FAMILIES visiting a Penarth hospice following the death of a loved one will now have an opportunity to reflect in privacy, thanks to the opening of a new quiet room.

The new Quiet Room was officially launched at the Marie Curie Cardiff and the Vale Hospice this week, and will be used to meet relatives who are visiting the hospice to collect a loved one’s death certificate.

The hospice provides expert care and support to people living with any terminal illness, and their families.

Claire Wretham, spiritual care coordinator at the hospice, said the room would allow family members to see nurses who may have cared for their loved one, and also be available for patients, families, volunteers and staff to use if they require a space for peace, reflection and contemplation.

A memory book and a memory tree will allow families to record personal messages or memories for loved ones.

"The room is a space that is open for everyone to find a piece of peace away from the wards that can be so busy," said Claire.

"We have tried to create a space that is inclusive and calming and will allow anyone with any belief, faith or otherwise to find a connection point.

"The room is softly lit and furnished comfortably but also includes literature and other religious items for all major faith groups. It provides a sanctuary without endorsing or advocating for any particular religion or belief."

Charity chief executive Dr Jane Collins was at the opening, and as well as launching the quiet room, also unveiled the “knitted daffodil” artwork for all to see.

Late in 2016, staff called on knitters to help create a wall mural of the Marie Curie logo, with those interested asked to knit patches of 20 stitches by 20 rows in white or yellow.

Patients staying at the hospice at the time took on the task, and family members also created patches and donated them in memory of their loved one.

Staff nurse Gwyneth Davies then took all the donated patches away, and placed them onto a hessian backing to create the charity’s logo. It’s now in place outside the Quiet Room in reception, alongside a glass plaque made as a charitable contribution by Cathy O’Doherty from Glass by Design in Penarth.

“We were so grateful at the huge amount of support we had, with bags of the white and yellow squares donated to us at the hospice,” said Ms Davies

“If anyone who helped create this was not able to attend it’s unveiling, we’d welcome them to come and have a look at it.”

Families were invited to the unveiling, and Jenny Wales and Anne Hamber, whose husbands were both at the hospice, were pleased and surprised with the result of the project.

"My husband was here, and he was looked after so wonderfully well, it was the least I could do,” said Ms Hamber

Ms Wales added: “I like to support Marie Curie if I can, because my husband was here. It’s nice to be asked to knit something these days.”

Dr Collins said: “It’s wonderful to see something that offers a bright welcome to the hospice, particularly for anyone who hasn’t been before who may be afraid of what it involves.

“It’s so touching that so many patients who knew they would not see the final creation, and so many families too, have been involved in the creation of this daffodil, the symbol of our charity and our work to give the best end of life care possible to people living with a terminal illness.”

The project is among a series of activities which are run at the hospice to get patients and families involved. This included an Advent Calendar raffle throughout December, while efforts are always made to get patients involved in seasonal celebrations, such as Valentine’s Day and the Six Nations tournament.