The legacy of a ‘very special’ wife, auntie and friend who worked tirelessly for her local community is being honoured through an amazing fundraising effort for St Catherine’s Hospice.
Sue Taylor-Green helped raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for charities and to improve outdoor facilities for families in South Ribble during her 14-year tenure as chair of the Ulnes Walton Bridleways Association.
The group holds an annual charity horse ride, and opted to support St Catherine’s this year after Sue received specialist end-of-life care from our nurses at the hospice and at her home in Ulnes Walton Lane last year.
Sue’s husband Alan Green says: “Sue was a real home-bird so she wanted to spend as much time at home as possible during her final weeks, and St Catherine’s helped make that happen.
“Sue was in the hospice for a week in September last year to get her medication under control, which was a real weight off my shoulders and took that pressure away; the care in St Catherine’s is as good as it gets. We had a little party for her 65th birthday while she was there, with cake and balloons and a bit of singing.
“She came back home for a couple of weeks which meant a lot to her, and we continued to receive support from the St Catherine’s Clinical Nurse Specialists at home – I haven’t got the words to say how wonderful they were.”
Sue spent her final days in the hospice in October, and loved being visited by family, friends and her beloved dogs.
“She was very settled and I know she was happy to be back in the hospice,” Alan says. “She knew that St Catherine’s was the best place for her; she felt safe and comfortable. It really is some place.”
‘Sue’s Spring Ride’ achieved the biggest turnout the association has ever seen, with 117 people of all ages taking part.
Chair of the Ulnes Walton Bridleways Association and Sue’s close friend, Janet Berry, says: “We had a fabulous day; the sun shone and we all shared happy memories of Sue and raised a fantastic amount for St Catherine’s.”
They chose a yellow theme in recognition of the St Catherine’s yellow ribbon dedications in our grounds during the summer, and because Sue loved the colour.
The event raised a wonderful £2,000 for St Catherine’s from a raffle and sponsorship money, and a further £2,000 has been donated in Sue’s memory from other events held by her family and friends, including a dog show in recognition of her love of animals.
Janet adds: “Sue was a very special person and we miss her greatly. We always had so much fun and such a laugh with her; her smile reached all the way up to her eyes. We just had a blast with her in charge.
“She loved a glass of Chardonnay (sometimes during our meetings) and she loved dressing up. We also hold a Halloween ride each year to raise money for the improvement of bridleways in the area, and Sue always went to town with her outfit. She was a big fan of Harry Potter so she sometimes came dressed as Hermione, and she looked great.”
Over the years, the association has raised more than £100,000 to create a series of multi-use pathways and bridle tracks throughout South Ribble, to provide a safe space for horse riders as well as cyclists, joggers, and members of the public to enjoy time outdoors.
They’ve supported other charities too, including Cancer Research after Sue was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2016.
Sue – who has a PhD in biochemistry and worked as a senior lecturer teaching A-Levels in biology at Winstanley College for 20 years – initially had immunotherapy treatment, and saw an improvement for around 18 months.
Doctors then discovered she had a tumour on her brain after she began experiencing headaches. She underwent radiotherapy followed by six courses of chemotherapy, as she continued to ride and take part in fundraising activities. She was also a national endurance horse riding champion and chair of the Lancashire branch of Endurance GB for two decades, and competed in cross-country orienteering races up until last year.
Alan – who grew up in New Zealand and met Sue during a visit to England when he was 21, before swiftly moving to the other side of the world to be with her – says: “She was always so lovely with everyone, she just had a way about her and everyone just gravitated towards her and wanted to get involved with whatever she was doing. She was also a fabulous auntie – our nieces and nephews all adored her so much.
“She loved her horses and dogs and she also enjoyed baking and making jam from the fruit in our garden – I loved her damson jam on toast in the winter.
“I’m determined to do more to support St Catherine’s in the future in Sue’s memory, to thank them for their wonderful care in her final weeks.”