Trinity Hospice’s matron Julie Huttley has just bid farewell to the hospice where she has spent three decades of her working life.
The clinical director, who has been with the Bispham-based hospice since the day it opened, retired on Friday.
She is now looking forward to spending more time with her grandchildren.
She was only the third matron in Trinity’s history and has handed to reigns to clinical manager Nicky Parkes.
She started as a young nurse when the doors opened in 1985 and has seen many changes over the years – including the opening of Brian House, the start of day therapy and the hospice’s big refurbishment in 2014.
Julie, who became matron in 2005, said: “We never expected the hospice would grow as it has. When we first arrived, during our induction, we unpacked the furniture. I never dreamed I would go on to become clinical director. I wasn’t particularly ambitious, I was fortunate to have support and to work with people who encouraged me to take on new challenges.
“I have loved coming to work every single day. I don’t think many people can say that. It’s the way the staff go the extra mile and I’ve met so many incredible patients who show tremendous bravery and courage and dignity. It’s different from what you expect in healthcare, which is usually about cure. This is about making a difference for patients and families.”
Among Julie’s highlights has been meeting the many patients and families, the generosity of people on the Fylde coast towards the hospice, and of course, the two visits made to the hospice by Princess Diana.
She said: “It was lovely to see her at the official visit, but so very special when she came back.
“She sat down and spent time with patients, ate with us in the dining room, to us she came across as just a mum.
“And the support we’ve had from the community and continue to have is amazing.”