THE family of a dad who died in York aged just 46 have found comfort in dedicating a ribbon to help them remember him.

The family of Dominic or Nick Ryan who died at St Leonard's Hospice in Tadcaster Road last year are among a growing number of people taking part in the 2024 Rainbow of Ribbons event, which helps to celebrate an occasion, say thank you, or simply remember a loved one.

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“When Nick became unwell, we helped look after him at home, but it wasn’t enough because his needs became complex. We were so relieved when St Leonard’s said he could be cared for at the hospice. We felt a massive weight had been lifted as we were struggling,” said his parents Peter and Helen Ryan.

“He got to know all the nursing staff really well and felt more comfortable, they all liked him. We didn’t realise what the hospice did for people until Nick came in here. It’s incredible the care that he got."

At the hospice, Nick’s family could spend quality time together in the family areas, playing games and doing crafts. The hospice allowed his family to be just that – his family.

Suzanne Harris, registered nurse at St Leonard’s Hospice with the Rainbow of RibbonsSuzanne Harris, registered nurse at St Leonard’s Hospice with the Rainbow of Ribbons (Image: Supplied)

“During the six weeks that Nick was in the Hospice, everybody treated him with dignity, but they also looked after us. We even joked and had a laugh - everyone loved Nick and his sense of humour,” said Peter and Helen.

“It has been eight months months since Nick died, we miss him terribly, but we are also still being supported by St Leonard’s as we process and come to terms with the loss of our son.

“We know that hospice care isn’t free to provide. It doesn’t get much government funding and we would like to do what we can to help.

“We’d like others to know what the hospice does, and the fact that all the small donations from people in the community add up and make a real difference to help people.

“Our ribbon dedication for Nick will help the hospice to be here for more families like ours.”

To take part you simply choose a ribbon colour, make a donation and dedicate your ribbon. The ribbon will be handwritten and placed in the rainbow display at a chosen location.

This year the locations are:

  • York Museum Gardens
  • St Leonard’s Hospice, York
  • Easingwold Market Place
  • Selby Abbey
  • Pocklington St Leonard’s Hospice Shop

To dedicate a ribbon this year visit