A Preston mum whose beloved friend celebrated her marriage in the beautiful grounds of St Catherine’s Hospice has donated her own wedding dress to the charity’s bridal boutique.
Jolene Killeen was a guest at a special wedding celebration held in St Catherine’s Park in August 2016, and vowed to donate her own wedding dress to St Catherine’s after she tied the knot.
She has generously donated her beautiful gown, tiara, shoes, and two bridesmaid dresses to the St Catherine’s bridal boutique located at the charity’s shop in Lune Street, Preston city centre, to help generate funds for the hospice’s specialist care of people affected by life-shortening illnesses.
Jolene was inspired to help the cause after her friend Colette Mason, who worked alongside her at a hair salon, was cared for on the hospice’s inpatient unit, and held her wedding reception in St Catherine’s Park with help from hospice staff and volunteers.
Jolene, from Farringdon Park, explained: “It was such a special day; I helped do Colette’s hair and her bridesmaids’ hair on the day. I told myself that I would one day donate my own dress in case it was ever needed for a bride being cared for by St Catherine’s, or if it could be used to help raise funds for the charity.
“The hospice is an amazing place. It’s like a home from home, and the staff are like angels in disguise; everyone always has a smile for you.”
Jolene got married in November 2017 and says she can understand why some newlyweds want to keep their wedding dresses – but said the day had come when she preferred hers to help a worthy cause.
“It was just gathering dust among all of the Christmas decorations in the cupboard, so this year I decided it was time to donate it,” she said. “It felt like a very special and personal thing to do, knowing that it will help someone who is affected by cancer or another life-shortening illness.
“I haven’t had any second thoughts, and I’d really encourage people to think about donating their wedding dress too – St Catherine’s is such a good cause and it’s much better than your dress being shut away gathering dust. I’m so glad I did it.”
Samantha Jones, area retail manager at St Catherine’s, said: “We’re so grateful to Jolene for supporting us in this very meaningful, personal way. Funds raised from our wonderful bridal boutique help us to continue offering the specialist palliative and end-of-life care of St Catherine’s to local people; we simply wouldn’t be here without the amazing support of our communities.
“We receive some really great quality wedding dresses, as well as bridesmaid and flower girl dresses, mother-of-the-bride outfits, and suits for grooms, ushers and pageboys. So if you know anyone who got engaged over Christmas or the New Year, make sure to tell them all about our Lune Street shop! It’s also home to our formalwear department so it’s a great place to find the perfect ensemble if you have a wedding to attend yourself this year.”