St John’s Hospice in Lancaster provides respite and care for people with cancer and other life limiting illnesses but and works closely with other locally represented charities including Parkinson’s UK and MNDA (Motor Neurone Disease Association).
The hospice provides a welcoming meeting place each Friday for the support group for people with Parkinson’s and members come from far and wide including Lancaster, Morecambe, Garstang, and Heysham. As Margaret Stephenson and Geoff Ousby who organise the meetings explained, ‘The group provides support and friendship for Parkinson’s sufferers of all ages and their carers too. It’s a great social occasion too - a time for a catch up over a cup of tea. We are very grateful for the donation by the hospice and Just Helping which we will be putting to good use whether it be for a day trip, a speaker to join us at a meeting or help from the physio.”
Dr Hilary Walklett, Vice Chairman and Sylvia Richardson, Secretary from North Lancashire/South Cumbria Branch of MND enjoyed the informal, lively atmosphere to receive their donation too from JustHelping and the Hospice which will provide funds to support local people with motor neuron disease, their families and carers.
A total of £7,989 was raised earlier this year in January when volunteers from St John’s Hospice collected nearly 800 Christmas trees at the end of the festive season in association with the Just Helping charity. The aim of Just Helping is to bring volunteers together in local communities while fundraising for worthy causes. They provide the online donation facility and the routing and mapping for the collection of the trees.
Karen Crossley, Community Fundraiser for St John’s Hospice said, “It’s a fantastic community event bringing people together of all ages and at a very poignant time of year when we think about our families and friends. It has been an excellent fundraiser for the hospice for a number of years and being able to also make donations to other charities has been humbling; it is all about supporting our community. We very much look forward to working again with Just Helping for the next Christmas tree campaign in January 2017.”