Julia Halligan was admitted to Rowcroft’s Inpatient Unit in September where she stayed for five weeks and met Physiotherapist, Lucy Goldsmith. For the latest edition of Rowcroft’s magazine, Hospice Matters, we asked Julia to interview Lucy about the physiotherapist’s work, the hospice and swimming down white water rapids…
Julia: Have you always wanted to be a physiotherapist?
Lucy: I didn’t always want to because I associated physiotherapy with sport and, though I’ve always done a lot of sport, it was an aspect of the job that didn’t really appeal to me. I started to think about it when I became aware of physios working with people who’d had strokes, and other aspects of the role. That interested me more and I thought I’d find that more rewarding work. I got some work experience in different places and from there got some insight into what physios did.
Julia: Why did you want to work at a hospice?
Lucy: I first got an understanding of what hospices do when I was living in London, where I grew up. I started volunteering at my local hospice and realised what the staff did and what an amazing, rewarding place it was to work. When I first qualified I was a children’s physio up north then did neuro physio back down in Devon. After I’d done that for a while I thought it was time to look for a change and out of interest looked up Rowcroft Hospice; I knew they had a physio working out in the local community and wondered if they’d be looking for someone to work in the IPU. It so happened they were, so I got the timing just right!
Julia: My impression of Rowcroft is that it is like a family, is that how you feel working there?
Lucy: It does feel like a family, it’s a really lovely place to work. It’s a relatively small organisation compared to a big hospital so the contact you have with people in different departments is greater. There are more familiar faces who you see daily. And it’s not just the clinical staff there is also the fundraising team, the finance department and many more. It is a lovely supportive environment and everybody works together well. There’s a lot of humour, it’s not a sad place to be.
Julia: How do you cope with the highs and lows?
Lucy: I’ve got a few wild sports. I throw myself at various things like triathlons, mountain biking and kayaking. At the moment I’m making the most of the rain and getting out white water rafting, or swimming if I come out of my boat! I’ve got a dog who comes mountain biking with my partner and I, she runs alongside, and she’ll get in our canoe with us. I do enjoy doing a bit of art. It’s quite nice to really focus your mind on that, but normally I love being outside in nature, doing anything that scares me. I’ve made good friends doing that and it clears your mind and gives you something else to think about. Running down a rapid you can’t think about anything else. There’s a lot of team work involved with it. Occasionally I pick up the guitar and have a little play. Fortunately we’re in a detached house and my partner works away at sea so I can play the same songs again and again, it’s only the dog that sulks and gets fed up with me.
The latest edition of Hospice Matters is now available to read online here.