Angels’ fundraising tops half a million pounds

A group of Angels has lived up to its name by raising the enormous sum of half a million pounds for their Hospice.

The St Michael’s Hospice motorcycle fundraising group the Hospice Angels was formed by Mike Pullin in 2003 who began collecting money for the Bartestree-based charity in 1996.

‘I never thought we would raise this amount of money,’ said Mike.

‘We owe a huge thank you to those generous people we have met along the way.

‘We have a very loyal group of friends who are all committed to fundraising.’

Mike’s fundraising began in 1996 at his 60th birthday party when he asked guests to donate to St Michael’s in lieu of gifts, helping raise £1,650.

He later formed the Angels who have since visited 19 different countries, collecting money and raising the profile of St Michael’s at each venue.

In 2016, the group successfully raised £80,000 to coincide with Mike’s 80th birthday – reaching the significant milestone during a Christmas Eve collection in Hereford’s High Town.

But having achieved half a million, the group isn’t stopping there.

The Angels have already decided to get behind the Hospice’s new My 35 for St Michael’s project by pledging to raise £35,000 in 2019 to coincide with St Michael’s 35th birthday.

Mike’s extensive and committed fundraising was recognised in 2012 when he was awarded the British Empire Medal for outstanding dedication to raising funds for the Hospice.

‘To raise half a million pounds is a stunning achievement which will have helped many families and their loved ones across Herefordshire and beyond,’ said Mike Keel, the Hospice’s Chief Executive.

‘Thank you to Mike and all the Hospice Angels for their support and dedication to St Michael’s, and of course to those who have given so generously over the years.’

Anyone who would like to know more about the Angels can contact Mike Pullin on 07454 155411. He will be happy to give a talk and show a film about the Angels’ adventures.

Hospices and Guide Dogs benefit from Ludlow Rotary Club’s Dog Day

The presentation to the Club’s three major beneficiaries were made by Rotary Club President, Sarah Lowe, supported by the Chairman of the Dog Day Committee, Rotarian John Wilson.  Each of the recipients explained how the generous donation that they had received would help their charity achieve its aims and the clear benefit it would give to their users.  They each expressed their thanks to Ludlow Rotary Club which, in turn, expressed its thanks  to all those who had attended and supported Dog Day and thus made the donations possible. As well as its own charity, Ludlow Rotary Cares, the Club is committed to supporting the two hospice charities for the next few years through Dog Day.

Stokesay Court has been the venue for Ludlow Fun Dog Day since its inception five years ago and it was by the kind invitation of owner, Caroline Magnus, that the reception was, once again hosted there. Rotarians along with Representatives of the major sponsors were present. The Club was delighted to learn that Hatfields Jaguar Landrover (Shrewsbury), Hobson Brewery and Teme Vets have all committed to sponsoring next year’s event – to be held on 21t July, 2019.

photo L to R: John Wilson(Chairman, Dog Day Committee), Emily Jones(Hope House), Ruth Denison(St Michael’s), Mary Conner(Guide Dogs), Sarah Lowe(President Ludlow Rotary Club), Simon Broughton (Hatfields Jaguar Landrover)

£8,020 raised in memory of Hannah Bradstock

In 2015 the couple celebrated the birth of their daughter Jinnie, before their lives were turned upside down 18 months later when Hannah was diagnosed with metastatic bowel cancer in March 2017.
After an immensely strong and brave battle, Hannah died in November 2017.
To mark what would have been her 35th birthday, Tony and two of Hannah’s closest friends, Sally Dutton and Sarah-Ann Smith, did a sponsored skydive from 10,000 feet.

Tony said, ‘We wanted to do something significant to remember Hannah. Before we jumped, the hazy afternoon sun was starting to set and everything felt very calm. When up in the air, It felt like Hannah was there with us. The jump was a very emotional experience. You fall 5,000 feet in about 25 seconds at 120 miles an hour. We think Hannah would have been very impressed.’
Everyone at St Michael’s would like to give a heartfelt thank you to Tony, Sally and Sarah and to everyone who sponsored their remarkable tribute to a much-loved woman.

Art at The Colloquy Christmas Exhibition

Carrie Ede first brought her creative talent to funeral ceremonies with arrangements of English flowers that covered the coffin in a garden of colour and decorated churches in a glow of blossom.​

Carrie said, ‘I think people are starting to feel more comfortable talking about death so when a friend asked if I would be interested in painting a coffin for someone it fired my imagination. I begin thinking about the ways people can make their funerals beautiful and uplifting. People have told me that my flower arrangements have helped to lighten the service and I hope that my coffins can do the same.’​

An example of Carrie’s work will be on display alongside jewellery, prints, paintings, pottery, sculpture, textiles and willow baskets at the Art at The Colloquy Christmas Exhibition near Lyonshall between Tuesday 27th November and Thursday 29th November.  ​

Click here for details

A sweet story to remind us of summer.

Mia said, ‘I had been researching fundraising ideas, and after reading about a biscuit store I had the idea of opening a lemonade stand.’
Mia charged 50p per cup, raised £72.70 and brought smiles to the faces of everyone in St Michael’s Fundraising office.
Thank you Mia for making our day – we look forward to hearing about your next idea for supporting your Hospice.

Putting the ‘FUN’ in FUNdraising

After years of supporting local charities and an accumulative total of over £30,000 raised, this year Christine decided to help St Michael’s for a second time, having raised £5,000 from a skydive four years ago.
In January, deep snow and a few Friday night drinks inspired Christine to rally friends and family to build a snowman in Corn Square, Leominster. Well-wishers got the fundraising started by filling collecting buckets.
Christine’s merry band have also organised a masquerade ball with entertainment provided by ten local singers, and have brought back memories of the 1990’s with their version of a Jailbreak.
A highlight of the year was a bed-push around the streets of Leominster. Local vicar Mark Townsend dressed as an expectant mother and surrounded by a cast of hospital workers. The single divan brought laughter to hundreds of onlookers on its mile and a half journey.
Christine said, ‘I love fundraising, and when you do something for charity you have to try and think about things that somebody else hasn’t done. But without all the beautiful people who have helped me, I wouldn’t have been able to raise such a large sum.’
Everyone at St Michael’s would like to give a massive heartfelt thank you to Christine and all of her friends and family who have supported her marathon year of fundraising.

Elizabeth Locke helps #BringOurOHBoysHome

Elizabeth Locke retired due to ill health from Hereford Cathedral School in 2016, having taught Religious Studies, Philosophy and Ethics there for 18 years.

In the past week, in a fitting coincidence, while walking in the Hospice garden, Elizabeth came across a special decorative rock designed by Hereford Cathedral Junior School pupils in memory of those at the school who died in battle during the First World War.

Elizabeth, along with her husband, Simon, both have relatives who lost their lives in the conflict, inspiring them to visit Ypres in Belgium earlier this summer, the site of countless battlefields during the War.

‘I think it’s quite fitting that Elizabeth found this item, particularly given our trip this summer,’ said Simon. ‘Elizabeth being poorly has meant that we have thought quite closely about our family connections to the War and visiting Ypres was a very moving experience for both of us.’
The rock, devoted to ‘Trooper Stedman’, is one of 435 which have been personally decorated by the Cathedral School pupils, each bearing the name of one of the fallen pupils.

Those who find the rocks, which have been left at various locations in the county and beyond, are being encouraged to return them to the school and post photos of the find on social media using the hashtag #BringOurOHBoysHome

For Elizabeth, the experience was another pleasant surprise since arriving at St Michael’s.
‘I had no idea just how wonderful the care is,’ she said. ‘We feel very privileged to be here. It’s a place where we’ve found real joy. The staff are remarkable. They have become our friends.’

Caption: Elizabeth Locke with her husband Simon and the rock she found at St Michael’s Hospice

Weobley Primary School Big Tea raises £500 for St Michael’s

One tradition at Weobley Primary School is putting on a charity garden party and this summer they chose to hold one to support their local Hospice.
Teacher Sarah Powell and local Weobley wonder woman Ann Dyer organised the fundraiser with lots of support from parents and the local community. Children wrote letters to individuals and organisations during their literacy lessons to ask for help with making cakes and donating items for the raffle.
Visitors to the Big Tea enjoyed a perfect day topped with strawberries (donated by S and A Produce Ltd and Kings Pyon Fruit Farm) and cream.
Thank you to everyone who helped organise the event and to all who turned out in support of their Hospice and helped raise £500.

Nominees for MNDA award gather at St Michael’s

A Herefordshire-based team helping individuals affected by Motor Neurone Disease has gathered at St Michael’s Hospice to be told they have been recognised for ‘going the extra mile’.

The health and social care professionals on the Herefordshire Motor Neurone Disease Multi-Disciplinary Team, which regularly meets at St Michael’s, have been nominated for an Extra Mile Award which are a series of awards created by the MND Association in recognition of those professionals pulling out all the stops for families living with MND.

The group was nominated by Alison Noakes, the Regional Care Development Adviser for the West Midlands South group of the MND Association.

‘This is about praising you for the work you do with people with Motor Neurone Disease,’ she told them.

‘You have developed a magnificent service that is second to none.’

The gathering took place in one of the Hospice’s Education rooms which are available to hire, subject to availability.

More information here

Equality and Diversity Statement

At St Michael’s Hospice we are committed to an equal opportunities approach in everything we do.
This means that we seek to ensure anyone connected with St Michael’s, from patients and families through to donors, supporters, volunteers and staff are treated fairly, appropriately and with dignity and respect. From our day to day activities to our strategic decision-making we consider how the ways we work may affect different groups and can actively eliminate or reduce negative impact and discrimination.
We are proactive in gaining feedback from the widest possible group of stakeholders and constantly strive to engage with as wide a range of people as possible in all aspects of St Michael’s. This enables us to develop in a way which builds our organisation learning, understanding and responsiveness to all.