A busker who travels round the country in his camper van stopped off at Trinity Hospice to play for a dying woman in her last few days of life.
Shaun Kennion, 43, sat and sang for Anne Weigh, who later passed away — and said he now hopes to bring ‘peace and comfort’ to more patients.
“The hospice has become one of my favourite places to play at and is a place which has become really close to my heart,” he said.
“There is a real peaceful and welcoming atmosphere at Trinity and all the staff are so caring, which really shines through them all.
“I feel really honoured and thankful to have been able to be involved with the hospice and share my music with the patients, and if it can somehow bring a sense of peace and comfort to them then I feel it will have served a good purpose.
“I also hope that I am able to continue to play a part of a such a special place for many years to come.”
Shaun was born in Hyde, Manchester, but moved to the Fylde coast when he was two and now lives in Stalmine.
He started to learn the guitar when he was 12 and later played in a number of bands, as well as accompanying solo singers and performing in front of crowds at open mic nights.
As well as playing in a worship band at the Gate Church in Bispham, Shaun plays for patients in the hospice’s Day Therapy Unit, and also goes into the Inpatient Unit and sits at the bedside to play for those who are seriously ill.
Anne’s widower Robert allowed us to use the picture - above - of Shaun and his late wife ‘because he was so moved, not just by the music, but because someone like Shaun gives his own time to bring music into the hospice, and to bring a real sense of relaxation and peace to patients and families’, one hospice worker said.
Healthcare assistant Anne Marie Wilkinson said: “There is just something very calming about Shaun, not just his music, but his way of chatting to patients.
“Hearing a familiar tune, beautifully played, can be a transport back in time and conjure up some special memories.
“Music is so evocative and such an important part of palliative care – something that, even when shared in a group, can have a very personal meaning.”
Rather than play vibrant sing-alongs, Shaun doesn’t sing, and just plays the guitar so patients can reflect, relax, and enjoy the melody.
The hospice matron believes the music can be just as important as medicine for some patients, and over the course of the year a number of local people go in and play at the Low Moor Road facility.
“I’m a Christian so I try to be led by my faith in Jesus and playing at the hospice was a step I instantly felt in my heart was what I should do,” Shaun added.
“I decided to get in contact with the hospice and see if they would like me to come and play some tunes for the patients, which they agreed to, and I’ve been playing there quite regularly since.”
He continued: “I also do a lot of busking these days, which I started to do three or four years ago now.
“This is when I started to play more solo instrumental tunes, and I have been travelling round England in my camper van busking in different towns.
“The busking has been really good as I’ve met a lot of different people from around the world, which has also led onto being asked to play at weddings, funerals, and other functions.”