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By Tristan Harris Thursday 10 July 2014 Updated: 17/07 23:48
A NEW fund-raising campaign has been launched by the Primrose Hospice in a bid to secure the charity’s long-term future.
It is hoped the Big Appeal will raise £100,000 between now and the end of September by challenging residents to go ‘Around the World for 80 Days of care at the Primrose Hospice’.
The theme has been chosen because it costs £100,000 to provide care services for 80 days and last year the hospice supported almost 900 local people at a cost of £1.6million.
It has been launched because times are tough for the charity and there has been an increase in demand for the services it offers.
And, whilst the organisation is surviving at the moment, it wants to ensure its free services are available for Bromsgrove and Redditch residents for many years to come.
The Primrose’s Chief Executive Officer Helen Garfield said: “More and more people need our support but in these financially challenging times we desperately want to avoid having to turn people away.
“By raising £100,000 we can safeguard the future of these vital local services.
“We provide free care, support and advice to people in our local community who are facing a life-limiting illness.
“We not only support patients by providing a whole range of care services but we also support many families including children
who are losing a loved one.”
Helping to launch the Big Appeal this week were Craig and Charlie who found themselves in that very situation and were helped by the Primrose.
Craig’s wife Helen was diagnosed with breast cancer when the Charlie was just six-weeks-old
Helen received treatment and got through the traumatic time with the help and support of everyone around her.
But, five years later, when all seemed to be going well, Helen was struck down by the disease again.
This time the diagnosis was terminal and, although she was determined the cancer would not stop her from enjoying herself, she knew deep down it would claim her life.
Two months later she developed an infection and needed hospital treatment and four months later, at the age of 41, she passed away.
Craig said he and Charlie were both devastated.
“The toughest thing of all was telling a five year old that he was never going to see his mummy again.
“Charlie and I were cared for with regular counselling sessions provided by the Primrose Hospice.
“For the first time in a long time we all felt as if a set of arms had been put around us and the words ‘she’s in a safe place now’ were constantly being whispered in our ears.”
The Primrose helped Charlie collate a memory box full of special memories of his mummy, especially the teddy bear they had told him to keep by her while she was in the hospital - he still cherishes it everyday.
Craig added: “Two years after her death we still visit our friends at the hospice and call on their vital services.
“We will always be indebted to everyone there, they all made a very difficult journey easier to deal with.
“Words can’t explain what Primrose Hospice did for our family, the unbelievable thing is we did not have to spend a penny for it.
“Every penny you donate is priceless.
“As someone who has experienced this first hand all I can say is please, please, please make a donation and keep making them as you will never appreciate how vital these services are until you need them.
“If the Primrose Hospice wasn’t there, I don’t know what we would have done,” he added.
The charity wants people to organise as many events as possible in the next 80 days. For a fund-raising toolkit, call 01527 889796.
To find out how to donate, see below.
How to donate:
• Cheque - payable to ‘Primrose Hospice’ and sent to: BIG Appeal, Primrose Hospice, St. Godwalds Road, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire B60 3BW
• Cash - at Primrose Hospice or at one of our 6 shops (Redditch, Headless Cross, Rubery, Studley, Bromsgrove, Droitwich)
• Text - TEXT: PHBA01 £12/£26/£57 to 70070
• Online - www.primrosehospice.org/bigappeal
• Phone - 01527 889796 to donate over the phone by card
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