Christmas Tree collection service

St Michael’s Hospice is offering to collect Christmas Trees from every household in Hereford this New Year.

The Bartestree-based Hospice says it hopes the idea will take the stress out of disposing of real trees once the festivities are over.

As well as offering the service within the city boundaries, St Michael’s will also collect trees from a number of villages close to Hereford.

‘Getting rid of your Christmas Tree can be a stressful time, so hopefully this will make things a little easier,’ said the Hospice’s Events Manager, Matt Ashcroft.

‘In previous years we have been amazed by the support our community has shown to this service, and we hope this New Year will be no different.

‘This support helps us continue to make a real difference to the lives of our patients and their families.

‘Enormous thanks must go to Quickskip Recycling in Rotherwas who recycle the trees each year.’

Tree collections must be booked in advance on the St Michael’s Hospice website. 

Each tree collection will cost £10 with the money going to St Michael’s. The trees will be collected from homes on selected dates between 2nd – 15th January.

For full details, and to book your collection, click here

Caption: St Michael’s Hospice Events Manager Matt Ashcroft is looking forward to collecting Christmas Trees in the New Year. 

Riding high – fundraising group collects £1k in a weekend

Thanks to each and every one of you who gave so generously to the Hospice Riders who fundraised for us in Hereford one weekend recently.

Over the two days they collected £1,097.68.

Thanks to the Old Market for allowing us to fundraise there, and to staff at Wagamama for plying the collectors with refreshments across the weekend.

Anniversary auction raises over £3k

Well over £3,000 was raised during our online anniversary auction.

Celebrating 35 years of St Michael’s, the auction featured a variety of lots with a week-long holiday in Spain the best-selling lot, selling for £525.

Other items included the loan of a BMW for a week (£130) and a three-night stay in the Lake District (£345). 

The auction raised a total of £3,827.

Our thanks to everyone who bid and donated items, plus Brightwells for supporting the online auction.

Abi’s good deed for her Hospice

Abi believes doing good deeds for others makes the world a better place.

‘This year, I wanted to do something special, so I have been growing vegetables for St Michael’s because they help so many people.’
Thanks to the Market Cafe and The Raft Clothing Shop in Ledbury, Abi has also raised £100 with a window display telling people about her fundraising project.
St Michael’s Catering Manager Rachel Vaughan said, ‘Abi’s passion for growing vegetables is an inspiration. It’s been a pleasure to meet her and hear all about the ways she is helping her community.’

Photo Abi Smith with St Michael’s Hospice chef Jacqui Cody

William, 8, and his great art idea

Big thank you to 8-year-old William Raynor who came up with a genius idea to raise money for St Michael’s.
William gently persuaded his mum, dad, brother, grandma and aunties to pay a fee to enter his art competition.
William asked all participants to draw a picture of a dog and awarded the first prize, of chocolate brownies, to his mum for her winning masterpiece.
Runners-up were treated to a selection of tasty homemade cakes.
William said, ‘St Michael’s cared for my great-aunt and uncle, and I wanted to raise money for a good cause and have some fun at the same time.’
We love William’s approach to fundraising, and it was a pleasure to see all the entries and meet William, his brother Thomas and mum Charlotte.
Photo l-r: Front row Dr Clare Scotcher, William Raynor, Charlotte Raynor, Thomas Raynor and Dr Alice Martin

Ludlow Dog Day donates £5,000 to St Michael’s

St Michael’s Hospice is one of four charities to benefit from Ludlow Rotary Dog Day 2019. St Michael’s received £5,000 with Hope House Hospice for Children, Guide Dogs and Ludlow Rotary Cares also receiving substantial amounts.
Ludlow Dog Day is an essential date in every dog lover’s calendar and will continue to raise funds for St Michael’s Hospice at Ludlow Dog Day 2020 on July 19th once again being held at Stokesay Court. 
St Michael’s Hospice, Director of Fundraising Ruth Denison, said, ‘The amount of money presented is very significant. It is a reflection of the hard work everyone has put into the event. The money means we can continue to support local families living with a terminal illness.’
The Dog Day team are already planning to excite visitors with exciting displays and activities at next years event.
Photo: l-r: Ludlow Rotary Dog Day ambassador Debbie (a re-homed guide dog) with Michelle Davies and Helen Wiltshire.

Miniature art – huge appeal: Postcards from Life receives ‘lots’ of support

Miniature art masterpieces have found homes across Herefordshire and beyond following an online auction raising thousands for St Michael’s Hospice.

Postcards from Life attracted bids from as far afield as China as art lovers clamoured to get their hands on the 184 framed postcards created by some of the most talented artists in the region.

Just shy of 2,000 bids were placed during the three-week auction, with almost £6,500 raised for the Bartestree-based Hospice. A further £600 was collected from a raffle and donations following an exhibition of the work at Hereford’s Bishop’s Palace last weekend.

There was no brief for the artists, meaning they could produce whatever subject matter they wished, as long as it was postcard-sized.

Kingsland-based Charles MacCarthy submitted three pieces, selling for a total of £267.

‘It’s a challenge as postcard-sized art is not easy to paint, so you have to step outside your comfort zone,’ he said.  

‘But it’s a great project and one I love supporting.’

The most successful lot was Beryl Thompson’s ink on paper called ‘Now What’ depicting a pair of ducks wearing Wellington Boots which fetched £185.

Bids closed yesterday (Monday) following the Bishop’s Palace exhibition.

Event Director Gaynor Warren said, ‘We’re delighted the artists produced such an outstanding array of art, and so thankful to the community for bidding so generously,’ she said.

‘We are also incredibly grateful to Brightwells for putting on the online auction.

‘As well as having a miniature masterpiece or two to enjoy, successful bidders can rest assured their generosity will go towards helping families in our community who are living with a terminal illness.’

Postcards from Life 2019 – Facts and figures:

  • Registered buyers – 220
  • Bids placed – 1899
  • Average price of lots – £35.23
  • Highest price – £185 (Beryl Thompson, Now What)
  • Bids from UK and China

Caption: (from left) Becky Lowe, Kerry Preedy and Rachel Arnold from the Diocese of Hereford holding Gill Downes’ Contemplation (left) which sold for £60, and Maxine Rogers Cain’s Trees at Ticklerton which fetched £75.

Experience the joy of a good chuckle

If you’re in need of a chuckle or a belly full of titters, St Michael’s Hospice has a slightly different approach to lighten your mood this winter.

The Hospice is launching monthly Laughter Yoga sessions which are free and open to all.

The method is proving popular worldwide with many suggesting hearty laughter is a beneficial cardio workout, as well as putting people in a happier mood.

‘Laughter Yoga is a combination of laughter and breathing exercises which are good for the body, mind, spirit and soul,’ said Elaine Pawley, the Lead Social Worker at St Michael’s who runs the sessions.

‘It taps into our inner child by encouraging us to be playful and laugh at the everyday.

‘It can be applied as a non-medicinal approach to assist with pain relief, mood, immune system and relaxation.’

The public can attend one session or as many as you wish, with donations to St Michael’s appreciated. 

They take place on the final Friday of each month, excluding December, at the Hospice in Bartestree (HR1 4HA).

For more information, contact Elaine on 01432 852 628 or email

Former GP turns novelist in support of his Hospice

A former Herefordshire GP has swapped prescriptions for pens by writing a futuristic novel.

Dr Mark Helme retired from General Practice almost six years ago having been based at Hereford’s Cantilupe Surgery.

Proceeds from the book, called AX50, will go to St Michael’s Hospice and Herefordshire Headway.

‘I want money to go to these two charities as they’re very close to me,’ he said.

‘I’m a Trustee at Headway, and during my time as a GP I got to know the fantastic work done by St Michael’s who I raised money for in 2014 by cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats.’

AX50 is set between 2021 – 2112 where global warming, artificial intelligence and robots abound.

‘The idea came after I discovered some jottings made in 1980 when I predicted how life would be in the year 2000,’ he added.

‘Much of it turns out to have been accurate, particularly surrounding issues such as surveillance. But it got my mind thinking about life in the future and how our world might look for generations to come.’

Mark will be signing copies of AX50 on Saturday 23rd November at Leominster Coffee & Books on Station Yard (10am-12pm) and Hereford Coffee & Books on Whitecross Road from 2-4pm.   

He will also be giving a lecture based on his research for the novel at the Simpson Hall in Burghill (HR4 7RW) on Tuesday 19th November at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £10, including refreshments, and can be bought on the door. 

Copies of the book, currently on sale for the promotional price of £5, can also be bought at the St Michael’s Hospice shop in Bartestree, from the Headway in Credenhill and at Tillington Stores, as well as online by searching ‘AX50 Mark Helme’ on internet search engines.

Caption: Mark Helme with his book, AX50

Paperstation’s generous donation to St Michael’s

Paperstation Limited has pledged to donate a quarter of its profits from any new HR postcode customers to their Hospice.

Since last summer, the Malvern-based company has handed us more than £1,000 – and they’re not finished yet.

‘It’s a pleasure to donate this money to such a good cause, but that’s not the end of our fundraising,’ said Marc Wildig from Paperstation.

‘We have a special connection with the Hospice and we’ll continue to donate 25% of profits from any new HR postcode customers to St Michael’s.’

Pictured is Marc Wildig from Paperstation Limited