Volunteers like Lila are the backbone of North London Hospice
Lila Chinman was one of our longest serving volunteers, and for many years provided weekly help on our Finchley ward. Her infectious smile and friendly manner meant she was much loved by staff and patients alike.
Age was just a number to Lila, who even at 89 was still volunteering her time to North London Hospice and its patients, almost 25 years after she first walked through the door.
But in September 2019 her COPD meant she finally had to stop her visits and she sadly died on our ward, the place she had dedicated so much time, on 17 December.
“She was in the Hospice for five days and that was exactly where she wanted to die,” said Lila’s daughter Sukie. “From the moment she arrived she was calm and happy, after being thoroughly miserable in hospital.”
Lila lived in Cockfosters and had three children with Len, her husband of 61 years – Meryl, Sukie and Robbie. The couple also had six grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren (with a 13thon the way). Her interests included golf and bridge and she was a ‘prolific knitter’ explained Sukie. “Mum knitted all her life and it was a fitting tribute that her entire family wore something knitted by her at her funeral.”
Sukie added: “Mum absolutely loved helping at North London Hospice. She felt needed here. She would chat to patients but over the years she helped in many areas including the laundry and the kitchen. She had hoped to continue until her 90thbirthday but was just three months short of that. She was our hero and is very much missed.”
Tribute to Lila & Len
Lila is also missed by her friends and colleagues at NLH. Her family have purchased a gold leaf in memory of Lila and Len, who also died peacefully on our Finchley ward eight years ago, to go on our beautiful Tribute Tree. This provides funds that help us continue to support our patients and their families. Each leaf is engraved with the name of a loved one and remains on the tree for a year.