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Abbie's first recipe book Abbie and her mum

How Abbie’s first recipe book is a tribute to her mum … and a thank you to Weldmar

25th January 2024

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Fundraising News Personal Stories

It’s the time of year when we all think of eating a little more healthily, and one cookbook in particular could make more difference than most.

‘Healthy Recipes’ by Abbie Turner won’t just give you ideas for nourishing breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, but proceeds from every copy sold will also help contribute to the specialist end of life care that Weldmar provides in Dorset to adults with a life limiting illness and their loved ones.

The book is dedicated to Abbie’s mum, Emma Jolliffe, who was cared for by Weldmar following a shock lung cancer diagnosis in August 2020.

“What we went through as a family I wouldn’t wish on anyone else,” says Abbie, “and so if I can help other families get the support they need in the future, I know that mum would be looking down and be so proud. The support she received was amazing, and I want other people to get that too.”

Abbie's first recipe book Abbie holding her book

It was exactly a year after Emma died that Abbie started her own business as a personal trainer, and one of the things she did was to share healthy recipes with clients. A conversation with a client led to a ‘lightbulb moment’ – putting them together in a book and raising money for Weldmar. “That was at the end of May,” Abbie explains, “and I spent the next six months writing down recipes in a notebook, and lots of them were recipes mum had shared with me from my childhood. We are a sporty family, and so eating well was part of our lifestyle. All of our meals were made from scratch.”

“We grew up with family all around Weymouth and Dorchester, and family was so important to Mum. She always put us first. She and Dad would drive my brother, Alex, and I up and down the country to take part in badminton tournaments and cycling competitions. Mum was quite a quiet person, but on the sidelines she would be the loudest person there, cheering us on! She was incredible. So when she was diagnosed it was the last thing we expected. She was fit and healthy, she rarely drank and never smoked. It was all very overwhelming for all of us.”

“Mum’s oncologist get Weldmar involved straight away. A Weldmar Community Nurse got in contact with her and came to visit. She was brilliant. She gave mum plenty of information, and the moral support that she needed at the time. The community nurses would visit every couple of months, checking in and providing help and advice.”

As well as the visits from Weldmar’s community team, Emma was also visited by the charity’s complementary therapists, who provided treatments to ease symptoms and help Emma’s wellbeing, as she continued treatment.

Abbie was living in Gloucestershire at this time, settling there with Olly, whom she had met at university. When he proposed in June 2021, they set a wedding date for a year ahead, but with Emma’s condition worsening, an intimate ceremony was arranged for January 2022. Abbie says, “It was the most beautiful day. From the photos, you never would have known what was going on with Mum. She continued living as much of her normal life as she possibly could. She had so much strength and determination.”

Abbie's first recipe book abby and her family

Sadly, just a few weeks later, Emma’s strength started to decline, and Weldmar were called. This time, it was an occupational therapist who visited her at home. “They were brilliant,” says Abbie, “they came straight round and assessed what was needed, the equipment that would be helpful, such as in the bathroom. Everything arrived the following day. Dad said it was absolutely phenomenal. She had everything she needed to be comfortable at home.”

Despite a planned visit to look around Weldmar’s Inpatient Unit in Dorchester, in case it was necessary for Emma to be under the care of the specialist doctors and nurses, it was Emma’s overwhelming wish to be at home at the end. The wish was able to be fulfilled. When her condition deteriorated quickly in May, Weldmar were again on hand to arrange a hospital bed and equipment downstairs for Emma, and she passed away just a few days later.

“We will be forever thankful that your amazing staff were brilliant, and made sure Mum had everything she needed be at home in the end, in comfort and without pain. It meant the absolute world. Mum spent her life caring for everyone else and putting everyone else first, so the fact that you guys were there when she had her one wish to pass at home was, for the whole family, very special. You were able to provide what she wanted.”

As ever, the story doesn’t stop there. The family know that if they need it, bereavement support is available from the team at Weldmar, and our thanks to Abbie and her family for their continued support, helping to make sure other families can receive the same level of care in the future.

Paperback copies of Abbie’s book, ‘Healthy Recipes: Clean and simple recipes covering your whole day’, cost £15 with £5 from every copy coming to Weldmar. There is also a digital version costing £8, with £4 being donated. 

Recipes include Blueberry Overnight Oats, Nutty Lemon Granola, Ginger Chicken Noodles, Mum’s Chilli Chicken, Sausage Cannelloni in Homemade Tomato Sauce, Dark Chocolate Oaty Bars, and White Chocolate and Raspberry Protein Blondies.

Copies can be ordered by contacting Abbie at moveswithabbie@outlook.com, via her website.


Thank you to Abbie for sharing her story. We are always interested in sharing stories about Weldmar’s care, or how you are supporting us. Please contact james.oneill@weld-hospice.org.uk to find out more.

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