Published Friday 26th August 2016

Long-time Hospice supporter Gordon McLeod, who held his first fundraiser more than 30 years ago, has continued his giving by donating Smart TVs and DVD players for every inpatient room at St Michael’s and all the lounge areas.

Gordon began his fundraising journey after being diagnosed with leukaemia in 1983, with friends setting up a fund with the aim of helping fund his treatment.

Among the wide variety of fundraising activities run by the Gordon McLeod Leukaemia Fund were the annual skittles marathons which he ran for 25 years with his team, the Pyoneers.

To celebrate his most recent donation of £10,000 as payment for the TVs, a skittles match involving Gordon and Hospice Living Well patients, was held outside the newly refurbished day patient building at St. Michael’s.

‘It was wonderful to see the patients taking part and having a laugh,’ said Gordon, who lives with his wife and fellow fundraiser Lyn in Canon Pyon.

‘The quality of care at the Hospice is quite overwhelming and the superb new building and the refurbishment of the old building are testament to the good will of Herefordshire people. 

‘It never ceases to amaze me to witness the generosity given in our County, although it does make it easier when you are passing round the hat if you have a superb cause like St Michael’s.

‘The TVs will give patients some form of normality as well as helping them maintain contact with the outside world as the devices allow access to the internet. 

‘I know from experience in isolation circumstances, that having the opportunity to divert the mind to entertainment choices can be a real blessing.’

Fortunately, the funds raised by his friends who set-up the Gordon McLeod Leukaemia Fund weren’t needed for his treatment, but the group decided to continue its efforts to benefit others.

Over the years, St Michael’s has received almost £50,000 from the Fund, with a donation almost ten years ago going towards a telecall system fitted on every Hospice bed allowing patients to make calls back home.

Ruth Denison, the Hospice’s Head of Fundraising, said: ‘St Michael’s Hospice is built on the support of local people and we would like to give a heartfelt thank you to Gordon and his team who have shown such amazing support over the years.

‘It’s especially fitting to welcome Gordon and his family into the new building so they can see for themselves what their donations have helped build.

‘I think the day hospice patients really appreciated the time given by Gordon to set up the special skittles match.’