Emmerdale star Samantha Giles ‘feels the energy’ during Pendleside Hospice tour
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Social worker Gill Mercer, 41, who has suffered breast cancer, said one of the first treats partner Ian had given her after meeting seven years ago was a studio tour of the Emmerdale set.
She told Samantha: “We rarely miss an episode and sit and watch the soap together.”
Samantha, a self-proclaimed white witch who plays Bernice Blackstock in Emmerdale, is supporting Pendleside’s WitchFest 2022 which hopes to raise £100,000 and culminates with a world-record attempt for the largest gathering of people dressed as witches.
She was given a tour of the hospice by chief executive Helen McVey and community engagement officer Leah Hooper.
During the tour she chatted to staff and patients both on the inpatients wing and in the health, wellbeing and rehabilitation department.
She also learned about the hospice at home and meals on wheels services as well as the bereavement counselling that’s offered.
Samantha said: “Pendleside offers so much beyond what you would expect. It’s not just about end-of-life care but also about respite and offering people with life-shortening illnesses the support they need.
“What I noticed immediately was that there are smiles everywhere. There is such energy around the place and it has a lovely atmosphere.”
Samantha, who is also a children’s author and whose first book was Rosemary And The Pendle Witches, later visited Barrowford County Primary School, where she was greeted by senior assistant head teacher Laura Rostron.
She read an excerpt from her book to around 70 Year 5 pupils and answered questions about the story, her life as an actress, and her role in Emmerdale.
She also told them about WitchFest 2020 which will be held at Barrowford Park, on Saturday, September 17.
Helen McVey said: “We really appreciate the time and effort that Samantha is giving to supporting the WitchFest. I think she learned a lot during her visit and was surprised about the services we offer at Pendleside.
“Both staff and patients were excited about meeting her and the visit gave everyone at the hospice and at Barrowford County Primary School a lovely lift.”