Many people in Swindon have benefitted from local organisation The Prospect Hospice - but what does a week for someone who works as the first point of contact for the charity look like? 

Mel Buckley, from Old Town, has worked at the Prospect Hospice for nearly fourteen years and is the team leader with Prospect Hospice’s Single Point of Contact team. 

She recently revealed snippets of what a typical week for her consists of on a day-to-day basis, starting with a call she took on Monday. 

“Tom has end stage/advanced dementia and last night he fell getting out of bed. His wife Jean was distraught and didn’t know what to do next.

“Jean was exhausted, I talked to her about having more support at home because she was worried that if she couldn’t cope that Tom would have to go into a home.”

On Tuesday Mel listened to colleagues on calls dealing with people in pain or at the end of their life and on Wednesday she spoke to David who had heavily deteriorated. 

“I was duty nurse so I grabbed my prescription pad and headed out. As I looked at him, my trained eye told me all I needed to know. 

I took a moment to prepare for the conversation I was about to have with him and gently take his hand. He said ‘I am dying my dear. I am not frightened and I am right where I want to be. This is where my wife died too.” 

On Thursday Mel took several queries, including helping a terminally ill women get home for Christmas.

“Evie is receiving treatment for a brain tumour but they have been told the treatment is no longer working and there is nothing more that can be done. I quickly organise for our family support team to become involved. 

“Evie is not quite ready for discharge from hospital but we all focus on supporting Evie to get her home for Christmas. Time is going to be very precious for this family and this Christmas needs to be the best it can be."

The week ended on a high for Mel, as she received a surprise on Friday. 

“A couple of weeks ago I took a call from a patient’s daughter, Tina, whose mum had recently been discharged from hospital. She was the sole carer for her mum and was at breaking point. 

"I advised there was more that we could do to help at home and Tina agreed to more support to help her mum. This restored Tina’s confidence and today my colleague Carmen passed on a card with a box of chocolates from Tina.

"What a way to end the week.”

The Prospect Hospice are currently running a Christmas appeal and you can donate here.