I was drawn to wanting to make a difference to people’s experience of end of life after my own father’s death, and that of a close friend who asked me to help her prepare for her death from cancer, and for her funeral. These experiences helped me realise that there is a role for a non-medical, but informed, companion who can help facilitate communication, gentleness and more of a sense of personal control for the person who is dying, and those that love them.
Over the course of my working life, I’ve worked in the NHS, in a Rape Crisis Centre, in adult education, and in counselling. My first training was as a Speech and Language Therapist and I later worked in adult education providing women’s return to work preparation and also teaching stress management, assertiveness and other personal development areas. Additionally, my experience of having a profoundly deaf daughter means that I am deaf aware, and have basic skills in signing. All this, combined with my present role as a Counsellor, developed my core values around the importance of relationship and communication, and I want to bring these understandings to my work as an End of Life Doula.