A WOMAN who wants to 'give something back' to Nightingale House is holding a concert to raise money for the hospice.
Brenda Sklenar was diagnosed with asbestosis in January 2003, and was referred to Nightingale House hospice by her doctor.
When Brenda paid her first visit to the hospice she was terrified, not knowing what to expect.
Brenda said: 'The first time I went I was really scared, I thought there would be loads of beds, like a hospital ward, but I was really surprised - it was more like a hotel.'
Brenda is a day care patient at Nightingale House and visits every Tuesday, where she has the chance to chat with other patients and the staff.
One of the things she likes about the hospice is the staff.
She said: 'They're absolutely marvellous. The nurses put me at ease and the doctors don't talk down to you.'
Brenda is so impressed with the care she has received that she is keen to say a big 'thank you', and is busy organising A Tribute to Elvis to raise money for Nightingale House.
'I wanted to do this as a big thank you for keeping me alive,' said Brenda.
Organising a charity event on a big scale is no mean feat, and before attending the hospice, it was something Brenda could not have managed.
'At one stage I thought what's the point in getting out of bed? I wouldn't accept that I was ill, but I slowly came to terms with it.'
Brenda finds that she is always able to ask questions at the hospice, helping her to come to terms with the illness. She also finds that patients are able to help each other, and she is always there to welcome new patients as the 'old hand'.
Nightingale House is free of charge to its users, re-lying on £1.5m from fundraising every year to keep its doors open.
With the recent spate of charity box thefts, Brenda was determined to do something to help.
'There's everything here at the hospice, nice meals and a swimming pool - the aromatherapy is my favourite. We're going on an outing on a canal boat soon - they need money for all these things.
'They've given me so much, and I must have driven them crackers. It feels great coming to the hospice, it takes my mind off the pain. A Tribute to Elvis is my personal thank you to Nightingale House.'
'I have been a big Elvis fan for years and I wanted to organise a night out that everybody can come along and enjoy - the more Elvis fans, the better!'
A Tribute to Elvis will be held on July 7 at Air Products Sports and Social Club, Acrefair, and stars Elvis impersonator Shane Prince, who will be performing for free. There will be a disco and raffle, and Brenda has donated some of her personal collection of Elvis memorabilia.
Tickets are £6 each and are available from Air Products (01978 820471), Melody Jane on Queen Street and Nightingale House Hospice (01978 314292). Ticket numbers are limited to 160, so book early.
If you have any items you would like to donate to the raffle, contact the fundraising team at Nightingale House Hospice on 01978 314292.