Helping Hand: Overgate nurses share their stories

Halifax Courier launches campaign to support Overgate Hospice.
Halifax Courier launches campaign to support Overgate Hospice.

The Halifax Courier has launched a campaign to help support Overgate Hospice and the vital work they do in our community.

When you walk through the doors of Overgate Hospice, you are hit by a sea of smiles. Their staff strive to deliver the best quality care and fill patients’ days with as much comfort and joy as possible.


Marie Sullivan, deputy director of clinical services said: “Overgate just has that wonderful family feel to it. People here get a real buzz out of looking after their patients. There’s tears, but there’s also a lot of laughter in this place.”


Recently retired nurse, Liz Forster worked at the hospice for 30 years, during which she never had a day off sick. She headed the day hospice service, which cared for over 370 people last year.


“I have loved every minute of working at the hospice. Despite retiring, I cannot leave this special place and have signed up to volunteer.


“It’s been amazing to watch the hospice grow from the initial service of 8 inpatient beds, to the wonderful facility it is today, providing so much help to so many people.”

Retired nurse Liz Forster.

Retired nurse Liz Forster.

READ MORE: Courier launches Overgate campaign.


Steve Whitaker’s journey with Overgate began after his mum lost her battle with cancer.


“It feels like yesterday that I sat with my lovely mum as the Consultant delivered the worst news – there was no further treatment available for her cancer. My mum was so strong and planned everything, even choosing to spend her last days in her local hospice in Scarborough.

"The care my mum received was incredible and as I said goodbye to her I vowed to do all I could to support my local Hospice, Overgate,” said Steve.

Nursing assistant Steve Whitaker.

Nursing assistant Steve Whitaker.


For the last ten years he has been fundraising for the charity, from bucket collections at Halifax Rubgy club to wading through Shibden Lake to dressing up as Santa. Whilst volunteering he enquired about helping patients on the inpatient unit, he then went on to study for a level 3 diploma in Health and Social care.


“I recently completed this course and whilst it was tough at times, knowing how proud my mum would be got me through.”


In September Steve’s dream came true as he was appointed as a nursing assistant on the inpatient unit.


“It is such a privilege to play even a small part in making our patient’s last days as special as they possibly can be. All I can say is, if you have a dream, you can do it.

Overgate hospice. Photo by Jim Fitton.

Overgate hospice. Photo by Jim Fitton.

Deputy director of clinical services, Marie Sullivan. Photo by Jim Fitton.

Deputy director of clinical services, Marie Sullivan. Photo by Jim Fitton.

Overgate hospice. Photo by Jim Fitton.

Overgate hospice. Photo by Jim Fitton.