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‘City Hospice took care of all aspects of our lives at such a difficult time’

Richard Thurston shares his story at the Senedd launch of Forever Flowers

The Thurston family is supporting City Hospice’s Forever Flowers campaign this year in memory of a much-loved wife, mother and stepmother.

Forever Flowers is an award-winning campaign which provides the public with an opportunity to unite and remember cherished family members, friends and loved ones. A unique and lasting tribute, supporters are invited to purchase a limited-edition flower which will feature in a striking display at Cardiff Castle from Saturday July 30 to Sunday August 14.

At the Senedd launch of the campaign earlier this year, Richard Thurston MBE shared how City Hospice cared for his wife Jackie and his family.

Described as caring, loyal and well-liked by all that came to know her, Jackie was a civil servant in the Welsh Government and a respected member of the Government Social Research Service. She sang in a choir, painted, wrote stories, ran marathons and was a devoted wife, mother and stepmother.

Jackie was sadly diagnosed with a rare type of sarcoma on returning from the couple’s honeymoon in 2018. As the cancer became more aggressive, Jackie was referred to City Hospice for specialist palliative care before passing away in 2019.

Jackie and Richard on their wedding day

Richard said: “The news of Jackie’s referral to City Hospice was not easy; our worst fears had been realised. City Hospice knew that and caught us with open arms, a safety net that touched us then and continues to do so with unquestioning support and care whenever needed.

“We received incredible medical support and advice, counselling for us together, individually and for the children, financial advice, and help with applying for grants and benefits. They were our advocates who provided a coherent and holistic package of care. The hospice staff took care of all aspects of our lives at such a difficult time.”

Since Jackie’s death, Richard and his daughters have received bereavement counselling from City Hospice, providing them with a safe environment to talk and process their grief.

Richard said: “The hospice’s bereavement counselling has been so valuable to our family. Grieving doesn’t just stop; it returns at unexpected moments, and of course the trauma from that period of our lives will need unfolding for many years to come. Knowing that the children and I can return at any time for further counselling and support whenever we might need it is incredibly important.

“As a family we will always be indebted to City Hospice for their profound humanity and are proud to support their Forever Flowers campaign which allows people to come together and remember loved ones. Our daughters made paper flowers for everyone to wear at Jackie’s funeral and now we will be able to remember her with a Forever Flower.”