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Singing in the ward

It was like a story of love when a devoted husband picked up his guitar and serenaded his wife at the hospice where she is being cared for.
skip singing on the ward (2)
Skip Atkins, 57, dedicated an impromptu performance of the poignant 1980s ballad Only You to his wife Jan, who has secondary breast cancer and is receiving help to get her symptoms under control, when he visited the inpatient unit at Saint Francis Hospice on Thursday (October 13).Zoe and Skip (front) and Chay and Jan (back)

"I am so proud of Skip and what he is doing for the hospice and it really made me smile when I heard him singing on the ward," said Jan. Skip, who has played the guitar in bands over the years, decided to combine his musical talents with fundraising for the charity because of the care and support it has given Jan since she was referred in June last year.

                                                                                                      Skip singing on the ward
Earlier this month Skip raised £200 to fund end of life care by busking to shoppers and passers-by in High Street, Brentwood.

"What was so fantastic was that I felt people really recognised I was doing it for the hospice and virtually everyone who walked by gave a contribution," said Skip, who also raised £1,600 when he took part in the 10k Vitality London race in May.

"I am so pleased that it has been a success as I feel I am doing something to help Jan by helping the hospice that is caring for her."

Jan, 58, a former IT Manager at a primary school in Upminster, enjoyed making friends and chatting with staff and patients at the arts and crafts sessions in the day therapy unit, which she has attended every week up until recently.

"She absolutely loved coming to the day therapy unit and she has really missed it on the days when she was too ill to attend," said Skip, a communications engineer from Upminster. Zoe and Skip (front) and Chay and Jan (back)

"I've also appreciated the support I've been given from everyone at the hospice."

Jan is also receiving counselling from the Family Support Team which Skip says has really helped her to cope with her illness.

The couple have two grown-up children Zoe and Chay and celebrate their 28th wedding anniversary next month and while Jan used to joke about Skip's singing, he is delighted that his fundraising efforts have lifted her spirits.
                                                                                                                Jan and Skip
Skip's love of music began when he was still at school with his friends Eddie, Mick and Tony, whom he still sees regularly, and together they formed the band Eddie Whipp and The Dustbin Lids."

In the 1970s we were world famous...in Hornchurch," Eddie joked.

Since then he has carried on at various levels from busking on the streets to playing at venues as a guitarist.Zoe and Skip (front) and Chay and Jan (back)

So if you missed Skip the first time, make sure you are in High Street, Brentwood on Saturday, November 5th and Friday, December 16th where once again he will be performing to support the hospice.

To sponsor Skip click here

       Jan and Skip with Zoe and Chay