Hospice cook hailed as an ‘unsung hero’

Sal Keita has been honoured
Sal Keita has been honoured

A cook has been praised for his support to patients and their relatives at a hospice.

Sal Keita, who prepared the meals at St Catherine’s Hospice in Malthouse Road, Crawley, won the Ancillary Worker Award at the West Sussex Partners in Care Accolades.

The award, which was presented on October 10, recognised the selfless man’s efforts to spend time building relationship with patients and making an outstanding effort to understand their dietary needs.

The chef who has been working at the hospice for two years also makes the favourite meals for patients.

When people are approaching the end of life, their eating habits can change or the symptoms of their illness can affect their ability to eat, so the care team say it is important they can choose the food they most enjoy.

Wayne Stepney, retail development and front of house services manager at St Catherine’s says the team are pleased with the award.

He said: “We’re thrilled that Sal has won such a prestigious award recognising his brilliant work and allowing us to share the detailed care that St Catherine’s offers to local people.

“Sal and his colleagues are unsung heroes of our hospice.

“They work tirelessly to make sure that people staying with us are able to enjoy high quality food during their time here.

“Sometimes, when people arrive at the hospice they’ve stopped eating, but thanks to the efforts of Sal and the St Catherine’s catering team people are often able to enjoy food, adapted to their individual needs, once again.”

No request is ever too big or small for Sal.

Whenever there’s a special occasion, like a birthday, anniversary or wedding, Sal will help arrange celebration decorations and make a cake to help people create treasured memories during a difficult time.

St Catherine’s Hospice is a local charity which supports people affected by serious illness enjoy quality of life and have dignity in death.

The community fundraise £3.5 million of the hospices annual £5.2 million running costs each year.