Liverpool 5 – Huddersfield 0

Andrew Watkins made the 124-mile trip last Friday with his 11-year-old daughter Evie, to witness his side thrash Huddersfield 5-0 to maintain their push for a first League title since 1990.

St Michael’s Hospice Doctor Clare Scotcher said, ‘Part of the philosophy of care at St Michael’s is to improve people’s quality of life and it’s wonderful that this approach gave Andrew the confidence to arrange a such a big trip.’

Given Andrew’s poor health, St Michael’s nurse Stella Nixon even volunteered to accompany the family on her day off to ensure Andrew’s medical needs were seen to.

Andrew, a keen cricketer, who was captain of leading Herefordshire side Brockhampton said, ‘It was a wonderful night. I was over the moon. I can’t thank St Michael’s enough for helping to make it happen and I think Evie will remember Stella’s act of kindness and compassion for the rest of her life.’

Andrew’s partner, Kim, said ‘When Andrew first came to St Michael’s I never thought he would be able to do something like this. It has meant so much to Andrew to have seen Liverpool play, with Evie by his side.

The match tickets were secured by Andrew’s brother, James, who works for the Football Association and went to the game with his brother, niece and Stella.

Pontrilas or Bust

Four friends are preparing to drive over 1,200 miles on some of Europe’s most spectacular roads in a car worth less than £500 in a bid to raise money for their favourite charities.
John Collins, Andrew Buchanan, Colin Watts and Keith Ratcliffe are hoping their 52-plate Volvo V70 banger with over 200,000 miles on the clock will get them to the Monte Carlo or Bust Rally start line in Belgium by 6pm on Thursday 30th May.
With a box of spanners in the boot, the team will drive through six countries before arriving at Monte Carlo and finishing the adventure with a lap of the famous Formula 1 circuit.
While covering all trip expenses themselves, the quartet from Pontrilas are planning to raise money for St Michael’s Hospice and Macmillan Cancer Support by offering supporters the chance to sign or place ads on the car which has 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 want to pay tribute to Mike’s motorcycling fundraising success with our own four-wheeled adventure.’
St Michael’s Community Fundraising Manager Paddy Nugent said, ‘Having supporters go to such long lengths to raise money for St Michael’s makes a real difference to the amount of care we are able to provide. John, Andrew, Colin and Keith have already helped to raise around £50,000 for St Michael’s with a series of community fundraising events held at Ewyas Harold Village Hall and we wish them every success with their latest venture.’
To find out more about pledging £20 in return for writing a signature on the care or placing adverts on the roof or sides call 07970 240 681 or 07966 410785 – or donate here

Acts of kindness help raise funds for St Michael’s

A Herefordshire woman who believes there is no greater pleasure than being able to do something for someone without receiving anything in return is raising money for St Michael’s with 35 random acts of kindness.
St Michael’s Healthcare Assistant Mel Woodhouse has joined a growing number of people who have signed up to be part the ‘My 35 for St Michael’s’ campaign which is celebrating 35 years of Hospice care in Herefordshire.
While some Hospice supporters are climbing mountains, putting on public music performances’ or selling 35 jars of Marmalade, Mel was inspired by Mother Teresa’s quote, “We cannot do great things on this earth, only small things with great love.”
So far, Mel’s acts of kindness have included; paying small amounts for people’s shopping, buying a homeless person sausage, chips and an energy drink, handing out flowers to people visiting Hereford County Hospital and most recently visiting Credenhill Court Rest Home where she treated residents to a tasty selection of cakes and spent an afternoon listing to their life stories.
Mel said, ‘St Michael’s is built on acts of kindness made by the community that has supported it for over 35 years. Working at the Hospice has shown me that every penny counts. It’s a charity that is so close to my heart I wanted to raise as many pennies as possible and share the spirit of the Hospice.’
St Michael’s Communications Manager Chris Smart said, ‘It’s a joy to hear about the acts of kindness Mel is spreading across Herefordshire. It’s a wonderful way to celebrate St Michael’s anniversary and raise the vital funds needed to continue providing the best possible care to families living with terminal illness.’
People can sign-up for their own ‘My 35 Challenge’ by visiting st-michaels-hospice.org.uk or donate to Mel’s Challenge at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/melwoody75

Son’s heartfelt music evening in memory of mum

A Hereford mum had a hand in planning her own remembrance evening during the final days of her life.

Cindy Davies died at St Michael’s Hospice in Bartestree but was well aware of plans for a special music night in her memory being organised by her son, Cory Tyler.

The musical fundraiser for St Michael’s will feature performances from popular singers Crystal Bawls and Eryl Restall, plus other performers. It takes place on Friday 3rd May and looks set to sell-out.

‘Mum was at St Michael’s for four weeks,’ said Cory.

The care she received was just amazing.’

He said he wanted to do something for the Hospice to say thank you, both for looking after his mum and his cousin who was at St Michael’s last year.

‘Mum knew I was planning this event in her memory,’ Cory added.

‘I ran the posters past her while she was at the Hospice. She was very happy with it.

Mum said St Michael’s was her home away from home.

From volunteers to doctors, everyone there was amazing. As a family, if we had any questions or concerns, no matter how small, the medical team was always on hand.’

Shortly before Cindy died, she was able to watch her daughter, Kerry, get married thanks to a wedding blessing organised by St Michael’s with dozens of friends and family looking on.

The family was able to stay at a house in the grounds of St Michael’s for the duration of Cindy’s time there.

‘Being offered use of the house made such a difference,’ said Cory.

It meant we were literally on mum’s doorstep and we didn’t have to worry about travelling to Bartestree and back each day.

‘They made everything possible. During her final night, I was even able to stay in her room.’

There are just a handful of tickets remaining for the musical night at Hereford Welsh Club on Hinton Road, which also features a prize raffle. To book, call Cory on 07778 616037 or buy them at The Commercial and The Wellington pubs in Hereford.

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.

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.