A group of north-east nurses have been trained in sign language thanks to funds raised by an Ellon woman in memory of her deaf mother who died of pancreatic cancer.
Rosemary Mitchell raised more than £3,000 for the charity Marie Curie staff in memory of her mum Elaine.
While her mother was undergoing treatment, 27-year-old Ms Mitchell acted as a translator for the Marie Curie nurses to ensure her needs were being met.
And after her mother died last year at 63, Ms Mitchell decided to launc a fundraising campaign to improve communication between Marie Curie staff and patients with hearing impairments.
She has taken on a number of challenges to generate cash for the charity, including her first 10k race in Inverurie on Mother’s Day earlier this year.
The cash she raised has been used to train 15 north-east Marie Curie staff and volunteers in the use of British Sign Language – and now the charity will continue to improve upon its support of those without hearing by teaming up with Action on Hearing Loss.
Ms Mitchell, of Ellon, said: “I’m delighted that the training took place and hope it makes a difference to deaf British Sign Language users, or hard of hearing people, receiving care from Marie Curie.
“I would like to thank everyone who donated towards my fundraising – without their support, none of it would have been possible.
“Without their generous donations, Marie Curie would not have been able to provide this much-needed training.”
Marie Curie nurse Alma Ainslie-Davies said: “It’s a lovely feeling knowing that I can now have a basic conversation with a patient or family member using British Sign Language.
“I came away from the training feeling very inspired, and will keep practising so that when I need it I won’t hesitate to give it a go, whether that’s at work, or meeting someone in the street.”
The project to fund the lessons for the Marie Curie nurses was facilitated in part by Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin.
She said: “The money Rosemary worked so hard to raise has been utilised so that other families will have benefit from a more constructive experience should their family members need palliative care.
“I think Rosemary’s mum would be very proud of the work she has done in her memory.”