The daughter of a well-known local man is thanking hospital staff for the care they gave to her father by presenting them with £1000.

Valerie Dickinson’s father, Fred Wood, died last October aged 90. He had developed manic depression in later life and spent 18 months before his death at St Luke’s Hospital, Huddersfield, which is run by the South West Yorkshire Mental Health NHS Trust.

Speaking about her father, Valerie said, ‘Dad felt very safe at St Luke’s, the staff there are brilliant and helped Dad manage his depression. I wanted to thank the staff for the care they gave to my dad, as they were so kind and always there for him’.

‘Dad developed mental illness later on in his life and we have had to fight the stigma every step of the way. But mental illness is just like any other illness and Dad put up a brave and valiant fight against it’.

Valerie also had some words of advice for anybody who has a family member experiencing mental illness, ‘Don’t be afraid of it, we’ve been there, and it really is just like dealing with any other illness. There should not be such a stigma attached to it.’

Valerie will present a cheque for £1000 to Neil Bryson, Modern Matron, of Ward 4, St Luke’s Hospital. Neil said, ‘Fred was a warm, friendly and charming man. He was full of local information and stories, and was such an interesting character. Fred managed his mental health problems and treatments really well, and was a great advocate for his illness, showing how very possible it is to cope with mental health problems.’

Fred, of Brockholes, was well-known locally and was a regular contributor to the Huddersfield Examiner’s letters page, as well as, at the age of 86, writing a book of memoirs called Amongst the Woods, which was filled with local history, names and gossip.

Fred was also a keen amateur artist and Valerie is presenting two of Fred’s paintings to Ward 4 to act as a lasting memory of her father.


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