
A moving video message describes how he and his brother Richard spent a final Christmas at the Christchurch palliative care unit with their mother Sally Farrer, as she neared the end of her battle with pancreatic cancer.
Tim and Richard’s father Roland also passed away at the Macmillan Unit in 2007.
Macmillan Caring Locally (MCL), the charity which supports the hospice, is asking people to help Make Last Wishes Come True for more patients and their families this Christmas.
Tim said, “Recording the video and recounting that last Christmas Day with mum was very emotional. But it’s wonderful to be part of the unit’s appeal this year and I know mum would have been very pleased to know we are helping to support other families being cared for at the worst of times, by the best of people.”
Tim, the former head of Shaftesbury School and now head of a secondary school in Wiltshire, said, “I arrived at the unit early on Christmas morning. There were beautiful decorations, a brass band was setting up and a stocking of wrapped presents lay on Mum’s bedside table.
“We enjoyed a mince pie and a glass of sherry and she said: “Cor! That’s strong,” but she was smiling from ear to ear.
“When my brother arrived we listened to the band and opened some presents, before having lunch together with all the trimmings.
“For the unit to create and offer all this to families is simply incredible.
“However unusual our Christmas was, the day seemed as normal as ever. Medical checks were not even noticed and certainly didn’t interfere.
“We wore stupid hats all day, made jokes about Brussels sprouts and had chocolates for breakfast.
“It was as special as it always was, with family, gifts, Christmas music, sherry and a palpable feeling of care and love.”
Sally Farrer died on 2 January, 2019 at the age of 82.
Neal Williams, Trust secretary of Macmillan Caring Locally, said, “Tim and his family have been hugely supportive of the unit for many years and we were thrilled when he agreed to share his own experiences of Christmas in support of this year’s appeal.
“Christmas is a time for family and togetherness and is incredibly important for patients of the unit and their loved ones. We hope people will come forward and donate to the appeal knowing they are spreading real joy to those who need it.”
Tim Farrer’s video can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGbiXSlNmZ0&feature=youtu.be
To donate to the Macmillan Caring Locally Christmas Appeal please visit: www.macmillanlocal.org/christmas-appeal or phone the charity office on: 01202 477628.
Please share post:
Follow us on