Outstanding Fundraising Achievement by Society Staff Member

18 June 2014

Gill Fundraising

Gill Shaw, an inspiring member of staff from the Society’s Arrears Department, made headlines this month thanks to her outstanding fundraising efforts in aid of St David’s Hospice.

Gill’s association with St David’s Hospice began shortly after the death of Steve Lewis, the son of Gill’s close friend, Jackie. In December 2011, only four months after completing a 24 hour gym marathon for the Sparkle Appeal, Steve was diagnosed with T4 Stomach Cancer with no hope of treatment and sadly passed away on 21st December 2011.

Thanks to St David’s Hospice Care, Steve was able to live the remainder of his life to the full and spent his final days with his family, going out in a wheelchair with his friends and spending the night in the Celtic Manor in the Presidential Suite. Steve even managed to watch the Newport Dragons and arrange a gathering of 200 of his friends at a local pub to say goodbye.

In April 2012, along with Steve’s mum and a group of friends, Gill set to bring out something positive from this terrible loss and, soon after, they decided to arrange a charity walk in aid of St David’s Hospice Care. The first walk raised just over £4,000, and at the end of the first year they raised almost £13,000. Two years later, they have now raised over £25,000.

The annual fancy dress walks raise the largest amounts of money for the fund, but the money raised is not from walks alone. Gill and the team have organised over 30 community events, as well as making and selling various craft items. They have managed to catch the imagination of others and have been successful in promoting a number of events including entertainment evenings, coffee mornings, It’s a Knockout swimming events, bingo nights, curry nights, auctions, raffles and much more.

Gill and the team’s fundraising efforts also have celebrity backing with professional footballer, John Hartson, whose story inspired Steven during his illness, lending his name to promotional resources and donating numerous books and football shirts for auction.

St David’s has grown to become the UK’s largest provider of hospice at home care, enabling patients to remain in their own homes, and to die at home, if that is their choice. Their services provide care and support to over 3,200 patients and families every year, at a cost of more than £5.8 million annually. They provide and continue to develop a free and comprehensive palliative care service of excellence throughout Caerphilly, Monmouthshire, Newport, Torfaen and within South and Mid Powys for people facing a progressive life-limiting illness which is no longer curable.

Gill said: “I’m extremely proud of the team’s outstanding achievement, and I’m honoured to be able to raise funds for a charity I feel extremely passionate about. Seeing first-hand the hope and enjoyment St David’s brought Steve and his family in his final moments inspires me to keep doing all I can, and I’m grateful for the generous donations I’ve received from friends, family and work colleagues.”

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