Meet Nic Thomas: From Cooking and Caring to Abseiling down a Cathedral

Published on: 05/07/2022

When our Inpatient ward health care assistant (HCA) AND caterer, Nicola ‘Nic’ Thomas, was asked by her fiancés pal, Benjamin Gillham (a local opera singer of TV’s All Together Now fame), to join him in the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral abseil to raise funds for her treasured hospice, she can’t remember whether she’d had a tipple too many when she enthusiastically said ‘Yes’.

That is why, on Saturday 30th July, she, alongside 15 other hospice heroes, will be scaling down the highest cathedral in the UK (it’s over 500 feet above sea level and the tower itself is 331 feet high!)


It’s not the first time she’s entered events to help the hospice, but it is definitely the most challenging (so far!)

Now, after 17 years at Wirral Hospice St John’s it’s also time to tell you a little bit more about Nic, her home life and her life at the hospice.

She joined us as a young mum of Leah, then three years old, in 2005.

She’d previously worked in PoundStretcher at a Saturday job and then, after studying Travel and Tourism at Birkenhead 6th Form College, she was all set to join Airtours as cabin crew before being blessed with the news of Leah’s imminent arrival.

After getting back into retail at Next for a while she joined the hospice as a kitchen caterer and absolutely loved it. She’s seen the kitchen grow from providing some old school, pre-packed ‘hospital food’ many years ago to the lovingly cooked, with fresh ingredients, delicious food service it provides for patients today.

Nic absolutely loves the the hospice and the many friends she has made here over the years (too many to mention – but they know who they are) and her career is also growing in a new direction.

She now does the two jobs of caterer and HCA (both in part-time capacities up to full-time hours) and she is hoping that the future is increasingly on the healthcare side of things. The next stage would be attempting to qualify as Nurse Associate and then hopefully onto full time nursing. Go For It, Nic!

The inpatients ward here is so special. Dignity and respect guides everything we do but there is often time for friendly chatter and banter like there is in any walk of life. It’s busy, caring and we treat everybody like we’d expect any of our family to be treated.

I really love both of my jobs as they take me into direct contact with our patients. When I get to meet them and their loving families I know why I’ve also, from time-time, done something to help raise funds too. I want everybody who comes here to get that same level of care and support, into the future.”

Daughter Leah’s now 20 and studying for a degree in Criminology and Psychology. Nic’s younger daughter Millie is soccer mad, playing for long time hospice supporters Glenavon JFC, the Liverpool FC foundation and also has a Level1 football coaching certificate at only 15 years of age!

Fiancé, Lee, (they’re planning their wedding for 2024) is a garden landscaper in his day job but also a talented singer who regularly gigs around Wirral and surrounding areas. He too has given his time to support Nic’s various fundraisers for the hospice.

Nic told us about her other highlights in her life at the hospice.

Before the abseil I’ve mainly done team events with other hospice staff and our families. I remember a team of us having a great day doing the Dragon Boat Race on the River Dee and also, the hospice’s It’s a Knockout in recent years and before Covid.

I’d also discovered that I could create festive ‘chocolate bombs’ which people somehow wanted to make a donation for around Easter and Christmas a couple of times.”

All in all, Nic’s helped to raise several thousand’s for the hospice. Her family and friends and the regulars at The Richmond Pub on Oxton Road all rally round to add funds on evenings when Lee (and the earlier mentioned fellow abseiler, Benjamin) will also sing to add to the entertainment.

She’s also met a Duke and Royalty too,

I was a bit overawed when introduced to the Duke of Westminster when he came to lay the foundation stone for the new build section of the hospice in 2008. And then, in 2016, some of my colleagues and I won a draw to sit on The Mall for The Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations and I got to shake hands with Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, when she went walkabout with Prince William.”


So how apt it seems that, in Platinum Jubilee Year, Nic will be perched atop the tower at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral on Saturday 30th July, alongside some other incredible hospice supporters, including family friend Benjamin, ready to plunge down 330-plus feet, to raise funds for her beloved Wirral Hospice St John’s.

Thank you Nic and the very best wishes of all your colleagues, family and friends go with you.


Nic and Benjamin are collecting donations from their family and friends locally and if you’d like to sponsor them both via Just Giving, the link is at