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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Ulverston hospice campaign can make difference

WELL there’s a blast from the past – my old geography teacher Mr Graves pictured in the Evening Mail with his head under the bonnet of clapped-out hospice delivery van!

EM Darren McSweeney
Darren McSweeney

A far cry from the days he walked across the school car park under the admiring glances from 5th form girls as he got into his highly polished silver Ford Capri.

Instantly recognisable, still carrying his full head of hair, albeit more silvery, the years appear to have been kind to old “Gravesy”.

My mum never forgave me for dropping geography in my options – “you need a humanities subject,” she used to tell me, although I more than suspect that her wanting to spend five minutes with Gravesy at parents evening was the real reason.

Still, good to see the old boy looking so well and doing his bit to keep the wheels turning at St. Mary’s Hospice – go to the top of the class, Sir.

It’s been 12 years since the hospice cared for my dad in his final months and things have changed a lot in the service they provide and number of people they serve.

The hospice back then was very much an in-house service, but was still facing funding challenges even back then in more stable economic times.

Today the hospice and their outreach “Hospice at Home” service cater for a huge number of people.

This obviously needs a fleet of vehicles to operate, and whilst Howard (would never have got away with calling him that back then) may have some experience from his days of tinkering with his Dagenham bird-puller, I suspect he’s more at home with undulations, conurbations, arable land, dairy farming in Cheshire and the Notts coalfields.

See, you thought I was always looking out of the window, but I was listening!

A quick look at the numbers, the hospice costs £2.4m a year to maintain the current level of service, of which a staggering £2m they have to raise themselves – it’s easy to see how a fleet of vehicles can become aged and in need of replacement when you’re facing that magnitude of financial challenge on a daily basis.

This is where the Evening Mail campaign comes in.

You may have read last week that they’ve kicked off a fundraising challenge to amass the £70,000 needed to replace the hospice fleet.

It may seem like a huge amount, but when you add up the number of houses in the area of South Cumbria that the hospice caters for then it’s only a pound or so each!

It’s certainly achievable.

I’m off over to www.justgiving.com/reaching-out now to make my contribution.

I urge you all to follow me and let’s get the hospice a fleet to be proud of that can serve this community for years to come.

You never know, if we can smash the target we might be able to stretch to a classic Ford Capri for Howard, so he can recapture his long lost youth ;-)

Have your say

Brilliant article. Although a 'tad' bias and a little red faced after reading it (being Darrens Mum)i support it one hundred percent.
Having been a Hospice volunteer for a couple of years i know first hand the difficulties they face financially. Please follow Darrens lead and give what you can. Every little helps.Thankyou

Posted by maggie mcsweeney on 18 February 2013 at 19:03

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