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Hospice hosting Light up a Life virtual service

Posted onPosted on 7th Dec

A moving piece by the family of a loving family man who died in Beaumond House Community Hospice, Newark, will feature in this year’s annual Light Up a Life service.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic the service has been pre-recorded in Newark Parish Church and will be screened on December 15 for a virtual gathering on Zoom. It will also be available on the hospice website and copies of a DVD will be available.

Roger Dobson was much respected town councillor in Southwell and a magistrate in Newark for many years. He was also a keen historian and the author of two books.

He spent his final days in Beaumond House, where he died in the summer of 2019.

In the annual service, organised by Beaumond House Hospice Care, Roger’s wife, Su, and daughter, Beth, reflect on the care he received and the compassion given to his family and friends who were able to spend time with him.

“There was no fear, simply kindness and sensitivity, discretion and calm, particularly for Roger himself,” they said. “He was never regarded as a patient.”

Events and corporate fundraising manager Kat Wright said by recording the service they had been able to ensure it could still go ahead and Beaumond House could be there for the community.

“We held our Newark Light up a Life Service in the parish church last year and it was such a lovely setting ,” said Kat. “They have kindly supported us again this year despite the difficult circumstances.”

The service is led by Captain Matt Elsey, from Newark Salvation Army, who is a volunteer at the hospice. It also features the Dean of Southwell, the Ven Nicola Sullivan; the Vicar of Collingham, the Rev Mandy Cartwright; and the head of clinical services at the hospice, Louise Sinclair.

Newark Rock Choir has recorded two performances for the service.

“Last year they were an amazing part of the service and we definitely wanted them involved again,” said Kat.

More information, including details of registering for the digital service, can be found at or on the hospice social media channels.

On the 10th August 2019, my husband, Roger, died in Beaumond House. The pain of his loss is constantly with us, but I and all my family are comforted to know that , in a time when ‘ care’ can all too often be a matter of ticking boxes to prove efficiency and value for money, he spent his final days in an environment where care means exactly that.

Although he taught in Nottingham, we have lived in Southwell for over 40 years, so our connection to the Newark area is strong. Roger served both as a magistrate in Newark and a Councillor in Southwell for many years. A keen historian, he wrote two books about Southwell and the immediate area in WW2.

When it became clear that Roger’s illness was entering its final stages, the hospice at home team stepped in, assuring us that we were not facing this alone and giving us the practical advice and support we needed, together with a compassionate understanding of what was before us.

Roger was absolutely determined to spend his last days in Beaumond House, and visibly relaxed as soon as we arrived there. The room was a comfortable home from home, private and not at all clinical. His bed was immediately moved so that he could see the beautiful trees from his window.

Although in the end he was only a few days there , it felt like a significant period of time. The care shown by everyone at Beaumond House was a reassuring combination of complete professionalism, true compassion and humanity, which was extended to all the family and friends who spent time with him. We had total trust in the team’s skill as they gently guided us through the dying process. There was no fear, simply kindness and sensitivity, discretion and calm, particularly for Roger himself, he was never regarded as a ‘patient’.

So we consider ourselves incredibly fortunate that a most beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend was given such wonderful care, and that his passing was eased for us all by the exceptional team at Beaumond House. We thank you with all our hearts.

Su Dobson