Natalie Birmingham knows how it feels to lose close relatives at St Ann’s Hospice so is well placed to help others now that she works at the hospice.
Natalie saw for herself the care and compassion offered at the Little Hulton charity when her grandmother and uncle died there within a few months of each other.
Both Brenda Cook (72) and Andrew Seymour (52) had cancer, providing Natalie, from Astley, with the toughest time of her life five years ago.
A change of career saw her become a trainee assistant mental health practitioner at St Ann’s in January after working for Greater Manchester Police for 14 years.
Natalie‘s role involves offering psychological support, including bereavement help, for patients and families. She said:
It's something I've been through myself, so I have an idea of what people are going through. We're only a small family so to suffer two big losses in such a short space of time was hard. I was blown away by the care and support from St Ann's and to lose my uncle so soon after my nan was heart-breaking. Eventually, it made me stronger and made me feel passionate about helping others through the journey I've been on. I love working here although Covid-19 has meant we had to provide counselling online and over the phone. Natalie
Natalie is raising funds for St Ann’s by running 13.1 miles – the equivalent of the Great North Run. She said:
I'm not much of a runner so it's quite a challenge for me but it's for a great cause. Natalie