January and February are notoriously tight months; usually spending as little as possible to try and recover from the hit of Christmas presents and all the social events during the festive months (that have been known to start before September is even over. For some people at least!). Lots of big hearty home-cooked meals, rather than takeaways, and cutting back on non-essential spending, like expensive frothy coffees and shop-bought lunches.
Many of us use these early months as a great opportunity to kick-start or get back into fitness programmes. Aiming for a more honed, toned and healthy body by the time the sun makes a fleeting appearance later in the year. Well that’s the plan we initially dream of, some of us fall victim to temptation along the way.
Usually people feel a bit more relaxed financially by the end of March so it’s a good time to assess finances and the time we can offer to those around us. Running a family home can be expensive and can often take all of our time, we are all too aware of that, so not everyone can easily afford to spare money at the end of each month or volunteer for good causes.
If you are able to spare some change though, we have a few ways that you could support Wirral Hospice St John’s:
- Making a monthly donation to the Hospice – just £5 a month can really make a difference.
- Become a lottery member for £1 a week – be in with the chance of winning £2,000 every week, and the second prize of £500 rolls over (if not won) to a maximum of £10,000!
- Make a regular gift to the Hospice through your payroll.
- Save your copper coins in a pot and when it’s full pass it on to the Hospice (we even have volunteers who are happy to count pots of coins to save you the job!)
- Make a donation in memory of a loved one, either through our Light Up A Life campaign or at any time of the year
- If you are able to do so, perhaps buy a ticket for one of our fancy fundraising events: ladies lunch, gala dinner or the summer ball
- Visit our charity shops to bag some bargains! We currently have shops in New Brighton, Heswall, Claughton, Liscard and Moreton, with more planned for the future.
- Pop in to our on-site gift shop to buy your Christmas and greeting cards. We also have lots of lovely present ideas for even the most difficult friend or family member to buy for!
- Make a one-off donation towards our Families Matter Appeal, which will help us to continue to provide the highest levels of care and support for our patient, their carers and families.
Even if you can’t afford to donate any of your own money, there are plenty of other ways you can get involved in helping us. Some will take more of your time, enthusiasm and bravery than others:
- Take part in a fundraising event or challenge, such a run, skydive or trek, and get sponsored for doing so. People will be grateful it’s not them that’s doing it!
- Rally your colleagues to organise a fundraising event or collection in your workplace on behalf of the Hospice.
- Invite your neighbours to a coffee morning or organise a street party to raise money for our work.
- Have a collection box or display box of pin badges in your home or office.
- Collect recyclable goods to pass on to the Hospice: cartridges, mobile phones, paper and gold.
- Donate your pre-loved items to the Hospice for our charity shops: clothes, shoes, bric-a-brac, furniture, books, jewellery and small electrical items. We can even come an collect items if you arrange it with us in advance. We can even make money selling rags on, so don’t ever be embarrassed to bring in a bag of old material or clothes past their best!
- If you are an eligible UK taxpayer, please sign a Gift Aid declaration form so that we can claim back 25% of every donation you’ve made (at no extra cost to you) from the Inland Revenue. If you are a higher-rate taxpayer you can personally reclaim part of the tax paid on your own year-end form.
- Sign up your pooch to participate in our dog walk, you’ll be astounded at how many people will sponsor your pet!
- Come along to one of our events, we have lots going on throughout the year; from flower demonstrations to open gardens, to Hobby & Craft Fair to a car boot sale; to stands at other events like the Port Sunlight Food Festival; to cheering our runners on at events such as the Chester half marathon; and our biggest event of the calendar, our Light Up A Life service (Sun 7 Dec 2014).
- Help us on Flag Day (Sat 14 June 2014) to collect at venues all over the Wirral – we aim to raise £5,000 from the day with our fabulous army of collectors!
- If you haven’t already done so, making or updating your will is such an important part of planning for the future and can make things a lot easier for the loved ones who have to sort your affairs out after you’ve gone. After ensuring loved ones are provided for, you may want to consider leaving a bequest to the Hospice. All legacy gifts no matter how small you may think they are, can make a huge difference to our work.
- Consider becoming a volunteer at the Hospice: from general duties supporting patient care; to gardeners; to admin support; to fundraising events and charity shop volunteers – we have something to suit all skills and the time you have available to give.
We are always grateful to our supporters for every bit of support you have and continue to give us. Without your help we wouldn’t be able to provide the care that we do for our patients and their loved ones.
Author: Teresa Nightingale