This is the day in the life of Neil, Head of Support Services at Dove House.

Hello, my name is Neil and I am Head of Support Services at Dove House.

What attracted you to join the Dove House team?

I came to work for the hospice back in early 2021. I did a very similar role for 15 years beforehand but after the first lockdown, I had lost my spark. I wanted something more meaningful so when the job was advertised at Dove House it was like a working summary of my life.

What was the first thing that struck you about Dove House when you came for the first time?

You never really know what to expect when you come to Dove House for the very first time. The role was similar to one I had done previously but it wasn’t for a hospice or the health care sector. First thing that strikes you, no matter how bad your day is the hospice has a way of grounding you.

What do you feel makes Dove House special?

The work that we do, arguably at the worst time of a family’s lives is making it the nicest it could be for them. It’s got its fair share of nice people who are all working towards the bigger picture of the hospice which is great. I think it is reflected in how many years so many of the employees have worked here.

What do you look forward to each day?

I look forward to really making a difference and having an impact. The work we do across all areas of Dove House is so important and I like that I am able to support

What are the amazing moments that stand out for you in your day that make a difference to you, patients, and your team?

The things our team does often go unnoticed but when they do it is really heartwarming. Moments when we have been directly involved in making a difference are lovely. It is a nice reminder of what we are all here for. The things that come to mind are when we had a lady in with her husband and it was their wedding anniversary. The lady had mentioned how no one would make a big deal out of it because of the situation they were in. One of our fantastic domestic support ladies went out and got her a card. It was such a little thing but made her really happy. Another is when a young family was at the hospice and it all got a little much for the kids. A member of the maintenance team noticed and offered to let them feed the fish in the gardens. It was such a lovely thing to do and he didn’t think twice about offering them up a little moment of happiness when their world was crashing down around them.

What does a typical day look like for you?

Every day can be different, I think the first thing that pops into my mind every day is “What is today going to bring for myself and my team?”. A large part of what we do in Support Services has to be reactive to whatever comes up which I like. But in the areas outside of that, I have implemented layers of structure to ensure as a team we are working as effectively as we can. We also have to schedule routine checks and maintenance to keep everything ticking over nicely.

What do you think are the biggest achievements you have accomplished while working at Dove House?

The biggest has been perfecting the art of perseverance. Not everything can be done in a day and when you work for a place like the hospice that can be hard to manage as you just want to be able to do everything.
Putting in some structure and standards when I first came to this role is now paying off and it is nice to see that I have contributed to that. They have made a huge difference not just for my team but for other departments at the hospice, the nursery, and the shops.

When you are in the thick of everything it can be hard to see how far you have come but as I reflect I can see the difference now very clearly even just compared to a year ago which is a great achievement just on its own.

What are your hopes for your future at Dove House?

Personally, my goal is always the same every day and it is to leave the hospice in a better place than I found it. It steers me well and I want to continue with that hard work. I would like to build on what have already achieved for the benefit of everybody. Overall I would just like to do more! We provide services that are invaluable and I want to continue to be part of that for many years to come.