From lucky lottery jackpot winner to Dove House nurse

Teddy and his owner Sandra at Crufts

Natalie Devine, a qualified nurse, was one of the first people supporting Dove House Hospice through its lottery. When she won the first prize in September 2016 and visited the hospice she was so impressed she decided to join the team.

‘I’ve supported the hospice through the lottery from the very beginning, so for about 21 years. I won the jackpot in September 2016 and put it towards a holiday in Florida. Laura, the Lottery Manager, who had called me to tell me I’d won, invited me for a tour of the hospice so I could see how my support made a difference to those using services at Dove House. On the tour, I went through to the Amy Johnson Day Unit and spoke to one of the Senor Sisters. I thought this is a lovely place to work and she mentioned they were recruiting nurses. I applied and started at the end of May 2017. It was meant to be. I love the fact that I have come as a staff nurse, get to work and look after my patients after years of being in management. It is lovely to get to know your patients and care for them.”

Her passion is palliative care. She says: “To be able to look after the patient in a completely holistic way while also being able to look after the family is special. They haven’t lost sight of what is important at Dove House and it is individual care, that total involvement with the patient and the family. I actually feel honoured to look after someone at the end of their lives. I feel it is a very privileged position because a lot of the families accept you as part of their extended family. You know them, they know you. The memories the family go away with last a long time. The most important is that the end is peaceful and they have the people that count with them. Not all of our patients die, some come for respite and for pain management and again this is a positive experience. If patients come with a lot of pain or sickness we can sort that out for them and they go home and enjoy more time in their own surroundings. “

Natalie still plays the lottery and feels strongly about supporting the hospice, patients and their family. She says: “We couldn’t do it without the lottery. Join, you might be lucky to win the first prize like I did. Admittedly you might not be lucky enough to get a job off the back of it. It is so worthwhile to give to Dove House. It is about the care and love that goes into everything. “

To join the lottery and support the wonderful team of nurses, doctors and other clinicians at Dove House in their daily work, click here.