Feeling ten feet tall | St Joseph's Hospice

Feeling ten feet tall

Our Matron, Debbie Pegram has had a busy and intense few months. Not only does she lead a team of more than 90 brilliant nurses, but as the Director of Infection Prevention and Control at the Hospice she’s certainly had her work cut out ensuring that the ever-changing guidance from the government is communicated and implemented, so that we are able to look after our patients and ourselves safely.

Without much spare time and staying overnight at the Hospice rather than going home on her work days, Debbie decided to take on the sunflower challenge, to give her something else to think about. The challenge was to grow a sunflower from seed. Lots of our staff members and supporters have also taken on the challenge, some have even been given names, and we can’t wait to see the results.

Debbie liked watching her sunflower grow - she called it Sarah after her lovely sister - and decided not to stop there, so she had a chat with Jocelyn, our award winning Head Gardener, for some ideas and tips. Jocelyn sells plants and vegetables she grows to raise money for the Hospice so Debbie purchased a cute little cucumber and decided that would be the start of her growing her own vegetables, something she’s never done before. 

For Debbie this new hobby has been extremely therapeutic and quite exciting at times. She has exercised more, saved money, been outside in all weather, researched and read, but it has also enabled her to work alongside her husband which she has really enjoyed. 

Her fantastic garden haul includes tomatoes, carrots, beans, three varieties of potatoes, parsnips, beetroot, spinach and lettuce while her husband has focused on the sweet peas, blackcurrants, raspberries and making tripods, frames and coffee!

Debbie said “I have missed my children, grandchildren, my family and friends, but it has made me appreciate the simpler things in life. I love my job as Matron and work with incredible teams but I also enjoy my time off, especially as I have been staying at the Hospice while I have been at work.  Doing this has made me realise how lucky I am to have had this opportunity when so many have lost so much.”

From that tiny seed, Debbie’s sunflower Sarah is now 10 feet tall. We would love to see your sunflower pictures (and names), please either post them on facebook or twitter or email them to fundraising@stjh.org.uk.


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