Community has raised more than £210,000 for Saint Francis Hospice
PUBLISHED: 07:00 27 December 2018
St Francis Hospice
Thanks to help from volunteers and members of the public, Saint Francis Hospice in Havering-atte-Bower has raised more than £213,000 this year to help provide specialist end of life care.
The hospice has received help from all across the borough, and inspiring efforts to fund raise for the charity have included charity football matches, one group cycling more than 300 miles in three days, a number of balls in memory of those who were supported by the hospice and a pub in Gidea Park that has been holding a quiz every week for the last decade to raise money for SFH.
Regulars at The Ship in Main Road will know all about the hospice, as 2018 marked 10 years since the landlords started a quiz that raises around £100 a week.
Since it started the pub has raised more than £60,000 and landlords Chris and Mary Smythe are very modest about the support they give.
“We just put out a few nibbles and provide a venue - it’s the organisers that do the rest,” said Mary.
Quiz-lovers and regular patrons Ian and Andy, took over the management of the quiz this year, and are equally as modest.
Ian said: “We don’t do it on our own though, the regular teams take it in turns to host, and I just manage that rota. It’s a real team effort.”
Paula Moore from Rainham loved her family and she also loved a party. To mark the first anniversary of her death in August, her husband Kevin and their children Donna, Laura, Scott and Craig held a fundraising ball in her honour.
The ball was a huge success with 200 family and friends coming together at Ingrebourne Links and Golf Club and raising £4,550 - almost £2,000 of which was from an auction on the night.
In August the family of Andrea Pitty from Romford held its fifth annual charity football match - bringing together family and friends to fundraise in her memory.
This year they raised £725 - bringing their total donated to the hospice since 2013 to nearly £9.000.
Old Cooperians Rugby Football Club nominated the Hospice as its chosen charity this year and raised more than £800 for SFH thanks to events including a bottomless Prosecco afternoon tea.
The club chose the hospice as it’s charity as head coach Patrick Reed experienced the difference the hospice’s specialist end of life care can make when his Nan Dianne Reed, who had cancer, was admitted to the inpatient unit in October last year.
Patrick said: “The nurses and staff all went above and beyond what they needed to do and right to the end they were fantastic.
“They done their upmost to make the limited time we had with Nan as special as possible. We can thank them enough for the support!”
Another sporting highlight was when 13 members of Havering Triathlon Club cycled 300 miles through Belgium and France to pay their respects to the soldiers who lost their lives in the Great War.
Over three days the riders went from Romford, to Dover, and then on to Ypres - to take part in the poignant Last Post Ceremony - and then back home via Dunkirk.
The groups efforts over the 72 hours raised more than £2,500 for the hospice.
Sarah Williamson, head of fundraising at Saint Francis Hospice, said, “Our supporters in Havering have huge hearts and over the past year they have raised hundreds of thousands of pounds taking part in challenges and putting on their own exciting fundraising initiatives.
“Our annual 10K Star Walk in September was a great success and raised more than £42,500!
“It costs £21,000 a day to provide our specialist end of life care services and it wouldn’t be possible to do so without the generosity of our supporters.
“Thank you to everyone who supported us in 2018; You are helping us to make a difference to people at the most difficult time in their lives.”
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