Vale: Bernadette Lloyd
We recognise and commemorate the life and work of social worker Bernadette Lloyd who died earlier this year after an eight-month journey with cancer.
Bernadette began her journey in palliative care work at the Cottage Hospice, Shenton Park where she worked until it closed. Following this, she moved to Bethesda Hospital’s palliative care unit.
Bernadette held an immutable focus on her clients’ needs throughout her career. She was not a social worker who strove for self-aggrandisement or publicity. Rather, Bernadette was a trench warfare social worker who got her boots dirty. She devoted time and effort to client need in every job undertaken.
Warmth and generosity, both personally and professionally, were trademark characteristics. It was very easy to warm to her infectious cheeky sense of fun, made all the more therapeutic and comforting given the sadness of her palliative care work environment. Bernadette knew that death was an extension of life and a natural path for us all. She never showed discomfort in helping her patients to confront their challenges, both practical and emotional, as each in their own way strove for resolution and peace at the end of life. At the Cottage Hospice, Bernadette even visited a deceased patient in the mortuary to tell her that she had done her best, in what had been very difficult circumstances. Not many social workers can lay claim to such comprehensive dedication to the completion of a professional relationship. This comfort with death extended to the closing days of her life. She accepted when her own death was close and allowed others to feel comfortable in her presence. She planned every detail of her own funeral, reducing the burden on her loved ones.
Bernadette was loving and loyal to family and friends. She was always there for those she loved. Her capacity to garner long standing friendships from amongst colleagues was evidenced by a church which was standing room only at her funeral.
Vale dear Bernadette, you leave an enormous gap in the social work profession. You are greatly missed, both personally and professionally (Sylvia Heavens and Mary Bairstow).