Sports shop chain bags thousands for charity

A sports shop chain has bagged St Michael’s Hospice thousands of pounds thanks to a generous fundraising idea.

Clubsport is exempt from charging customers for its carrier bags but does so anyway, with all the money being donated to the Hospice and the Hereford-based Little Princess Trust.

The firm’s Managing Director Simon Hussey this week handed over £3,111 to each charity, collected during the past year, taking the total raised for St Michael’s to around £8,000 since the idea launched on 2016.   

Mr Hussey has a close connection to the Hospice, and says customers are more than happy to donate.

‘People are so generous,’ he said. ‘Some of our customers have even given us £1 for a bag after hearing we were giving the money to the Hospice.

Clubsport has seven stores across Herefordshire and mid-Wales having been set-up by Mr Hussey, with the carrier bag donations being boosted after he extended the idea to other retail businesses that Clubsport partners across the UK.

‘To raise this much money from the sale of 5p carrier bags is just astonishing,’ said Paul Broome from St Michael’s Hospice.

‘It’s also heart-warming to hear that so many customers are happy to part with the money, often giving much more than 5p as they know it’s going to St Michael’s.

‘So, thank you to Simon, everyone at Clubsport and their very generous customers for supporting us in this way.’

The Little Princess Trust, where the other £3,111 is going, provides real hair wigs to children and young adults experiencing hair loss, as well as funding research into childhood cancer.

Pictured is (from left) Paul Broome from St Michael’s Hospice, Becky Hammond from Clubsport, and Clubsport’s Managing Director, Simon Hussey

Fun in the sun as RUN Hereford attracts almost 1,000 runners

For RUN Hereford results, click here

Almost 1,000 runners of all ages and abilities made the most of a glorious sunny Sunday to raise tens of thousands of pounds for St Michael’s Hospice.

Fundraisers from Herefordshire and much further afield had their choice of a Half Marathon, 10K and 5K routes during RUN Hereford.

The Half Marathon was won by Phillip Matthews in a time of one hour, 11 minutes, with Charlie Jones (33 mins, 44 secs) winning the 10K and Matthew Brunnock taking first place in the 5K in a time of 18 mins, 7 secs.

All three routes were slightly amended this year as the event was held at Hereford Livestock Market off Roman Road; a change from its usual home at Hereford Leisure Centre.

‘Thank you to each and every person who helped make this year’s RUN Hereford so successful. We’ve received some wonderful feedback,’ said the Hospice’s Events Manager, Matt Ashcroft.

‘When we plan these events, we always keep our fingers crossed the weather plays its part, and we’re so grateful it did on Sunday.

‘Special praise should be reserved for our marvellous band of volunteers. Without them, the event simply wouldn’t have been possible.

‘We are also grateful as always to our sponsors, Western Power Distribution, and for the help of the Herefordshire 4×4 Response team.’

The Hospice Events programme continues on Saturday 15th June with The Paint Runner and Foam Zone on the King George Playing Fields in Hereford, followed by the Sue Parry football tournament at Hereford Leisure Centre on Sunday, 30th June, before returning to the Livestock Market for RIDE Hereford on Sunday, 14th July.

For more information on St Michael’s Hospice Events, click here st-michaels-hospice.org.uk/events

My35 Karaoke at the Queens Arms

One of Hereford’s most loved landlady’s, Norma Blake, is raising money for St Michael’s and celebrating 35 years of Hospice care with a 35-hour music marathon.

Norma has been supporting St Michael’s for the past 5 years, raising almost £30,000 on behalf of the Hospice Angels.

Norma said, ‘St Michael’s cared for my mum and dad, so I wanted to do a My35 fundraiser to help make a difference. My regulars love a bit of karaoke, and it doesn’t matter how good your voice is. It’s a great feeling to sing your heart out.’

Those visitors to the Broad Street pub who take up the challenge of singing hits from 1984 will also be rewarded with one free shot.

As well as donations from singers and supporters, Norma will be donating 20% of all sales from the pub’s popular Pieminster menu which includes regulars’ favourite ‘The Mothership.’

To sing your heart out for St Michael’s, karaoke times are:

Friday 3rd May 4pm-1am

Saturday 4th May 4pm-1am

Sunday 5th May 4pm-12 midnight

Monday 6th May 2pm -7pm (family time) and 7pm-11pm

Photo: Norma Blake and Natasha West

End of an era at Spring Fair in Kington

The Hergest Croft Gardens Spring Fair in Kington is a long-established entry in the calendars of garden enthusiasts the length and breadth of Herefordshire and beyond.

This year’s event, on Bank Holiday Monday (6th May, 10am-5.30pm), signals the end of an era as it’ll be the last with founders Elizabeth and Lawrence Banks at the helm as the couple prepare to hand over their duties.

They do so with the Fair at the top of its game and set to attract up to 40 plant and craft stalls from a wide range of local specialist nurseries this year.

The Marches Makers Festival, a group of artists, crafters and makers based around Kington, will also be exhibiting local sculpture in the garden and throughout the town from Saturday 4 May to Monday 6 May

‘The Fair’s grown a lot,’ said Lawrence. ‘When we first started we had about 15 stands. Now there are up to 40.’

The couple set-up the Fair in 1996 and although stepping down this year, they will continue their support of the event.

‘The first Fair was held to mark the 100th anniversary of the building of the house and garden,’ said Elizabeth, a former President of the Royal Horticultural Society. Lawrence was Treasurer of the RHS.

‘This Flower Fair was one of the first plant fairs in Herefordshire. ‘Originally, it appealed to garden enthusiasts but now it attracts a much broader spectrum.

‘We will miss it, of course as it’s our baby’, Elizabeth says. ‘The May Bank Holiday is the one of the best times to see the garden in its radiant beauty.

‘The Garden should be at its Spring peak during the Fair with the hybrid rhododendrons out and hopefully the Pocket Handkerchief tree, too.’

The Spring Fair actively encourages families and those with dogs.

Aside from the garden, there will also be an auction and raffle with proceeds going to St Michael’s Hospice in Hereford which the Fair has supported in the past.

‘The auction has, over the years, provided a good deal of support for all charities we’ve supported, of which St Michael’s Hospice has been the most frequent beneficiary,’ added Lawrence. 

Many of the auction items are available for commission bids here thanks to Brightwells Auctioneers, before continuing on the day at the Fair.

Further details are available from the Hospice’s Community Fundraising Manager, Paddy Nugent, on 01432 851 000.

The Spring Fair signals the start of the Hospice’s Open Gardens season for 2019.

A full list of the Gardens can also be found here.

Summer house up and running thanks to generous donation

This is a Press Release on behalf of Powell and Co:

Powell & Co Construction, one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of Poultry Housing and Agricultural Buildings, have built and donated a summer house to St Michael’s Hospice, Herefordshire.

The local hospice helps people and their families who are affected by terminal illness. St Michael’s provides all its care free of charge to patients, their families and carers. This care is made possible by supporters taking part in fundraising events, playing St Michael’s Lottery, shopping at Hospice retail outlets, making charitable donations and leaving gifts in their Will.

The summer house will be used as a work area for patients and their loved ones to spend time in, carrying out past-times such as carpentry, just as you might do in your own garden shed at home. During winter months, it will double up as Santa’s Grotto.

Don Powell, Managing Director of Powell & Co said, “We are delighted to be supporting this fantastic local charity by donating this summer house which will be used for families and support the palliative care St Michael’s hospice provides. Thank you must also go to Knights Construction who kindly donated the concrete base and provided free labour to help with the construction.”

Jason Powell, Managing Director of Powell & Co added, “We really wanted to support the hospice and the amazing team that help the local community.  It is great to know we have contributed to the well-being of the staff, the people they care for and their families with this wonderful summer house over-looking the breath-taking views.”

Ruth Denison, the Hospice’s Income Generation and Marketing Director, said: “We would like to thank everyone involved who built and installed the summerhouse; it is a great addition to St Michael’s. We are always grateful for the support we receive from the community. It’s this support which has helped us celebrate 35 years of caring for patients and their loved ones across Herefordshire and beyond, and we hope this will continue for many generations to come.”

Day at the Races raises £47k

St Michael’s Hospice is toasting a winning return from an afternoon at the races which has net them around £47,000.

The substantial figure was raised at Hereford Racecourse this week when the Hospice hosted its first ever Charity Race Day to coincide with the course’s final meeting of the season.

The amount was swelled by an amateur race featuring prominent figures from the county’s racing fraternity, each raising at least £1,500 for the Hospice to take part.

It was won by Eardisley-based event rider Louise Harwood on St Gallen from Olly Murphy Racing.

‘I hoped it would win but of course you never know how the others are going to ride,’ she said. 

‘It was a fun thing to do and I’m very grateful to Olly Murphy for providing St Gallen, who ran so well.

‘I visited St Michael’s Hospice for a tour recently and was able to see at first hand the invaluable work that goes on there.

‘It’s a very special place and I’m delighted to have played a part in raising money for them.’

Top trainer Kerry Lee, who is based in Presteigne, provided four horses for the race and rode her own horse Top Gamble having raised more than £8,000.

Another rider was Jo Bowkett on Alderdash who led during the early stages.

‘It was brilliant,’ said Jo. ‘All the riders have been so lovely. It just feels great to be part of such a special day for St Michael’s. It’s been quite emotional.’

Money was also raised through an auction, raffle and race sponsorship, thanks in no small part to the generosity of Race Day sponsor The Clive and Sylvia Richards Charity.

‘This was a day which will live long in the memory,’ said Ruth Denison, the Hospice’s Income Generation and Marketing Director.

‘I must thank the Clive and Sylvia Richards Charity for their support, and mention the dedication of those riders who took part in the amateur race.

‘They have each raised a substantial figure to take part in an event which was new territory for them.

‘Thanks also to Hereford Racecourse for making us feel so welcome and for putting on such an outstanding day.’

For a list of upcoming St Michael’s Hospice Events, click here

All photos thanks to Paul Carter Photography

St Michael’s Hospice Charity Race Day

The St Michael’s Hospice Charity Race Day takes place at Hereford Racecourse today (Tuesday 26th).

There are six races followed by the eagerly-anticipated Charity Flat Race (5pm), set to raise thousands for St Michael’s.

The list of runners and riders is as follows:

Top Gamble – Kerry Lee

Sir Will – Jordan Devlin

Aldedash – Jo Bowkett

Aristocles – Anita Cook

Big Georgie – Jessica Short

Hattaab – Lucy Worrall

Last Chance Paddy – Ireland Pearson

Marquis of Carabas – Nana Dalton

River Purple – Kate Mills

Sinakar – Belinda Rose

St Gallen – Louise Harwood

Zara Hope – Justin Bond

Hospice in the frame following sporting donations

Thanks to a very generous supporter, St Michael’s Hospice is in the frame to benefit from a sporting donation with a difference.

Derrick Murphy has given us five framed and signed items ranging from a Pele Brazil shirt to a Wayne Rooney Manchester United top.

The other items are another Manchester United top, this one signed by players from the 2008/09 squad which won the Premier League, Carling Cup and Club World Cup, a Carlos Tevez photo from his time at the same club, and a Barbarians rugby shirt from 2011.

Derrick, who lives in Breinton, says he was inspired to help the Hospice after being so impressed by the friendly and helpful team at one of the Hospice’s shops.

‘When we first moved to Herefordshire in 2015 we took some items to the Hospice’s Whitecross Road shop,’ said Derrick.

‘The staff there were so nice to us. From that moment on, I knew that anything we donated to charity would go to St Michael’s.’

The items were donated to Derrick by North West-based businessman John Kennedy.

The items will be included in any future Hospice-related auctions in a bid to raise money for St Michael’s.

Caption: Derrick Murphy (second right) and the sporting items he has donated to St Michael’s Hospice.

Ruth’s Marathon fundraiser

As a teacher, Ruth Hayden-Cox is used to reminding her young charges about the importance of preparation.

Now, she is putting her own words into practice as she gears up for her first ever London Marathon on 28th April.

We think that’s quite a challenge but thankfully, choosing who to raise money for wasn’t.

‘My dad, Andrew Cox, works at St Michael’s,’ said Ruth, a teacher at St Paul’s Primary in Hereford.

‘I know that he’s a brilliant nurse and that he’s passionate about his job. The Hospice has helped a number of children and families associated with St Paul’s and I just happen to think that it’s a very special place.’

Ruth has already raised around £1,400 online as well as receiving other donations offline.

To sponsor Ruth, visit her JustGiving page here https://bit.ly/2HMQgXF

Ten-year-old’s technology detox for St Michael’s

Like most ten-year-olds, Charlie Wood enjoys spending some of his free time making the most of modern technology.

But for the next week (until next Monday, 18th), the Sutton School pupil is on a self-imposed technology ban having decided to ditch the gadgets in a bid to raise money for St Michael’s.

It means Charlie’s iPad, Xbox and Wii have been packed away by his parents, with access to the family computer only allowed for homework.

‘I love watching my iPad, especially YouTube,’ said Charlie on his JustGiving page. ‘My parents are always moaning at me to get off it.

‘That’s why this is a real challenge for me as seven days without my iPad or Xbox will be tough.’

Charlie has already beaten his fundraising target of £100 and hopes to raise as much as he can by next Monday (18th).

‘He came up with the idea all by himself,’ said dad Steve. ‘I think it’s fantastic.’

To help Charlie raise as much as possible for St Michael’s, click here https://bit.ly/2TxaHPk