IN THE INTERIM BLOG
Amazing Grace, aka Witnessing the Random Act of Kindness
My blog is usually reserved for my professional life – my work in healthcare management as an interim. Today, however, is different. I want to share with you all how I spent last Saturday, and what I witnessed.
By 4.00pm on Saturday 25th March 2017, my best friend, Heather, and I came to the joint conclusion that, as Saturdays go, this one was certainly different. You see, my friend of 39 years was diagnosed with breast cancer late in 2016 and had surgery just before Christmas. Chemotherapy follows and with it the loss of Heather’s long wavy hair. Heather, being Heather, decided not to waste it and so donated it to make wigs for those who want them during their treatment. She set up two Just Giving pages (links at the bottom of this blog) so that people could donate to her two favourite charities, and filmed her story. The day was set for Heather to go to her hairdresser and have her head shaved – and have it filmed. How brave it that? I was to provide make up and muffins for the occasion.
The day dawned, a bright and sunny day in Stratford Upon Avon, Heather’s home. I arrived in the morning to do a practice run of the make up. As I walked into Heather’s home I was greeted by the sounds of Lady Marmalade. Yep, that’s my best friend for you! Colours for the make up chosen, Heather, myself and Heather’s husband, John, set off for town. A quick stop off for a cocktail in the bar at the RSC (of course!) and then over to the hairdressers where we were met by Heather’s film crew. What could have been a scary situation was turned into a celebration by my best friend. She laughed and joked throughout, I helped tie her beautiful long hair into pony tails as it was cut off and placed in a bag to be sent off to help someone who needs a wig and having completed the task, we all settled for a moment to drink some bubbles and toast the future. Heather, I must tell you, looked amazing! So much so that the idea of wearing a bandana was quickly jettisoned.
Having spent almost an hour with Heather’s hairdresser, his next client (a young lady) was waiting and we all exchanged pleasantries before she walked through from reception to the main salon. And then, his client walked back into reception and this is what happened…..
Heather was sitting on the sofa, and this lady bent down to her and placed a pearl bracelet in her hand. “Um, excuse me, would you like this?” she said, “I gave one to my mother when she was diagnosed with cancer and she wore it all the time. You will get through it, you really will”. There was a moment’s silence and then, of course, the tears flowed. Heather first, then me, then her hairdresser. This lady’s name is Grace. Amazing Grace. Her random act of kindness filled the room with love and hope and comfort. John took a photo at just the right moment. Grace’s random act of kindness captured for all of us.
I hate the term “reaching out” but here’s what I learnt last Saturday. Have the courage to “reach out” to someone, to perform that random act of kindness, to demonstrate that nobody is alone, to walk that path with them, if only for a moment. Thank you, amazing Grace.
If you would like to donate to either of Heather’s charities, please go to:
Jan is a natural leader, who is capable of motivating her colleagues and inspiring their hardest work. She efficiently manages to be assertive in delegating jobs whilst still maintaining her vibrant and compassionate personality. In the time I have worked with Jan, she has worked on multiple work streams, in coordination with multiple departments, all within tight time limits, often mitigating conflicting personalities, and completed each job to a high, professional and detailed standard. Jan has an ability to remain calm in any situation presented to her and in turn is a genuine and strong leader, capable of excelling in the face of any challenge presented to her. Jan Lawry is an asset to any company that is lucky to employ her.
Jan is a committed healthcare professional with particular strengths in stakeholder engagement and change management. Jan has a keen understanding of the healthcare environment and the challenges it faces. She is very much focused on the patient perspective and on improving the patient experience. Jan is also a team player and has plenty to offer any setting she works in.
Jan is an excellent Project Manager, she is professional and friendly, and quickly builds working relationships enabling her to get the best out of people she works with. She has an ability to take on new knowledge quickly and manage multiple projects at the same time whilst following agreed levels of governance. I would recommend Jan to anyone looking for a quality project manager.
Jan is an experienced and dynamic individual with a passion for improving patient experience of care. I would have no hesitation in recommending her or working with her again.
Jan is a highly experienced Project Manager with fantastic interpersonal and organisational skills who has been a valued and respected member of the National Cancer Patient Information Programme.
Jan is conscientious, loyal and hard working in a way that gains the expected outcomes within agreed timeframes and yet also takes clinicians and senior managers on the journey with her, so through solid engagement. Jan was a pleasure to work with and I would have not hesitancy in working with Jan again the future.