Dementia Services Co-Ordinator - East Cheshire Hospice

Dementia Services Co-Ordinator

Sharon Hurley could easily have followed another career when she left school at 16 without the necessary qualifications to become a nurse.

Thankfully, she never gave up hope and kept trying by gaining experience in a health care environment and eventually fulfilled her dream.

That was a long time ago but her passion for nursing has never diminished.

Sharon is now an experienced staff nurse in the Sunflower Centre at East Cheshire Hospice where she also co-ordinates dementia services.


She said: “I always wanted to do nursing, but didn’t have enough O Levels to get into the profession.

“So I started doing care work and general auxiliary nursing and paid to go back to college for two years.

“Even then, I didn’t have enough O Levels to start the course, but they took me on because I’d showed I really wanted to pursue my nursing and they accepted me.

“If they hadn’t given me a chance, I’d never have done my nursing.

“The role of a nurse has changed over the years and at times can be challenging and emotional, but generally is a very rewarding job when you see you’ve made a difference to people’s lives.”

Sharon has been in health care for 33 years, including 15 years in district nursing and on the wards at Macclesfield District General Hospital.

She has vast experience of dementia care and life-limiting illness, so is ideally placed to oversee the Hospice’s dementia  services for patients and carers.

Activities include a monthly Singing Together class and Love to Move, a seated exercise class.

There is also an eight-week programme for patients and carers, plus a dementia companion service in which trained volunteers provide companionship for those with dementia, giving carers respite for two hours.

That service had to be suspended during Covid-19 when others went online. Understandably, safety  guidelines continue to be monitored closely.

Sharon said: “Face-to-face sessions mean carers speak to other carers and that peer support is appreciated. It was all taken from them during Covid which was a strain for them.

“We get a lot of positive feedback from those attending our carers programme. Some patients are in the very early stages of dementia and don’t know where to turn to.”

* To discuss dementia services contact Sharon on 01625 666990.

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