Wednesday, 8 September 2021

Meeting at St. Benedict's Hospice

I met with the fundraising staff at St. Benedict's Hospice today. On the agenda was a look back at the last Stage X campaign and also what the plans are for the immediate future. 

The total amount raised, thanks to an incredible amount of generosity, for this campaign currently stands at £12,750.43. That is a fantastic amount but, had it not been for the pandemic, I’m convinced that it would have been a lot more. 

Of course, this was the year where I should have ran from Kiev to Nur Sultan as part of the run around the world. As with previous stages, that would have seen a fundraising target of £50,000. We were also due to have a fundraising ball this year. Sadly, all of those plans went by the wayside during the first lockdown. To have raised this sum for the Hospice, while very pleasing in one sense is, however, also personally disappointing in another. 

The next major world stage isn’t going away and will be done when it’s safe to do so. I know that I won’t be the only fundraiser or charity whose plans have been disrupted. But to raise just shy of £13,000 under these circumstances is testament to the generosity of so many kind people including a very generous set of commercial sponsors. I’m perhaps being very harsh on myself to even consider using the word “disappointing” but that’s where standards are now after 28 years of fundraising. 

I know from the reaction that I received at the Hospice today, that there is absolutely no disappointment from them. Every penny is desperately needed to help care for terminally ill people in the region and put to very good use. If you’ve donated then rest assured that your money is helping to make a positive difference. 

As ever, I felt very appreciated at the Hospice today. The truth is that my own love and appreciation for St. Benedict’s Hospice and what the staff there did for my Mam (pictured with me below) has kept me going since she died in 1995. 

Yes, I’m continuing to repay the debt of gratitude, but being a fundraiser has without doubt had a huge positive impact on my life. Fundraising is essentially an unpaid job that attracts a lot of love, generosity, positivity and the chance to meet all manner of kind and interesting people. It has been and continues to be the biggest asset that I have when dealing with grief. Long may that continue. 

Back to today and I was happy to see the excited look when I discussed my future fundraising plans. I’ll talk more about those in greater detail next month. Although watch out for one exciting announcement as early as this Sunday. 

I left St. Benedict’s Hospice today feeling very positive as I always do. There was a peaceful quiet about the place and the sun was shining brightly. I’ll close tonight by again thanking everyone who has donated this year. Your support is massively appreciated. Thanks also to main sponsor Chapman Ventilation and also Taylored-fit Physio, D-Line, Steven Bell Properties, Active Edge, Northumberland Tea, and David Fairlamb Fitness.