29th March 2017

Funds raised for hospice in memory of ‘precious Nana’

A local hospice that treats patients with life-limiting illnesses has expressed its heartfelt gratitude to a Worcestershire family following a fundraising event.

Vanessa Davenport, from Cheltenham, organised a Charity Masquerade Ball earlier this month in memory of her much loved Nana, Joan Smith, who died at the hospice in 2015, aged 86 years old.

The Ball – held at Hilton’s Puckrup Hall in Tewkesbury – raised a staggering £6,100 for St Richard’s Hospice.

Entitled ‘Eat, drink and be giving’, the event welcomed guests with a drink, a three course meal, followed by a raffle and auction, with some generously donated prizes which included a return helicopter flight to Ellenborough Park in Cheltenham for afternoon tea; the chance to win a trip to Paradise Wildlife Park in Hertfordshire to feed a big cat; a family trip to Windsor Castle; a glamping holiday and a flight in a vintage biplane.  Music was provided by The Fanatics.

Mrs Davenport said : “As a thankyou we wanted to organise an event to help raise money for St Richard’s; we wanted to show our appreciation to all of those who cared for my Nana and our family. We hope the money will help ensure they continue their valuable work.”

Mrs Smith’s family became concerned about her when she began to show signs of confusion, becoming increasingly unsteady on her feet and permanently tired.  Within weeks she was admitted to Worcestershire Royal Hospital and diagnosed with acute leukaemia.

Mrs Smith was later cared for in the In-patient Unit at St Richard’s. Miss Davenport said: “Staff at the hospice were absolutely wonderful; the chef even baked her a cake for her 86th birthday!  Apart from offering her excellent care, the staff also cared for our family by patiently answering the many questions we had, as well as offering much needed emotional support.   Throughout her illness Nana kept her wonderful sense of humour and interest in people which endeared her to all the staff.”

“As a family, we are eternally grateful that Nana was in such a wonderful and caring environment.  We will never forget the staff’s devotion to her care and only wish that everyone in the last stages of life have the same dignified and pain free death she had, surrounded by family.”

The Davenport family would like to thank all those that made the ball a success.

Alison Parkes, Fundraiser at St Richard’s said : “Our thanks go to Vanessa and her family for raising much needed funds for our work here at the hospice.  Our care is made possible thanks to such generous donations from our supporters and makes a real difference to patients and their loved ones.”