Patrons: Bill Beaumont, Mark Lawrenson & Tisha Merry Reg Charity No: 512186

Handbag find leads to hospice donation – 25 years down the line

Wendy Brown donationA charity supporter has handed over a generous donation to St Catherine’s Hospice from some money she found in her mum’s handbag shortly after she died – 25 years ago.

Wendy Brown had the ingenious idea to put the £400 she came across in Joyce Strafford’s bag into a building society so it could build up some interest, and in her mum’s 25th anniversary year, she has given a £1,000 cheque to the Lostock Hall hospice.

“It’s been 25 years since I lost my mum,” she explained. “At the time I found £400 in her handbag, but by then her bank accounts had all been settled.

“I didn’t want to keep it because it wasn’t mine, so I decided that a local charity should benefit, but I wanted to see if it would build up some interest.

“This year seems like the appropriate time because of the 25-year milestone.”

Wendy, from Clayton-le-Woods, chose St Catherine’s because she knows how the charity helps local people and their families.

“My mum had lung cancer and hospices weren’t as prominent then as they are now, so she died at home cared for by my dad. I know that many of St Catherine’s patients have cancer and the hospice cares for them, so it seemed fitting.

“I’ve also volunteered for the St Catherine’s Light up a Life appeal for more than 20 years, offering my time on the stall at St George’s Shopping Centre in Preston each Christmas for people to make dedications, so I felt like the hospice would benefit from the donation.”

Lorraine Charlesworth, the hospice’s director of community and income, said: “We’d like to offer our sincere thanks to Wendy for thinking of St Catherine’s and donating such an incredible amount for our much-loved and much-needed charity. Without support from people like her, we really couldn’t continue to be here to provide our specialist, personalised and compassionate care to local people free of charge.

“Our services are in higher demand than ever and we face ongoing fundraising challenges as we need to raise a staggering £3.5m of our annual £5.2m running costs every single year.

“We just wouldn’t be able to achieve that without the backing of our wonderful communities and people going to great lengths in support of their local charity, so however you show your support for St Catherine’s – by making a donation; sponsoring individuals who take on charity challenges such as our Moonlight and Memories Walk; taking part in our weekly lottery scheme; attending our events such as Yellow Day; shopping in our charity stores; volunteering; or visiting The Mill café in our grounds, we really do appreciate it!”