The East and North Hertfordshire Hospitals' Charity Christmas Donation Appeal is raising urgently-needed funds for the Lister Butterfly Volunteer Service.

Below, Emma Matthews, of Biggleswade, tells of the support the charity-funded service gave to her family when her mum, Lesley, pictured below with her grandson, sadly passed away in March.

At the bottom of the page you'll find details of how you can donate to help us keep the Butterfly service running.

Watch Emma's Story

In March of this year, we found ourselves in a situation we did not expect so soon in this life. One that you often don’t think of and always push to the back of your mind, until you go and find yourself right there...

Our mum Lesley had a short illness and was in hospital at the Lister. The medical team without doubt gave her the very best care but it soon became clear that we were not winning the battle and it was decided not to continue treatment. It’s the worst decision you ever have to face, the prospect of losing a family member.

"This amazing service steps in and aims to ensure that nobody dies alone."

We found the last few days very scary. We are lucky to have a large family and most of the time we could be with mum, talking with her, trying to give some comfort, in the hope that she could hear us. In between all of this, we found ourselves lost in utter disbelief and then we had a knock at the door.

A wonderful volunteer came in, the first of many over the coming days. They told us about the Butterfly service – to be honest, it totally choked us up, that there was such a service. Somebody to sit with our mum, when we had to nip away for a shower or tend to other family matters so she didn’t have to be alone.

They wanted to know all about mum, what she liked to do, what she found comforting. The Butterfly team also gave us support and spoke about what we could expect. They truly were a wonderful guiding hand in a horrible situation.

"From the bottom of our family's heart – we thank each and every one of you at the Butterfly service."

What really strikes me is that there are some people who literally have no single person to support or sit with them in their final days and that is a truly awful concept to even contemplate.

Who could honestly say they’d be happy with that ending? Nobody. This amazing service steps in and aims to ensure that nobody dies alone.”

How to donate to the Lister Butterfly Volunteer Service this Christmas

You can support the East and North Hertfordshire Hospitals' Charity's Christmas Appeal in the following ways:

  • Donate online. Click here >
  • Call 01438 285182 to make a card payment.
  • Give money via text.
    To donate £5 text BUTTERFLIES 5 to 70085
    To donate £10 text BUTTERFLIES 10 to 70085
    To donate £20 text BUTTERFLIES 20 to 70085
    Texts cost your donation amount plus one standard rate message and you'll be opting in to hear more about our charity's work via SMS. If you'd like to donate but do not wish to receive marketing communications text BUTTERFLIESNOINFO followed by your amount to 70085

Click here to read more about our Christmas Donation Appeal >