A grandma who has volunteered for St Catherine’s since before the hospice even opened its doors is looking forward to treating herself and her family after winning the charity’s £2,000 lottery jackpot.
Ann Loan began volunteering in a shop to raise funds for the development of the Lostock Hall hospice nearly 40 years ago. A few years later she joined the St Catherine’s lottery when it launched, as another way to support the cause.
She was delighted to win the weekly top prize recently, and after treating her six grandchildren, she’s considering booking a weekend away for her and her husband Norman, who has also supported the hospice in various ways through the years.
Ann, from Fulwood, said: “St Catherine’s was actually the first hospice in the country to launch a lottery, and I signed up straight away. It’s still only £1 a week and I pay by direct debit, so I don’t even need to think about it, and it’s a good way to give a small contribution on a regular basis. Every penny adds up for the hospice.
“I’ve won the odd £5 over the years but never expected to win this much. When I received the letter I thought it was really nice that I’d won £200 – and then I realised it was actually £2,000 and I couldn’t believe it! I was so shocked.
“The grandchildren got an extra treat at Christmas, and I think one of these days I’ll spend some of it on myself. Norman and I haven’t been away since before the pandemic, so I think I’ll save some for a weekend away.”
Ann initially volunteered in a shop in Church Street, Preston, which was set up as part of the huge fundraising effort by the community to open a hospice in the area. She then lent a hand on the inpatient unit for around 25 years before volunteering in the reception gift shop, and now she helps out at the charity’s newest shop set within the hospice grounds, The Mill Shop.
“It’s a truly wonderful place. You couldn’t ask for better care for your loved ones,” she said. “Some of my very close friends have been cared for by St Catherine’s, and I would often speak to people on the inpatient unit and patient visitors in the reception shop, so I’ve seen first-hand what a difference the charity makes.
“The philosophy isn’t about coming to the hospice to die; it’s about helping people to live. Of course, it can also be very sad at times; it can be heartbreaking. But the staff and volunteers go above and beyond in everything that they do, and it’s a very welcoming and happy place too. The charity has gone from strength to strength, and long may that continue.”
Ann, who has recently become a great-grandma, added: “The lottery is one way to help look after people at a very difficult time in their life. The care provided by St Catherine’s is so essential and we must help to keep it going. Fundraising has been affected over the past two years, so the more people play the lottery, the better.”
The hospice’s lottery funds the care of one in 10 of St Catherine’s patients, on the inpatient unit and in people’s own homes through the community Clinical Nurse Specialist team.
Sheila Kennard, head of lottery and promotions, said: “We’re delighted that Ann has won the weekly jackpot; she has done so much to help the hospice over the years and we really value her and all of our volunteers’ dedication.
“The lottery is one of our most reliable and sustainable sources of income, because knowing we can depend on our members’ weekly donation allows us to budget and plan for the future care of local people affected by life-shortening illnesses. This is especially valuable to us when other fundraising streams can be unpredictable, as we’ve seen during the last two years.
“I’d like to congratulate Ann, and to thank her and our other lottery members for their ongoing support – and if you would like to join them, we’d love to hear from you!”
- Join the St Catherine’s lottery for just £1 a week here.
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