Champion skater Stacey shows support for St Catherine’s Christmas Festival in memory of much-loved dad
A British champion figure skater will be guest of honour at St Catherine’s Hospice’s first ever Christmas Festival – when she will take to the ice at the event’s very own rink.
Stacey Kemp, who grew up in Clayton-le-Woods, Chorley, and partner David King, are seven-times British Pair Skating Champions.
They are now based in Florida with their trainer, but will be in England at the end of this month competing to retain their title at the British Championships in Sheffield.
Stacey was thrilled to hear the St Catherine’s Christmas Festival – which takes place on Friday November 30 and Saturday December 1 – coincided with their visit, and has pledged to come to the event on the Saturday to show her support.
She and David will take to the ice offering skating tips and advice whilst showing off a few tricks, and will also man a hospice collection bucket on the day.
Other attractions along with the ice rink will include Christmas market stalls lining the driveway – selling everything from vintage clothes and jewellery to festive gifts and handbags – as well as a food market featuring local suppliers and produce made on site.
There will also be the annual craft fair, a visit from Santa Claus, and live music from local choirs and bands who will perform hymns and carols to get guests in the Christmas spirit.
The 24-year-old wanted to do something to help after her father David received support from St Catherine’s during his battle with bowel cancer.
He died in 2004 aged only 44 when Stacey was just a teenager – but she and her family have fond memories of the hospice from the time he spent there over the course of his illness.
Stacey, who has been skating since she was six-years-old when her father – himself a keen skater – introduced her to the ice rink, said: “My dad was ill for quite a long time and I know he went in to stay at the hospice on a few different occasions over that time.
“He also went in for day therapy where he took part in different classes – I remember going along and doing the art therapy sessions with him when I was a kid. It was really welcoming and friendly – and it was nice to do things with my dad there.
“I’ve got some great memories of my dad in the hospice that I treasure – like when I won my first British Championship when I was 14. He couldn’t come and watch because he was too poorly – but afterwards I took along all the flowers and teddies I’d received and laid them out on his bed at St Catherine’s. He was so proud.”
Stacey, mum Lynne and older brothers Shaun and Ian support St Catherine’s Yellow Day each year – a garden party held each June in the hospice grounds – and were excited to hear about the new Christmas Festival event.
Stacey said: “We’re all looking forward to the event and I was really excited when I heard there’s going to be an ice rink!
“After all the care St Catherine’s gave to my dad, coming along to the Christmas Festival seems like the ideal way to show my support.”
Rachel Hewitt, Head of Trading at St Catherine’s Hospice, said everyone was thrilled to be welcoming Stacey and David to the first ever Christmas Festival.
“We’re very grateful to them for coming along and showing their support,” she said.
“Their attendance really is the icing on the cake at what promises to be two great days of festive celebrations here at St Catherine’s – which will also raise much-needed funds to support our valuable work.”
St Catherine’s Christmas Festival takes place on Friday November 30 between 2pm and 7pm and Saturday December 1 between 12pm and 7pm. For more information visit www.stcatherines.co.uk, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01772 629171.
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