Monday, 27 September 2021

Hospice appeal raises £19,500

SUE RYDER’S Christmas appeal, which was supported by the Henley Standard, raised £19,500

SUE RYDER’S Christmas appeal, which was supported by the Henley Standard, raised £19,500.

During December, we published a weekly feature on the charity’s Nettlebed hospice, including interviews with patients and relatives as well as staff and volunteers who gave up their Christmas Day to work at Joyce Grove.

Readers could donate online, by post or phone and in person at the hospice and the Henley Standard’s offices.

Tracey Hancock, head of fund-raising at Sue Ryder, said: “We wanted to make sure people got sound information about what the hospice does and understand its different facets.

“There’s no doubt people know about Sue Ryder and have a fondness for the place and what it offers but we wanted to help people understand that we can’t continue without financial support.

“The hospice is free, as it should be, and available for everybody but we have to raise 70 per cent of the cost every year. The respect people have for it is fantastic but that needs to translate into financial support.”

Mrs Hancock says the interview with patient Tony Stevens, which was published on December 4, led to a flurry of donations.

Mr Stevens, who used to run the Jet petrol station in Reading Road, Henley, said his dying wish was for people to give generously to the appeal.

Mrs Hancock said: “Tony’s story created an awful lot of interest. People were saying what a fantastic story it was and how brave it was of Tony to tell it.

“We’ve had nothing but positive feedback from all the articles, with people saying how great it was to see them in the local paper and how well-written they were.

“They were informative and people appreciated being able to read about the hospice.

“It was an overwhelmingly positive and fantastic campaign and we are incredibly grateful to the Henley Standard for supporting us. It has been a really effective way for us to reach a large number of people. We are absolutely delighted with the amount we raised.”

The money will go towards the day-to-day running of the hospice and will pay for 39 days of care for patients.

Mrs Hancock said: “The care costs at the hospice are £500 a day. We have to pay for the running of the building and all the staff as without everyone doing their job we wouldn’t be able to provide this service.

“Having never done an appeal like this before it was very much an unknown and we had no feel for what it might produce. To raise £19,500 is phenomenal and will make a real difference.

“We are incredibly grateful to the community who have supported us. It means a huge amount. We would do a campaign like this again in a heartbeat.”

• A guitar auctioned by Sue Ryder raised £285. The pink Nevada Stratocaster was donated to the Nettlebed hospice by the Rewind Festival and some of the stars who performed at the event in Temple Island Meadows in August signed it. The Eighties pop singers included Carol Decker, Marc Almond, Midge Ure, Nick Heyward and Billy Ocean. Mrs Hancock said: “It went on eBay in December and did really well. Buying the guitar is really nice and slightly different way of supporting us as it’s something unique and special with a local connection.”

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