Founder of Mindfulness teaching body to visit St Michael’s

The world-renowned founder of a mindfulness teaching body will visit Hereford next month.

Vidyamala Burch set-up Breathworks in the early 2000s having explored mindfulness and meditation in her 20s to manage severe chronic pain after suffering spinal injuries.

The foundation now has almost 500 teachers and a presence in 35 countries worldwide.

On Friday, 13th September, Vidyamala will spend the day at St Michael’s Hospice in Bartestree for a Mindfulness and Compassion for Health day, teaching the key lessons she’s learned from a lifetime of practice with chronic pain and disability.

She’ll share her up-to-date thinking on the power of mindfulness and compassion.

Vidyamala will be joined by Sona Fricker who was also instrumental in establishing Breathworks at the turn of the century.

The pair are no strangers to St Michael’s having visited previously for various Masterclasses, most recently last year.

‘Vidyamala will share her up-to-date thinking on the distinctive elements of the Breathworks approach,’ said Gail Calthrop, the Hospice’s Breathworks Mindfulness Practitioner.

This will include the importance of a systematic approach to Mindfulness in daily life and breath-based mindful movement.’

The day will include a mix of theory and practice.

Meanwhile, the following day, on Saturday, 14th September, there’s a gathering at St Michael’s for Breathworks Accredited Teachers.

Details for both events, including cost and how to book, are available by clicking here

Generous donation by Herefordshire business

David Whittall popped in to St Michael’s Hospice to hand over a cheque for £10,314.20.

For over thirty years, David’s company HTA Training Services has been putting aside 1% of turnover and organising fundraising events to raise money for charity.

To date, David’s family and his staff members have raised a substantial amount of money for local and national charities.

David said, ‘My target is to continue raising money in memory of my much-loved uncle and Godfather Jeff Freeman who died at St Michael’s Hospice.

‘My next milestone is to reach £12,000, which is enough money to pay for all the care provided at St Michael’s Hospice for 24 hours. That would be a great feeling to know that I’ve made such a big difference to so many people’s lives.’

Everyone at St Michael’s would like to say a heartfelt thank you for such a generous donation.

Photo l-r: Paddy Nugent (St Michael’s Hospice), David Whittall, and Hospice Nurse, Lainey Symonds

My 35 Waterfalls

Starting on April 15th 2018 and finishing on May 28th 2019 Allan Lloyd and Honor Cartwright visited 100 Welsh Waterfalls to help raise awareness about St Michael’s Hospice and extend the Hospice outreach programme in Radnorshire.
As part of documenting the challenge, Honor photographed each waterfall. With 100 beautiful landscapes to choose from she selected 35 of the images to create 35 bespoke hand-made greeting cards.
The sale of the unique cards will raise money for the ‘My 35 for St Michael’s’ campaign which is celebrating 35 years of care at St Michael’s Hospice.
Honor said, ‘It is indeed a great privilege to be able to support St Michael’s Hospice in their 35th Anniversary Year’.
St Michael’s Hospice Communications Manager Chris Smart said ‘It’s always a delight to hear about Allan’s fundraising. His dedication has inspired so many people to support their Hospice and the cards Honor has created are an artistic legacy to an inspiring challenge.’
Honor’s cards, measuring 15cm x 20 cms, can be purchased for £2.35 (check price with Allan) each from the shop in Reception at St Michael’s Hospice in Bartestree.

GLADRAGS’ golf day raises thousands

More than 130 golfers attended the annual GLADRAGS (Gentlemen of Ledbury And District Rugby and Golf Society) Charity Day, held this year in aid of St Michael’s Hospice.

In glorious summer conditions, £16,000 was raised, thanks to the amazing generosity and keen participation of so many people. The raffle and auction were extremely well supported and prizes were awarded for the top 10 teams as well as individual awards.

It brings the total amount raised by GLADRAGS for various charities over the years to more than £100,000.

‘St Michael’s Hospice is very close to our hearts and is a fantastic organization that provides specialist care to individuals that have a life-limiting illness as well as support and services to their families and friends,’ said GLADRAGS chairman, Ed Hewitt.

Both St Michael’s and the GLADRAGS would like to thank all golfers, sponsors, helpers, prize donators and auction bidders for making the day such a huge success.

The GLADRAGS have been operating as a golf society for over 27 years and have held a charity golf day for more than 10 years. During that time, over £100,000 has been raised for local causes, or larger charities with a local theme. Some recent examples of this are Acorn Children’s Hospice, Air Ambulance, Mercia Accident Rescue Service (M.A.R.S.), Megan Baker House, Herefordshire Headway, The CLD Trust.

Thanks to the generosity of everyone involved in the Charity Day (golfers, sponsors and helpers), the GLADRAGS are able to support these great causes. 

Caption: Some of those who helped at the GLADRAGS Charity Day  

Aylestone School students take on a sponsored walk for St Michael’s

Around 300 students from Aylestone School in Hereford took part in a sponsored walk to support their local Hospice. Setting off from the school on Friday 5th July the 11-mile route took the students along the beautiful Lugg flats and out into the Herefordshire countryside. 

Alison Pritchard, Student Services Support worker at the school, said, ‘The walk is becoming a tradition at the school. It reflects how students and staff care for their local community and shows the appreciation they have for everything St Michael’s Hospice provides.’

Year 10 student, Kinga Podgorska who raised over £200  in sponsorship, said, ‘I think it’s a good idea and I’m pleased that by walking 11 miles I will be helping so many people going through difficult times.’

Paddy Nugent, Community Fundraising Manager, said, ‘We would like to say thank you to all the students and teachers who took part and helped raise the funds needed for St Michael’s to continue providing services free of charge to the local community.’

Pedalling their way to a fine fundraising total

A group of parents, each with their own special connection to St Michael’s, spent two days in the saddle during a fundraiser spanning almost 150 miles.

The ten-strong party travelled from Bromyard to Minehead in Somerset, reaching the coastal town in time to watch their children play for Bromyard FC Under 11s in a junior football tournament.

Their two-day adventure raised almost £8,000 – far greater than their initial £2,000 target – which was split between St Michael’s and the Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity.

Pictured are some of the group members (from left); Jenna Bayliss, Kev Weaver, the Hospice’s Community Fundraising Manager Paddy Nugent, Lauren Weaver, Jono Simpson, and Sue Roberts

My 35 ‘Bags of rubbish’ for St Michael’s

Rachel Palmer’s My 35 ‘Bags of rubbish’ for St Michael’s has cleaned up an area of the upper Wye Valley and is helping families living with a terminal illness.
Rachel, who was inspired by the ‘My 35 for St Michael’s’ campaign, said, ‘St Michael’s cared for my husband Ben Palmer in the summer of 2017. It is such a special place that I wanted to do a fundraiser which was also valuable in its own right.
‘Ben and I loved the magnificent River Wye, and he was a knowledgeable birdwatcher who also enjoyed volunteering on litter clean-ups.’
Rachel’s clean-up operation has already raised over £570. ‘I think my friends and family donated because they liked the combination of helping a much-loved charity and cleaning up a beautiful part of the country which is affected by the accumulation of litter from the nearby road.’
At St Michael’s we think this is a ‘neat and tidy’ idea and we would like to thank Rachel for making the world a better and cleaner place to live. St Michael’s Hospice and Rachel would also like to send a heartfelt thanks to Keep Wales Tidy for the bags and Powys County Council who helped dispose of all the collected litter.

To support Rachel and donate click here

Sainsbury’s Hereford announces volunteering project with St Michael’s Hospice.

This initiative is a part of the supermarket’s 150th birthday celebrations, which includes 150 days of volunteering across the country that continues the company’s history of putting local communities first.

Over the next five months, Sainsbury’s staff will be volunteering at St Michael’s Hospice,  helping out at Hospice shops, and marshalling at Hospice fundraising events.

Sainsbury’s Hereford PR Ambassador Eleanor Bowers said, ‘We have chosen to support St Michael’s because it’s a charity very close to our hearts.

Thousands of colleagues across the UK are participating in the campaign, which includes supporting causes as diverse as local youth groups, elderly care homes, sports teams, community gardens and even bunny sanctuaries. 

As part of Sainsbury’s latest Living Well Index, research has shown that those who connect more to their community are more likely to be living well. This insight is a key reason why stores across the country are connecting with their local area in a bid to make everyone feel a part of the greater community.

Sainsbury’s Hereford store manager Adam Harding said, ‘We’re excited to be helping St Michael’s – it’s a great way for our colleagues to come together and support the community. We’re looking forward to seeing the impact these 150 days has on the people we care about.’

St Michael’s Community Fundraising Manager Paddy Nugent said the Hospice is very touched by the commitment from Sainsbury’s and Argos. ‘Having their staff’s expertise and enthusiasm will make a big difference to all at St Michael’s, and we appreciate their time.’

Photo: St Michael’s Community Fundraising Manager Paddy Nugent with staff at Sainsbury’s in Hereford

Conquering 100 waterfalls for St Michael’s

AN adventure which started on April 15, 2018 to visit 100 Welsh Waterfalls in aid of St Michael’s Hospice was successfully completed on May 28th 2019.
This demanding challenge, aimed at promoting awareness and support for St Michael’s Hospice, was the idea of Honor Cartwright.
Allan Lloyd, Kington resident and fundraiser, had previously campaigned for the provision of cancer facilities at Hereford Hospital, and more recently climbed the six highest Welsh peaks in a single month in support of the Hereford hospice.
It is hoped, now that the 100 Welsh Waterfall Challenge has reached its watershed, donations in aid of St Michael’s Hospice will be considered by individual members of the public.
The equivalent to £50 for each waterfall visited is thought to be a realistic target.
On this occasion, donations raised will go towards extending the Hospice outreach programme eventually making this service also available towards Radnorshire.
Both Allan Lloyd and Honor Cartwright wish to thank other walkers who approached them during the waterfall challenge as a result of the supportive press publicity this campaign received from the Hereford Times. Allan is willing to download a list of waterfalls visited as requested.
Family members are now asking what will be the next challenge; members of the public may wish to make suggestions.
Allan can be contacted on 01544 230408, by email, or by mail at Swanclose, Hergest Road, Kington HR5 3EL.

Historic Volvo on sale for St Michael’s

A car that completed over 2,000 miles during a Monte Carlo or Bust rally is being auctioned to raise money for St Michael’s Hospice.

John Collins, Andrew Buchanan, Colin Watts and Keith Ratcliffe drove the 52-plate Volvo V70 to Monte Carlo finishing the outward bound journey with a lap of the famous Formula 1 circuit.

The quartet from Pontrilas have already raised over £12,000 which will be shared between St Michael’s Hospice and Macmillan Cancer. The money was raised from sponsorship and supporters paying to sign or place ads on the car after it had been specially wrapped in historic Volvo Touring Car Colours.

John Collins said, ‘A lot of the inspiration for the trip has come from my friend Mike Pullin and his Hospice Angels who have travelled thousands of miles across Europe while raising over half a million pounds for St Michael’s Hospice. We wanted to pay tribute to Mike’s motorcycling fundraising success with our own four-wheeled adventure.’

The car is now to be sold to the highest bidder. The fully serviced V70 with nearly new tyres has already received a bid of £500, so if you would like to offer more and own this historic vehicle, please call Mike Pullin on 07454 155 411.