At the start of the 2009 apple harvest, Bulmers’ growers were asked whether they would like to donate 50p to St Michael’s Hospice for each tonne of apples delivered to the new UBL mill at Ledbury. With a similar donation from Bulmers, the scheme has now raised a whopping £25,000.
Some growers have also sent donation cheques directly to the Bulmers’ Fruit Office, where the fund raising efforts have been co-ordinated. Bulmers has match-funded all the money raised from the cider apples and the other donations, and then topped up the amount to a total of £25,000.
Rod Lees, Head of Bulmers’ Orcharding, is shown with Chris Fairs, Ben Moss and Gill Turner of the Orcharding Department presenting the cheque to Nicky West, Chief Executive for St Michael’s Hospice.
Rod Lees said “With the growers donations and our own match-funding, we had already exceeded the total we raised in 2004. That’s a tremendous achievement in the current economic climate and shows a heart warming level of generosity amongst our growers. However, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the St Michael’s Hospice, we felt it would be highly appropriate to top the funds up even further, to a nice round £25,000! We had a good harvest in 2009; the first full year for the new UBL mill went well and, as usual, the commitment of our growers, hauliers and mill team, keeping the apples coming in around the clock, was brilliant. To be able to make a donation of this magnitude, to such a worthy cause, is a marvellous way of rounding the harvest off for another year. The partnership of apple growing and cider making has many benefits for our communities here in Herefordshire and this is a great example of one of them.”
It costs around £10,000 a day to run the Hospice. The £25,000 raised through this initiative will therefore make a very significant difference to the service we deliver to our patents and their families. This invaluable contribution could for example fund a highly skilled health or social care professional for 1 year; the day hospice service for one day per week for 14 patients for a year; or 3 days in patient care for 16 patients at the hospice. The difference that these services make to patients and their families is immeasurable. Our involvement helps to support them with the challenges they face when living with life limiting illness, to enhance their confidence, control their pain and symptoms and to provide comfort and relief. We are very privileged to be in such a position to work alongside patients and their families at such a poignant time and eternally grateful for the support of the growers and to Bulmers to enable us to sustain our care now and into the future.