Teresa's story

Last updated: March 2024

Leaving a gift in your will to St Margaret’s Hospice can make a lasting impact on the lives of people across Somerset who are facing a life-limiting illness and their families.

Every gift that is left to us in a will is special and personal but behind these generous gifts are supporters, many of whom have a special connection to St Margaret’s, and Teresa Wort is no different.

Teresa started working for St Margaret’s back in 2007 in our Fundraising Team as a Corporate Fundraiser. She said this experience ‘opened her eyes’ to the ‘vital work’ St Margaret’s does and it was this that inspired her to leave a gift to the hospice in her will. 

“When I was working at the hospice in the 2000’s I was bowled over by the brilliant staff, the amazing care they give and how they go the extra mile to support people to feel safe and comfortable,” Teresa said. “I had the huge privilege of meeting some amazing people during my time at the hospice and I met a lady whose words made a real impression on me. She said, St Margaret’s was like heaven to her, that she wasn’t worried about dying, as she felt the hospice was heaven.  That really summed up the care for me.

“The staff at St Margaret’s take the time to care for people, especially out in the community. They make people feel more comfortable in their own homes which is such an amazing gift. After I left the hospice in 2014 I continued to support them with a regular donation, but I knew I wanted to do more so I decided to leave them a gift in my will. I want to ensure that future generations can benefit from the amazing care they provide, and this was the perfect way for me to do it.

“People don’t want to talk about wills or dying and death but when you come into the hospice you learn that St Margaret’s is about helping people to live as well as they can for as long as they can and supporting them to die well. They help people get everything they need in place to help them to die well in their preferred place of care. 

“Leaving money in your will is a way not only to make you feel good but to help you to give to a cause that is close to your heart. People think that if you give money to the hospice in your will it has to be a lot, it doesn’t! It can be as much or as little as you like. Whether its £100 or £10,000, every penny donated will be appreciated and will help to give more patients and their families this vital support.”

Teresa created her first will in her 20’s and has redone it 3 times during her life to ensure causes which are close to her heart, like St Margaret’s, are included. She said she’d encourage others who haven’t already to create their wills and ‘take control of their wishes.’ 

“If you are making a big life change such as moving house, getting married or having children, it’s a great time to make your will so your wishes are known,” Teresa explained. “The solicitors who did my will were absolutely lovely, they make it such a pleasant experience. No question is a stupid question, and they support you every step of the way. It’s such a thoughtful process and it’s great to have your wishes all down on paper. 

“When we are brought into the world it is a wonderful event.  I personally feel it should be that way at the end and the hospice can do that for you. “

At the start of 2024, Teresa returned to St Margaret’s as a volunteer in our Spiritual Care Team and generously gives up her time every week to provide emotional and spiritual support to patients in their Sunflower Centre Day Hospice. She describes volunteering for the hospice as ‘humbling, a great privilege and rewarding’ and said it feels ‘good’ to make a difference to people in her community.

“Once you’ve stepped into the hospice and had the experience of volunteering for them, you want to come back,” Teresa added. “There’s such a feeling of warmth, you get that feeling as soon as you walk through the door.

“Volunteering as a Spiritual Care volunteer in the Sunflower Centre is an absolute privilege. Having that interaction with patients makes you appreciate your life and the time you have with your loved ones.

“I’d say to anyone who is thinking about volunteering to do it and come and volunteer.  “There’s so many opportunities to make a difference here. You can learn new skills, make friends, and do something amazing for your local community, what’s not to like?

“If I ever become ill in the future, I feel reassured that the hospice will be there to put a blanket round me and care for me in the best way possible. It’s not just a blanket for me but for the family too which is so important.”

“We’re seeing more young people come through the hospice’s doors with a life-limiting illness and you never know when you’re going to need it. Making a will and leaving a gift to the hospice is a great way to have some control over your life and your choices, and support future generations of your family, and families in your community so they can get the support they need at the end of their lives.”


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