Christchurch, Dorset News, Health, Latest News | Posted: Tuesday, October 6th, 2020 at 11:00 am | return to news

Surprise rainbows brighten Bournemouth woman's life

A 38-year-old Bournemouth woman battling Motor Neurone Disease (MND) came home recently to find her bedroom had been decorated with rainbows.

Hayley Bryson enjoying her newly decorated room
Hayley Bryson enjoying her newly decorated room

Hayley Bryson’s surprise had been carried out by staff at the Macmillan Unit at Christchurch – which is no relation to the national charity – and came a year after staff also helped Hayley arrange her wedding to Calvin.

Many people think that the Macmillan Unit at Christchurch only looks after patients with cancer, but in fact it offers palliative care for all adults with advanced, progressive, incurable illness.

Hayley was diagnosed with MND in July 2019.

Hayley’s husband Calvin, 47, said, “Last summer Hayley was walking and speaking normally and enjoying her job working with adults with learning disabilities. But she is now confined to a wheelchair and her speech is seriously impaired.

“At the end of July this year we moved into a new, more accessible bungalow in Talbot Road.

“Hayley now needs to spend much more time resting in our room and when I looked at the blank white walls I wondered what I could do to make them more interesting for her.

“The team at the Macmillan Unit in Christchurch are a lifeline to us, so I called and asked if they could help me find someone who could paint some rainbows and clouds in the bedroom.

Angie Brooks, the multi disciplinary team facilitator at the unit, said, “I knew Lucy Short our volunteer co-ordinator is a fantastic artist and Lyn New on our Day Centre staff is also amazing at painting, so I sent an email and quickly had them and other volunteers offer to help too.”

A few days later – and just two days before Hayley was due to move into her new home – the team turned up and got to work.

“We had to do it quickly as Hayley wanted to move in asap, so that weekend was the only window of opportunity,” said Angie.

“On the Sunday, Neal Williams (Trust secretary) Barry Wilson (community and events fundraiser) Lynne Williams (volunteer from HSBC) and I, headed around there to do the base layers of painting and put the glitter on the walls. Then on Monday I took Lucy to draw the rainbows, clouds and hot air balloons and on Tuesday Lyn painted them. It was like DIY SOS strikes again.”

Calvin said when Hayley came in and saw the room brightly coloured with rainbows she squealed with joy.

Angie and Jane Martin from the unit also came to the rescue last year when Hayley and Calvin were planning their wedding at Poole Guild Hall.

Angie said, “The unit asked if I could help with trying to arrange a VW Campervan to take the couple to their wedding as I used to own a VW wedding vehicle business.

“I contacted somebody I knew who was still in the business who agreed to do it at a reduced cost, which was paid for by our charity – Macmillan Caring Locally.

“I also help manage our wonderful team of volunteers and contacted them to see if we could offer any free services and a photographer came forward.

“Both myself and Jane attended the ceremony. We were both so happy to play a part in making sure Hayley and Calvin had the best day ever.”

Calvin said, “Macmillan Caring Locally has helped us in so many ways, from everyday living support, to even helping us get married.

“Words can’t express how much we appreciate them all.”

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