Community steps up hospice support

The St Michael’s Hospice £1m Phoenix Appeal is going from strength to strength thanks to the support and generosity of the local community.

Hundreds of people have already donated to the appeal and many more are raising the vital funds needed to hit the £1m target through sponsorship or events.

Sally Beresford, Community Fundraiser St Michael’s Hospice, says last month they were delighted that a number of runners took on the challenge of the Hastings Half Marathon in aid of the Phoenix Appeal. “Verity from Brede, who ran the Hastings Half Marathon in 2hrs 20minutes, raised over £200, which was a fantastic achievement,” she said.

Verity, who has lived in Hastings and Rother all her life, says when she decided to run the Hastings Half Marathon there was only one charity she had in mind.

“I ran for St Michael’s Hospice because of who they are and what they do,” she said. “When I heard the devastating news about the fire last year, I was shocked and felt helpless. When I entered the Hastings Half Marathon I felt this could be my chance to help raise the money they need and be part of this wonderful charity.

“I couldn’t have completed the Hasting Half Marathon without the support of my brother Ryan who kept me going through the tough patches and to all my friends and family who supported me in the run up to the event.”

Verity plans to continue supporting the Phoenix Appeal to raise even more funds and is in the process of organising an entertainment evening with The Brede Players for later in the year.

Other fundraisers include Jo Lyons, who held an afternoon tea in Battle on Good Friday. Jo sold a selection of scrumptious cakes, had an Easter egg tombola and a bring and buy pre-loved clothes sale, raising an eggceptional £600! Jo says it was a brilliant afternoon. “It had an amazing atmosphere and the hall was packed from start to finish,” she said. “My friends and family, who were manning stalls, were amazed! The Easter egg tombola was a real hit and that alone raised £170.

“Of all the charity events I’ve done over the years this has to be the best one. I’m always blown away by the generosity of people donating cakes and things for the raffle and tombola and also by how generous they are on the day.

“I’m so pleased the event raised such a great sum for the Phoenix Appeal.”

Iris Millar from Beaufort Court, Hastings also organised a cake sale. And, with the help of a number of local bakeries who very generously donated cakes, raised an amazing £340.

Hospice at Home Health Care Assistant Cherryl urges the public to get involved with their own fundraising event and says the care offered at the Hospice is vital to the local area. “Looking after someone when they are at a vulnerable phase of their life is a very intimate moment,” she said.

“Being able to provide my patients with direct support is very special, and something I feel exceptionally proud of.

“As part of a team we provide symptom management whilst offering emotional support to patients, families, carers and friends.

“Hastings and Rother please support our Phoenix Appeal, we need your support.”

The money raised by the Phoenix Appeal will provide many new benefits including improved access and mobility for patients; private en-suite bedrooms for patients on the ground and first floors; refurbishment of reception, conservatory and coffee shop; new kitchen, catering for in-patients and people supported in Day Services; improved staff and volunteer facilities.

Sally says the hospice are incredibly grateful to Verity, Jo and Iris and everyone who is stepping up to donate or support them in any way as they strive to hit their £1m target.

“It’s wonderful to see everyone throughout our whole catchment area supporting the Phoenix Appeal,” she said. “It will help make our Hospice truly fit for the future”

For more information on how you can support the Phoenix Appeal, or for a fundraising pack call Sally on 01424 456369 or email: phoenixappeal@stmichaelshospice.com