We'd like to introduce you to Owen, who came to Birmingham St Mary's for our 12-week therapeutic programme before joining our Welcome Group. He kindly shared his love of motown with us (check out the video below) and had a chat with us about his experience of coming to our Hospice...

How did you hear about Birmingham St Mary’s?

When it was decided that I had to receive palliative care because my health was getting worse it was recommended by my named nurse and my hospital consultant.

What ideas did you have about a hospice before coming to us?

I did not like the idea of being attached to St Mary's Hospice because I always associated hospices as a place that you go to die.

What happened when you first came to Birmingham St Mary’s?

The first time that I came to the 12-week programme on Thursdays, I decided straight away that it was a mistake to come and thought about going home before anyone had noticed that I had come but I gave it a chance.

How has the Hospice helped?

It has helped me to become more relaxed and come to term with my medical conditions and make me see that I am not alone and that there is a lot of people out there with similar conditions and similar feelings about them.

What did you think of the 12-week programme on Thursdays?

I really enjoyed the 12-week programme, I never thought that I would but I did.

How did Fiona (our lead therapist) help you with your shoulder?

I have osteoarthritis and I get a lot of pain in the shoulders which was keeping me up at night. I had a steroid injection in my shoulder but I was still in pain so Fiona did some physio work on my right shoulder, which was very painful at the time but over the next few days the pain started to subside.

Have you got a favourite memory (or memories) from your time here?

My favourite memories have to be about the people that I have met here; people that you could have walked past them in the street and not taken any notice of them but when you talk to them, you realise that you have so much in common and you remain friends with them.

What surprised you about the Hospice?

It surprised me how informative it was and how helpful the information was to you and how you applied it when you got home.  The relaxation methods we were taught were really helpful and how friendly the staff have been. The Tai Chi was relaxing and meeting people who are in the same position as yourself.

What advice would you give to someone, following your experience of Birmingham St Mary’s?              

I would advise anyone to go and give it a chance and they could be pleasantly surprised and get a lot out of the experience.

Tell us about your singing background?

I started off singing in the school choir then I started to do solos, and through the church I developed a love for gospel music.

When did your love of music and singing develop?

My love for music developed as I Iistened to Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and other motown artists.

What's your favourite song of all time?

My favourite song is Ribbon In The Sky by Stevie Wonder from the album Original Musiquarium and also His Eye Is On The Sparrow.

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Thank you Owen for talking with us and sharing your story.

If you'd like to find out more about what it's like to come to our Hospice for support, please visit this section of our website.