People attend our Day Hospice to help them live well with a life-limiting illness and here is Kevin’s story…

I didn’t have any ideas about the Hospice before coming here, I just thought it was for people with cancer but now I know it’s for anyone who’s been referred…I have COPD (a lung condition that causes breathing difficulties).

When I first came here I soon settled down, thanks to the nurses, who are just lovely. They’re more than good, they’re fantastic. All you have to do is shout and they’ll come running!

I started coming to the Day Hospice for the 12-week programme, where I learnt lots of things like how to exercise. There are some I can do and some I can’t, those I can do, I will do. The exercise I like the most is throwing the ball. I’ve also learnt a lot about myself, how far you can push yourself, I used to overdo it but now I’ve realised what I can do.

If you’ve got any problems, you just have to speak to them about it and the Hospice will do what they can to help you out. A couple of years ago, I had a tax bill, I knew I didn’t have to pay this money but the government were insisting that I had to pay. In the end, the Hospice looked into it for me and were able to clear things up.

I really do like it here at the Hospice, it’s very helpful, the people are nice, the nurses are brilliant, the doctors are good.

I enjoyed the Day Hospice programme that much, that I came back for the Welcome Group. I look forward to coming here every Wednesday, it’s about the only place I go now. It’s nice to come here and have a laugh and joke with everyone. The patients are all nice, there are never any rows and we just play each other up. I haven’t got a bad word to say about anyone here.

I go through two oxygen tanks while I’m here. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to talk with everyone.  COPD makes you very tired and takes all of your energy away. When I can walk, I walk, but just walking up the ramp from the car park to my seat in the Day Hospice makes me out of breath.

I can’t complain one bit about the food here too, it’s lovely. My favourite dessert here is the pineapple sponge, which I normally have with a bit of ice cream.

I’d recommend this place to anybody, it’d do you the power of good, it’s done me the power of good. You get treated with dignity here.

If anybody’s frightened of coming here, especially men, as it can be a macho thing with men, don’t be frightened to come. Just because we’ve been offered to come here, doesn’t mean that we’re going to die.

To those who think you don’t need it, how do you know if you haven’t tried it? No matter what you got, what illness, the door’s always open. You’ve got to think positive and come.

Thank you Kevin for sharing your story with us and showing how our Day Hospice has changed your life.

To find out more about our Day Hospice or the 12-week therapeutic programme, please visit www.birminghamhospice.org.uk/coming-here