The family, friends and colleagues of Norman Whitter are paying tribute to him by covering the cost of all of St Catherine’s services today.
In honour of Norman on his birthday, his family, friends and colleagues at Redrow Homes have raised enough money to fund the hospice’s inpatient unit, outpatient lymphoedema clinic, the Clinical Nurse Specialists team who care for people in their own homes, and the Family Support Team who offer emotional, practical and bereavement support to patients and their loved ones.
They are also planning to make a donation on the first anniversary of his death on 25th September through the charity’s ‘Pay for a Day’ initiative.
The family has supported St Catherine’s since Norman’s beloved wife Sadie was cared for by the hospice back in 2000. Norman held a charity dinner and raised £4,000; their eldest daughter Deborah completed the London Marathon and raised a further £4,000 at the time; and as a family they have always supported the Yellow Ribbon Dedications in the summer, and Light Up A Life around Christmas time.
Norman was also involved in building the Woodside Clinic within the grounds of St Catherine’s Park – where outpatients receive treatments for lymphoedema.
Norman became ill on holiday in Greece in August last year, which his family says was a place ‘close to his heart’ as he and Sadie had enjoyed many holidays there together, and he was surrounded by close friends and family.
Friends and family raised an amazing £1,655 in his memory, and a further contribution from Redrow Homes from a collection on behalf of his colleagues and fellow subcontractors, came to an incredible £9,662.
Redrow Homes also donated funds raised from the firm’s annual charity ball in Norman’s memory, bringing the amount generated to a fantastic £23,607.60.
Norman’s daughter Deborah said: “As a family we valued the support and care of St Catherine’s at a time most needed. I think that when you have had first-hand experience of the hospice, you feel you want to give back in any way you can. The amount of funding which has been raised and especially what Redrow Homes has achieved in Dad’s memory really is remarkable.”
Speaking about her beloved dad, who was also a father to Howard and Ruth, and a granddad-of-four, Deborah added: “You can ask anyone who knew him and they would say he was an all-round gentleman; generous, always smiling, and as his granddaughter said at his funeral, a ‘legend’.
“He was devoted to his family and was so proud of them. We miss him terribly but to know that so much money was raised for such a good cause is very comforting and makes us beam with pride.”
Norman grew up in Standish and went to Crooke Primary School. At the age of seven, he joined Crooke Brass Band.
Norman and Sadie became childhood sweethearts and married in St Anne’s Church, Shevington in April 1966. A year later Deborah was born followed by Howard and Ruth.
Norman became an apprentice joiner at Gore’s and attended night school at Wigan Technical College to gain further qualifications, which led to him becoming a site manager for Whelmar Homes.
In the late 1970’s he worked in Saudi Arabia, and would share tales of his many adventures there, sand yachting, water skiing and becoming a very keen squash player. He also became a competent runner and completed many half marathons.
On his return he worked with Redrow Homes as a site manager, area manager, and sales manager.
In 1990 he set up his own joinery business which he was still running, and he also enjoyed attending the gym where he loved to swim in the outdoor pool, and lunching with friends. Norman was also a proud Freemason.
He loved to travel and had visited Australia, Las Vegas, and enjoyed cruises and sailing trips. His favourite destinations were his log cabin in Scotland and Lindos on Rhodes, which is where he was with his family in August.