Pendleside Hospice’s chief executive has been reflecting on the charity’s 30th anniversary year as 2019 begins with a bang.
Helen McVey, who recently celebrated four years as the hospice’s CEO, explained that 2018 would be a tough one to beat but that support from the local community was more important than ever.
She said: “We’ve had 12 months of outstanding fundraising, from five-year-old Daisy Hooper collecting £5,670 by walking the equivalent of Mount Everest three times in seven months, to local businesses raising an incredible £157,000 in just four months through our Corporate Challenge.
“As the new year was upon us, we were looking back as a team and realised it would be simply impossible to choose just one highlight from 2018. We knew we wanted to make our 30th year a special one but never in our wildest dreams did we expect such an influx of support from so many people."
The hospice – which first opened to the public in 1988 and looked after almost 1,500 people last year – not only celebrated 30 years of caring for the community in 2018. The charity won the Not-for-profit Business Award at the Red Rose Awards and a Pendle Business Award for Making a Local Difference, plus its 10 charity shops achieved a 12% increase in turnover.
It was also a busy period in the run up to Christmas, with Marks and Spencer Burnley raising £13,827 with a festive bag pack and Lisa Smith collecting £515 in sponsorship after completing the Spartan Challenge endurance race.
And the hospice’s fundraising team is looking set to be kept busy in 2019, with numerous events already in the diary.
Fundraiser Jo Applegate is running the London Marathon in April and the hospice is taking a team of 56 walkers on the National Three Peaks Challenge in June.
Helen continued: “We’ve always said that every penny we receive goes directly towards funding care for people who need our support both now and in the future.
"Our 30th year celebrations might be over now but as we plan on being here for the next 30 years and hopefully many more, we will need continuing support from our local community.
“We hope our Corporate Challenge will be even bigger and better this year – we know it’s possible because our 2018 challenge raised an extra £60,000 when compared to the previous year. The sky’s the limit!
"The demand for our services is growing year on year and while a small percentage of our income comes from the NHS, the majority is dependent on donations, so we can’t wait to hear about the wonderful – and sometimes wacky – ways people are planning to fundraise for us.”