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Time for some adventures

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If you haven’t already read it, check out Helena’s first blog where she announced her upcoming Churchill Fellowship. In this second blog instalment, she travels to Canada to start her fellowship, and spends a sunny weekend enjoying some sights before the real work begins…

On 28 March I packed my bags and headed off to Canada on the first leg of my Churchill Fellowship. Departing on a cold grey morning in Grantham, I boarded the LNER Train which after a few changes would take me to Heathrow Terminal 2 where my Air Canada flight would zoom me direct to Vancouver.

Despite a chest infection and feeling pretty lousy the nine hour flight passed pretty quickly, entertainment provided by watching Wonka and Barbie! Stunning views as I passed over Greenland were not to be missed.

Arriving at Vancouver International Airport, easily passing through immigration and passport control I met my taxi which would take me to the north shore where I would rest my head for two weeks.

Leaving downtown Vancouver behind I travelled over the Lions Gate Bridge, construction costs funded by the Guiness family from Ireland! Onto Stanley park, 400 hectares of natural west coast rainforest stands as a magnificent green oasis in the midst of the urban landscape of Vancouver.

Easter weekend came and the sun shone, the bank holidays giving me time to explore some walks in the sunshine, fresh air and oh yes half a bottle of DayQuil Vicks VapoCOOL (tastes as horrible as it sounds!)

Staying in North Vancouver the three mountains that overlook the north shore, Grouse, Cypress and Seymour are truly majestic, with snow peaked tops they stand tall and beautiful.

Easter Sunday and the Varley trail, part of the lower Seymour conservation reserve follows some of the best trails in the area with beautiful mossy trees and gorgeous mountain views and river views. I didn’t quite manage the 10.3 km trail, but I did manage to finish it off with a lovely latte at the End of the Line coffee shop.

Monday, saw a visit to VanDusen Botanical Gardens, 22 hectares located on the unceded Ancestral shared lands of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. Spring was most definitely apparent as the tulips and daffodils emerged amongst the hundreds of species of trees, rhododendron, roses, azaleas, that were about to explode with colour.


After Easter, work begins for real, keep watching for my next instalment. Coming soon.

Helena is Together for Short Lives’ Director of Service Development and Improvement. She is a registered children’s/adult nurse with over twenty five years clinical experience and a further nine years experience working as an Associate Professor leading children’s undergraduate and postgraduate nursing provision in Leicester.

Helena’s doctorate looked at the concept of place attachment theory in hospices. In her current role she leads programmes to support quality improvement, education and sharing good practice as well as overseeing all direct work to support families and children with palliative care needs across the UK.

Read part three here

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