Why I’m walking for the Hospice #wirralcoastalwalk #wirral

annie johnson start lineFancy a bracing walk around the Wirral’s stunningly scenic coastline in aid of Wirral Hospice St John’s? Avid walker Annie Johnson does!

Annie is no stranger to walking long distances, having an energetic dog, George, to look after. Annie can often be found walking along the beaches at Thurstaston, West Kirby, Hoylake and Meols.

Organised by the brilliant Rotary Club of North Wirral, this year’s Wirral Coastal Walk will take place on Sunday 18 June 2017. It’s a fantastic opportunity to get out together and get healthy with your friends, families, colleagues, four-legged friends and, at the same time, and help to make a difference to others on Wirral who need specialist care.

As a positive attitude to helping people support their charities, the organisers of the walk have made it possible for everybody to participate on accessible terrain. You can walk at your own pace and either walk for the full 15 miles from Seacombe to Thurstaston or there are completion points at 4 or 10 miles along the route. Canine companions are most welcome to take part free of charge!

As Annie explains, “I am a lifelong supporter of Wirral Hospice St John’s and, as well as being a Trustee for the last three years, I regularly volunteer at fundraising events and have participated in several long-distance challenges to help raise money for the charity, I even abseiled down the side of Wallasey Town Hall dressed as a jelly bean!!”

“My late father and two of my best friends received end of life care at the Hospice, another friend received pain relief and symptom control so I have witnessed first hand the outstanding care and comfort they give to patients, their families, carers and loved ones. It makes all the difference when you are at this incredibly difficult stage to have their support and care.  It is so important to keep the Hospice for the good of all the Wirral community.  I will be proudly be walking the distance for them on 18 June, and I will be using it as a training session for my 7th trekking holiday in Nepal this Autumn.”

Wirral Hospice St John’s needs £3.6 million each year to continue to look after patients with terminal or life-limiting illnesses, including cancer, heart disease, respiratory and neurological conditions.

To request a registration form, t-shirt and sponsor forms, please call Corinne McGinty on 0151 343 0778 or email fundraising@wirralhospice.org, thank you.

Please click here to make a donation to Wirral Hospice St John’s work or to set up a fundraising page to help us raise funds.

What does it mean to win #itsaknockout? Jeff Burgess tell us #winner

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With this year’s It’s A Knockout fast approaching (Sun 9 July 2017) we spoke with Jeff Burgess, team captain of last year’s winning team ‘Din’s Dynamos’, to get his thoughts on our ridiculously fun fundraising event!

Why did you choose to take part in It’s A Knockout 2016?
My wife Denise was cared for and passed away at Wirral Hospice St John’s so it will always be a special place to myself and my family. It’s A Knockout was the perfect event for us to all come together as a family and raise some money for the wonderful place and people that cared for Denise. The fun nature of It’s A Knockout is exactly what she was about and she would have been there in spirit laughing and cheering us on.

You all raised a brilliant £920, how did your team go about fundraising your sponsorship?
We made a team JustGiving page then shared it with all our friends and family through our social media accounts. We also received paper sponsor forms from the Hospice which we took in to our workplaces. We were overwhelmed at how supportive everyone was and had exceeded the minimum sponsorship in no time.

What was your favourite part of the day?
The highlight for me was the Jungle River, it was hysterical seeing people flying through the foam and scrambling to get up the slippery slope. Oh and winning, of course!

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How did it feel to be crowned winners?
Absolutely amazing! It was a real sense of achievement for us all knowing that we had come together as a family for Denise and won it for her. We were all a bit emotional to tell you the truth.

What would you say to other teams considering taking part this year?
Go for it! It’s brilliant fun and will have you laughing from start to finish, foam and bouncy inflatables – what’s not to love!! You don’t need to be super fit for this one, just willing to give it a go and a sense of humour is a must! It really is a great day and knowing you are raising money for such an excellent local cause whilst having fun at the same time means everyone is a winner!

To find out how you can sign up a team to this year’s It’s A Knockout competition, please call our fundraising office on 0151 343 0778 or email fundraising@wirralhospice.org with your contact details.

 

April is #MakeAWill Month – do you have an up-to-date Will?

img_7910-2“Hello, I’m Julia Evans, one of Wirral Hospice St John’s Fundraising Managers. I have worked at the Hospice for more than 15 years and look after our supporters who wish to make donations to our charity. It’s such a special place and a real privilege to be part of somewhere that plays such a crucial caring role in our local community.”

Making a legally valid Will is one of the most important things you can do to ensure that your loved ones are provided for when you are no longer around to look out for them.

Many people do not want to consider making a Will yet or think that they will get to it another time.

It can usually cost in the region of £150+ for a single Will and £250+ for a double Will. More complex estates, for example those involving several properties, savings accounts or business assets can take much longer to work on and can be more expensive.

Wills are legally-binding documents and although you can make wills online cheaply and even for free, it is advisable to get professional support because even small errors could cause big problems for the future.

Wirral Hospice St John’s has formed partnerships with a number of local solicitors who are all willing to draw up Wills at their own expense throughout April.

However, the solicitors are requesting that individuals make a fair donation to the Hospice in return for this service, which is a suggested minimum donation of £80 for a single Will and £150 for a double Will.

Appointments need to be booked in advance with each of the participating solicitors. Slots will fill up very quickly; early booking is advised so as not to be disappointed!

In this country, if your wishes are not drawn up officially then legally your assets are at the mercy of the government, which could leave behind big problems for your loved ones that could take many years to sort out.

If you are a homeowner and have children it is even more important to have a Will in place. The law does not recognise unmarried couples either so if one of you dies suddenly without a Will, your partner could be left without anything.

Of course, you may already have a Will in place but if major changes have happened in your life, such as marriage, having children, divorce, death of a loved one, then it can make aspects or all of a current Will invalid.

Wirral Hospice St John’s provides specialist care and support to patients, their carers and families across Wirral. The Hospice’s care is free to our patients but costs more than £3.5million a year to run.

Legacies are a vital part of our fundraising and ensure that we can continue to be here to provide the best care for our patients and their loved ones at their time of most need.

It really varies what people have left us in their Wills and we are always so grateful for whatever people choose to donate to us however small they might think that gift is.

Please note that if you use one of the firms of solicitors supporting our Make A Will Month there is absolutely no obligation at all to leave a gift in your Will to the Hospice in addition to making a donation towards the cost of the Will-writing service.

If you choose to do so though, it is at your discretion and the solicitor is not allowed to inform the Hospice or any other charity you might wish to support after your lifetime.

Please do not delay something as important as this; pick up the phone, make that appointment and know that you will be making a donation to your local Hospice in doing so.

To find out more information, please get in touch with Julia: 0151 343 0778 / juliae@wirralhospice.org or visit www.wirralhospice.org

Author: Julia Evans

Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

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Our dedicated volunteers at Wirral Hospice St John’s have been honoured with the presentation of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service at a special celebration evening held at Neston Cricket Club on Monday 31 October 2016.

The evening was attended by more than 100 of the Hospice’s 500+ volunteers who help the Hospice in many ways, including patient care and family support, reception, admin, gardening, housekeeping and fundraising.

The prestigious award was presented by the Lord-Lieutenant of Merseyside, Dame Lorna Muirhead DBE and graciously received by Mrs Sandra Fairclough and Ms Emma McKeown on behalf of the Hospice’s volunteers.

Other dignitaries supporting the event were Deputy Lieutenants Colonel Martin Amlot and Mr Stephen Burrows, and Deputy Mayor, Mrs Ann McLachlan.

Julie Gorry, Wirral Hospice’s Chief Executive said: “We are very proud of our volunteers who are so deserving of this special honour.

“Our volunteers are at the heart of everything we do here in providing such a special place of care and support for our patients and their loved ones. We could not run without the immense amount of time, energy and expertise our volunteers bring to our charity.

“Thank you to each and every volunteer for what you bring to us, your kindness and dedication shines through.”

Photos from the night are in our Facebook album Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service Presentation Evening which can be viewed even if you don’t have a Facebook account.

If you are interested in finding out more about becoming a Wirral Hospice volunteer, please visit our Jobs & Volunteering web section or contact Carole Snow on 0151 334 2778.

Author: Teresa Nightingale

 

 

Annie, #Glowing for #WirralHospice

annie-jNow that our first Glow with the Flow walk is over, we wanted to speak to one of our walkers to see how they found this neon filled walk. Our first person accross the line, Annie, was more than happy to share her experience:

Annie, what made you sign up to this event?

It sounded like such a fun event to be part of, I signed up as soon as the Fundraising Team announced it! Some dear family and friends have been cared for by the Hospice which is why it’s so close to my heart.

Was the event what you expected?

It was even better! There was an amazing atmosphere from the moment I arrived. Excited and colourful women, young and old, everywhere you looked. People laughing and having their faces painted, it felt a bit like a carnival.

What was the highlight of the night for you?

I was very proud to have been asked to lead the walk so that everyone knew where to go. We had marshals in place too all along the route but it was a great feeling to know that I was marching 900 women and girls along. I got so into it waving my glow sticks about that when I turned around a couple of times my fellow walkers had lagged some way behind so I had to wait for them to catch up!

How much have you raised in sponsorship so far?

So far it’s £366 online and I have raised about £250 from good old-fashioned sponsor forms. People have been very generous so I would just like to say a really big thank you for your support. It means so much to me and I know it does to the Hospice too.

You can find Annie’s page here

What would you recommend people do to prepare for the event?

I’m a keen walker anyway and have two dogs that need a lot of exercise so it was easy for me to cope with that distance. Though I must say I don’t usually walk quite so fast or with glowing bunny ears on! It’s an event for people of all abilities and  five miles is an achievable distance that you only really need to put in some gentle training in the weeks leading up.

Would you take part in this event again?

Yes, I can’t wait until next year!

Thank you to Annie and everyone who took part in and supported ‘Glow with the Flow’. We had more than 900 walkers glowing as they walked from West Kirby to Hoylake and back for our five mile walk!

We are delighted by the support we received from local business and the council which enabled this event to be such a success and we hope to have raised over £20,000 from this amazing walk.

Visit our Facebook page to see photos from the night.

Author: Jacinta Warwick

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