This week we were delighted to be visited by local comedian Tom Allen. Comedian, writer and actor Tom is a regular feature on TV screens, presenting Bake Off: The Professionals as well as making appearances on Mock the Week,Live at the Apollo and Have I Got News For You?
Tom, who grew up in Bromley, was invited to visit the hospice after nominating St Christopher’s to receive his winning prize money from BBC TV’s Pointless show, back in January this year.
“It’s been really inspiring to visit St Christopher’s”, says Tom. “There’s so much that hospices offer that you don’t expect. I’ve met such lovely staff who take the most amazing care of patients on the wards, but what’s more surprising is just how many patients, and their families, are supported every day in all kinds of ways in their own homes. Support like physio sessions or welfare advice. People tend to think that hospices are all about the last few days of someone’s life, but that’s not at all true”.
It’s been really inspiring to visit St Christopher’s, there’s so much that hospices offer that you don’t expect
Tom was also happy to visit as he has a family connection to St Christopher’s, after his Dad’s aunt was looked after by the charity several years ago.
Tom comments, “St Christopher’s is full of positivity. It’s all about enabling people to live life to the fullest, which after all, is how I’d imagine we’d all like to spend our days at a difficult time. And yet, the hospice receives only one third of its funding from the NHS and needs to fundraise the remaining £16 million that it needs every year with the help of the local community.”
Joy Barrow-Anderson, from Lewisham, is a Deputy Ward Manager at St Christopher’s, and met Tom as he walked around the hospice chatting to staff and volunteers. Joy comments, “There’s was such a buzz at the hospice today! Tom was genuinely very interested in how we look after people in our local community. He was absolutely charming and very entertaining; it was a real pleasure to meet him and he put a smile on everyone’s face.”