Dedicated, enthusiastic band of supporters keep hospice coffers replenished

“HOSPICE care is the finest quality care to be found.”

Those were the words of former BBC broadcaster Martyn Lewis while speaking at the 1992 annual meeting of St Barnabas Hospice in Lincoln.

“This is still true today,” said Shirley Hanson, a founder member of the Woodhall Spa Group of St Barnabas Supporters.

“And that is why dedicated and enthusiastic people work for funding and why so many generous friends from the area come to support us.”

Support in Woodhall Spa for the Lincoln-based St Barnabas Hospice began with a lady called Rebe Green, who was instrumental in fundraising for the charity after it opened in 1982.

It was not until a meeting at the Golf Hotel in October 1986 that an official fundraising committee for St Barnabas Hospice was formed in Woodhall Spa.

At the helm of the Woodhall Spa Group of St Barnabas Supporters was Sheila Roy, who was appointed chairman.

The group’s treasurer was Fay Ness, the secretary Shirley Hanson, and Joan Daniels was in charge of publicity and advertising.

Joan Peeke was responsible for sales tables, Neville Daniels for the raffles and Pauline Eke had the job of creating window displays to promote the charity in Woodhall Spa.

With the committee in place a series of fundraising events began, including jumble sales, whist drives and a bridge club.

The tenth anniversary was marked with a tea dance at the Petwood Hotel which raised more than £300.

The group’s events are planned and advertised a year in advance to allow its supporters to plan ahead.

Margaret Sowerby is the current chairman of the Woodhall Spa Group of St Barnabas Supporters.

She said: “We work quite closely with the hospice at Lincoln.

“We have good relations with them and they do all our printing.

“We spread the net far and wide.

“Our publicity extends to Horncastle, Stixwould, Coningsby, Tattershall, Boston, Lincoln and Alford.

“All the money we raise goes direct to the hospice and none of the committee take money for activities they participate in.

“I like the fundraising bit because I know it goes direct to the patients.

“Each year we try to do one new event.

“Last year we did a silent auction and this year we’re holding a race night

“We have an annual ball in July at the Petwood Hotel and a ladies’ luncheon in October with a volunteer speaker.”