Supporting local charity Willen Hospice

Posted 7th November 2023

Many Milton Keynes families will know someone who has been cared for by Willen Hospice. Providing free, specialist end-of-life care and services, the hospice only receives 15% of its running costs from ongoing NHS funding. The rest is met through fundraising – mostly the generosity and commitment of local supporters.

This Christmas, MK resident Sue is sharing the story of her mum’s experience at the hospice to help raise vital donations. She’s passionate about making sure other local families get the same life-changing support her family did.

“When my mum, Anne, died on Christmas Day in 2019, I thought Christmas would never be the same again,” says Sue. “The first sign of her illness was a sore tongue. Eventually, she was diagnosed with tongue cancer which progressed very quickly. We were trying to look after Mum at home, but Willen Hospice’s community team, Willen at Home, suggested it was time she moved to the In-Patient Unit.

“While Mum was looked after at the hospice, we were cared for as well. We had time to spend with her without having to worry about all the day-to-day things that we might have worried about if she’d been at home. I had visited people at the hospice before and found it a beautiful environment, but it was particularly special at Christmas time. There were staff who wanted to work at Christmas. It just felt amazing to think that they were willing to give up their time with their family to help support everybody else.

“Mum dying at the Hospice has meant that it’s an even more special place for my family and I now. It’s somewhere that we can come and think of Mum, and somewhere that I really feel her presence – we all do. Without generous donations from supporters, the hospice wouldn’t have been available for my mum and it wouldn’t have been available for anybody else who needed it. Mum was just one of many, many local people who have been cared for there.”

To watch a video of Sue’s story and read more about Willen Hospice’s work at Christmas, visit