India Wilkinson remembered

Well over 200 people, including many of India’s friends and family, filled the York Hall at Malvern St James Girls’ School to celebrate India’s life and enjoy an evening which included a personal appearance by TV’s Julia Bradbury.

India’s grandfather Roger Young said the ‘exceptional care’ his granddaughter received at St Michael’s Hospice in Hereford was the inspiration behind the event.

‘Hospice staff did everything possible to enrich her life,’ he said. ‘She benefited so much from physiotherapy sessions with Siobhan MacQuillan who always listened to India and recognised she was an intelligent adult with a determination to stay independent for as long as possible.’

Roger began planning the celebration while India was still alive with the pair approaching Malvern St James, where India was a pupil, for help. India’s former Headmistress, Olivera Raraty said, ‘India has deeply touched the lives of our school’s community, so there was a real desire to support St Michael’s and help organise a memorial day for her.’

The affection felt for India was illustrated on the night by the screening of a film showing over 40 of her friends lighting candles to commemorate what would have been India’s 20th birthday in January.

The highlight of the evening was an auction of prints created by India with help from Ledbury Letterpress and Tilly’s Press in Ledbury. The limited edition artworks also featured in a film made by India while at St Michael’s Hospice. India’s film and prints contain inspirational quotes and were first shown at India’s memorial service which was held at Canwood Gallery in Checkley where a sculpture raised in memory of India now stands for all to view.

The five prints, each with illustrated quotes, including ‘We are all stories in the end – just make it a good one’ and ‘Happiness is a quiet dog walk’ sold for a total of £4850 in the auction hosted by TV personality Charlie Luxton.

India’s passion for sport was celebrated earlier in the day when school staff along with students past and present turned out to play a memorial netball match. India’s love of science and art was also marked with the unveiling of a new painting by sixth form art student Josselyn Chau, which reflects India’s appreciation of Gustav Klimt and contains photographs and quotes contributed by friends and family.

India’s mother, Zinnia Wilkinson, said, ‘The evening was a wonderful opportunity to acknowledge everything the Hospice did for India, and continues to do for my family. I’d like to thank everyone involved for their generosity. The support from the communities of Malvern St James and St Michael’s Hospice is what had helped keep me going during times when I didn’t feel like keeping going.’

The Hospice’s Community Fundraising Manager, Paddy Nugent, said, ‘It is humbling to see the gratitude shown by all of India’s friends and family. We would also like to give special thanks to Roger Young, Rebecca Jones, Sue Davies, Ali Haydn-Jones, Matthew Young and everyone at Malvern St James for giving their time and resources so generously.’

Photo l-r:  Olivera Raraty, Siobhan MacQuillan, Zinnia Wilkinson and Paddy Nugent.

Wedding provides golden fundraising opportunity

Newly married John and Emily Davies invited friends, family and neighbours to join them for a Pimms reception at Acton Beauchamp near Bromyard.
Guests, at the sold-out event, brought their own picnics and were treated to a dessert of strawberries and cream.
Ticket sales, donations, raffle and generous bids on auction lots raised a total of £9,698 giving something else for the couple to love about their wedding weekend.
Mother of the bride Mary Morris said, ‘St Michael’s Hospice has cared for many of our neighbours and family members so I’m delighted the event raised so much for a very important cause. What made the day extra special was my sisters and I did the same thing after our weddings, so it’s continuing a family tradition. I would also like to say a special thanks to the ladies that helped organise the event.’
St Michael’s would like to wish John and Emily a long and happy marriage and thank all their family, friends and neighbours, for such raising such a wonderful amount for St Michael’s.

Photo l-r: John and Emily Davies, Healthcare Assistant Isabelle Mcshane, Graham and Marry Morris and St Michael’s Director of Income Ruth Denison.

Angel inspires off-roaders

The group, which formed in 2016, used their off-road riding expertise to organise the Herefordshire Hospice Trail.
In September, 96 motorcyclists from across the UK took part in the weekend event and group members provided participants with breakfast, supper, camping and tours across the legally accessible green lanes of Herefordshire, Powys and Monmouthshire.
Held at the Baskerville Hall Hotel this year’s trail raised over £1,800 for St Michael’s, which adds to the £1,000 they raised in 2017.
Chris Smart, Communications Manager at St Michael’s Hospice said, ‘We are very privileged to have so much support from the Herefordshire motorcycling community. It’s wonderful to see that Mike Pullin’s hard work and enthusiasm has inspired another kind-hearted group of bikers to support their Hospice. We would like to thank everyone who gave up their weekend to make this event a big success.’
To find out more about joining the Herefordshire Group of the Trail Riders fellowship, attending one of their monthly meetings at the New Inn, Fownhope or taking part in the 2019 Herefordshire Hospice trail call Graham Hutton on 07581 023924 or for more details.

Photo: The Herefordshire Group of The Trail Riders Fellowship present Mike Pullin with a cheque for £1,836

Bee Aware raises £2,279.19 for St Michael’s

Local beekeeper Rob Williams popped in this week to drop off a cheque for £2,279.19 which was raised during Rob’s ‘Bee Aware’ event which was held at Earl Mortimer College on 24th Feb 2018.
Hundreds of people swarmed to the free event to learn about what goes on inside a hive. The donation honeypot was filled by visitors buying raffle tickets (with prizes donated by local businesses), playing to Splat the Rat, purchasing local honey (dominated by Rob’s beekeeping friends) and eating cakes baked by the WI.
St Michael’s would like to thank Rob and everyone who helped gather a big pot of nectar for St Michael’s.

Rob Williams would like to thank all the following for their support with the event:
– John Ruck Construction
– Shobdon Aerodrome
– S&A Group
– Chase Distillery
– Oldfields Garage, Leominster
– Co-op, Leominster
– Aldi, Leominster
– Tyrells Crisps
– Mousetrap Cheese Shop, Leominster
– Parry’s Fruit and Veg, Leominster
– Monkland Cheese Dairy
– Sacha’s Holistics, Leominster
– The Salon, Leominster
– Rennaisance Hair and Beauty, Leominster
– H V R Smith & Co, Eye, Leominster
– Cosy Dome from Cosy Under Canvas, Powys
– Hereford Canoe Hire
– The Riverside, Aymestrey
– Burghill Golf Club
– McCartneys
– Westons Cider
– Legge’s of Bromyard
– Hintons Country and Gardens
– National Trust Croft Castle
– Halo Leisure Centre
– The Courtyard
– The Odeon
– Henryka, Hereford
– Oaker Wood Leisure
– The Den, Hereford
– Bangala Lounge, Leominster
– Perfectly Polished Nails, Leominster
– Hungry Cakes, Hereford
– Sharon’s Cake shop, Leominster
– Wynnes of Dinmore
– Jade Eaton Photography, Leominster
– Dead Good Wood, Dilwyn
– Framed picture courtesy of Daisies Bespoke Framing, Ludlow
– Posies Florist, Leominster
– Pitter Patter, Ludlow
– Luctonians Rugby Club
– Nickatie Dimarco Bowen Therapy
– ‘Dial A Dog Wash’ Ludlow
– Lenka’s Alterations, Leominster
– The Beefy Boys, Hereford
– The Cookshop, Leominster
– Newbridge Farm Park, Ledbury
– BS Honey Bees
– Thornes Bee supplies
– Maisemore Apiaries
– Herefordshire Beekeepers Association, Stephen & Mary Walter and Bob & Kath Cross
– ‘Hand Made Gifts by Angie’ Leominster
– Leominster Pest Control
– Nanny Bobbins, Leominster
– Elley Westbrook and Twyfords, Leominster
– Bym at Beat Bang Bong, Ludlow
– Kay’s Kreation, Ludlow
– Herefordshire Wildlife Trust
– Earl Mortimer College
– Leominster Community Centre
– Funky Monkey Face Painting, Leominster
– Roundabout Stationery, Leominster
– Orphan’s Press, Leominster
– Leominster and Kingsland Women’s Institute and everyone that donated cakes and goods for sale on the day
And last but not least, all of my friends and family that helped out on the day, supported the event and contributed in any way, shape or form.
A special thanks must also go to Lisa Smith and Verity Nicholas for their hard work.

Paperstation donate 25% of profits to St Michael’s Hospice.

Malvern-based Paperstation Limited is donating 25% of profits from its HR postcode customers directly to St Michael’s Hospice.
The new initiative has already raised over £300 with future donations to St Michael’s looking very promising as local companies such as The School Uniform Shop come on board.
Paperstation’s Field Sales Representative, Laura Huffer, said, ‘We work across the whole of the Three Counties region, but we do have a very special connection with St Michael’s and we want to do our bit to provide a steady and reliable income for St Michael’s.’
Luke Conod from The School Uniform Shop said, ‘This is a wonderful project to be involved in. Members of my family have been supported by St Michael’s and every time the care they received was exceptional.’

Pictured l-r: Sam Huffer (The School Unifrom Shop), Laura Huffer (Paperstation), Karen (St Michael’s Hospice), Luke Conod (The School Unifrom Shop) and Lorna (St Michael’s Hospice).

Doughty’s Open Weekend and raffle raises £5,172

Doughty’s have been supporting St Michael’s since it opened in 1984.
Company Administrator, Lisa Doughty, came up with the idea for Doughty’s Open Weekend and raffle which has raised £5,172.02 for the Hospice. Prizes for the raffle included donations from customers and a Janome m100 sewing machine. Hundreds of customers turned out to support the event, many of whom have also helped raise money by giving donations for complimentary tea and coffee and purchasing goodie bags of small fabric offcuts when visiting the store.
Ruth Doughty (pictured left) said ‘My husband John died at St Michael’s in 2009 and I can never repay the Hospice for all their care and kindness during a very traumatic time. The hands-on care they provided meant I could spend all my time continuing to be John’s wife.’
Everyone at St Michael’s would like to thank Doughty’s staff and customers for their enormous generosity. A special mention also to Margaret King who donated a life’s collection of fabric which was sold during the weekend in support of St Michael’s.

Angels hogg the bridge

Maggie and Grahame Taylor, owners of the 200-year-old Whitney-on-Wye Bridge, chose to support the charity after meeting Hospice Angel Mike Pullin and hearing about his adventures, which to date have helped raise over £500,000.

Maggie Taylor said, ‘My husband Grahame was diagnosed with bowel cancer last year, and it has made us very aware of how family life can be completely turned upside down in an instant. I think our customers really enjoyed meeting the bikers and we are delighted to be able to help such an important charity. Knowing that St Michael’s Hospice is there has been very reassuring for us.’

With between 120 and 1,600 vehicles crossing the bridge each day, toll charges are used to cover maintenance costs.
However, when Maggie and Grahame became owner-operators in January 2012, they decide they wanted to support the local community, and each year invite four or five charities to fundraise on the bridge.

Toll charges and donations generously handed over to the Angels between 10am and 4pm helped raise £393 for St Michael’s Hospice.

Mike Pullin said, ‘Whitney Bridge is such a famous landmark in Herefordshire, and it’s wonderful that the shortcut it provides for people visiting and living in Hay on Wye has made such a big difference for St Michael’s Hospice.’

To find out more about the Hospice Angels call Mike Pullin on 07454 155411.

Donald celebrates 80th birthday

With help from his family, Donald invited guests to his party at Mountain Mayhem in Craswall with entertainment provided by Synergy, a close-harmony male voice choir from South Wales.
Donald said, ‘I know many people who have been cared for at St Michael’s Hospice, so I invited all the people who have made a noise in my life to come along and give a donation instead of presents.’
Donald received great feedback and, with more fundraising in mind, he held a community Sankey evening the following night.
Together, both events raised £2,736, and everyone at St Michael’s Hospice would like to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone involved.

Photo: Donald with Healthcare Assistant Katie Dyke and his daughter-in-law Vikki Phillips who raised £1,000 earlier in the year by taking part in the Black Mountain Trek with her daughter, Abi Phillips.

Rogue One director to send video message to Hereford cinemagoers

Hollywood director Gareth Edwards visited St Michael’s Hospice back in August to give Neil Hanvey an insight into the unfinished film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, following an online campaign which made international headlines.

Thirty-six-year-old Neil, who lived in Hereford and worked at Withington-based allpay, died just two days after the surprise visit.

Meeting Neil, his wife Andrea and their two young children made such an impression on Gareth that he wanted to send a video message to everyone who supported the Rogue One Wish campaign.

The short pre-recorded message, which contains an exclusive announcement about the new movie, will be shown before an 11am public screening of the new film at the Odeon cinema in Hereford on Sunday 18th December.

Andrea, her family and supporters, including some of the people responsible for making the campaign a success, will attend the screening, which has been made possible by Lucasfilm Ltd, Odeon and St Michael’s Hospice.

The film, starring Felicity Jones and Diego Luna, is set to be watched by tens of millions of fans, although the screening showing Gareth’s message will be the only one in the world to do so.

During the campaign, an online video of St Michael’s Hospice staff singing an adapted version of the Star Wars theme tune to him was viewed more than 60,000 times.

Within days, Gareth, who has also directed Monsters and a remake of Godzilla, caught a train from London, and made Neil’s wish become a reality.

‘We’re delighted that Gareth has agreed to record this message, particularly at such a busy time for him,’ said St Michael’s Director of Income and Marketing, Ruth Denison.

‘It will mean so much for Andrea and the rest of Neil’s family to know how much the Rogue One Wish campaign touched Gareth and all at Lucasfilm.’
To book tickets for the special 2D screening, which takes place at 11am on Sunday, visit:



Donald Trump victory helps out St Michael’s Hospice

He may not be the most popular man in the world right now, but new US President elect Donald Trump has inadvertently helped out St Michael’s Hospice.

Hospice Angel Mike Pullin came to the rescue of a cyclist who had come off his bike near Llanthony Valley, sustaining a dislocated shoulder.

The cyclist, who is from Hertfordshire, promised a small donation to the Hospice as a thank you for Mike’s help.

But a few days later, Mike received a cheque from the cyclist for £450, which he said was his winnings from a bet he placed on Donald Trump to win the US election.

The amount was Gift Aided to £562.50.

Mike, who is on target to raise £80,000 for the Hospice this year to celebrate his 80th birthday, said he couldn’t believe the donation, which takes the amount raised by the Hospice Angels in 2016 to £73,464.

‘I had just returned home from visiting the Little Acorns Day Nursery in Kingstone, where I met a lot of excited young children who are making a Christmas donation to St Michael’s.

‘When I returned, I opened the post and to my great surprise, found the small donation that was promised turned out to be a donation worth £562.50.

‘I’d like to send a big thank you to the cyclist for his very generous donation, which will help us towards our £80,000.

‘It’s just another reason why I fundraise for the Hospice because it means I meet so many generous people.’