Rosemary’s story - what your support means

Paul, Charlie and Rosemary at Dove House Midnight Walk

Paul, Charlie and Rosemary at Dove House Midnight Walk

Rosemary lost her husband Paul to bowel cancer four years ago. Thanks to the generous support of the local community raising funds for the hospice, he was able to have his final wish. He died with dignity, at Dove House Hospice with Rosemary by his side. She wants as many people to support the Winter Raffle as possible so that the unconditional support she and her husband received can be experienced by many more.

She says: ‘Paul was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2013. As a fit and healthy 57 year old who played golf and went to the gym several times a week; it was a huge shock to us.

When the tumour, not so fondly referred to as ‘Herbert’ was discovered, it was already quite large and the surgery and treatments Paul went on to have were invasive and unpleasant. Paul was desperate not to be seen as the ‘man with cancer’ and he faced his illness with humour and a determination to put something back into the services he was going to need as he got more poorly-often wearing his ‘coffin dodger’ t-shirt as he raised thousands of pounds for Dove House Hospice as well as other causes that had meant so much to us.

Paul loved coming to Dove House. He loved playing his guitar and in his youth dreamed of being the next Eric Clapton. Our first interactions with Dove House were through a referral to music therapy and with the music therapist, Patrick, Paul created two pieces of music that not only gave him a creative outlet and a place to escape to a few hours each week, but which were composed for use in the complementary therapy rooms so that other patients could enjoy them-that’s the sort of selfless man Paul was.

Towards the end of October 2016 Paul became very poorly and was admitted to the inpatient unit at Dove House. ‘Everyone was so kind, making me and our dog, Charlie, feel so welcome. There was nothing that the nurses wouldn’t do for us; from making sure that we knew what was happening to pushing two beds together so that I could hold Paul close. Thanks to people like you who have supported the hospice, Paul was comfortable and peaceful when he died and for that I will be forever grateful.’

With one of the lowest government funding in the country, the hospice relies heavily on public generosity to continue to help local people and their families living with life-limiting illnesses. It is hoped the Your Charity Lottery Winter Raffle will raise over an additional £225,000 for the hospice. Tickets for the Winter Raffle are only £1 and with a top prize of £2,019 your support could mean a great start to the New Year.

If you would like to support people in your local community like Rosemary and her husband you can buy tickets to the Winter Raffle by clicking here

Meet the team - Clare Stocker

Meet the team - Clare Stocker

With over 20,000 entries in our weekly draw making sure all the ‘t’s’ are crossed and ‘i’s’ dotted takes a lot of time and organisation. Managing an army of volunteers and staff to keep everything ticking is the job of Senior Lottery Administrator, Clare Stocker. We manage to catch up with Clare for a few minutes to find out more about her role, over a cup of tea of course!

Welcome to our new beneficiary the Charlie Cookson Foundation

We are very excited to welcome the Charlie Cookson Foundation as our latest beneficiary. Over the last few weeks we have been working closely together to prepare for today’s launch and have been inspired by the courage, generosity and drive of Charlie’s family and friends to help as many families as they can. The Foundation provides financial support for parents caring 24/7 for their seriously ill children and have helped over 50 families since it was created in 2013. We are delighted to welcome them into our lottery family and to help provide regular and valuable income to help as many families as possible when they need it most.

Charlie Cookson received regular hospital treatment for muscle and bone problems before also suffering from a blood disorder. In early 2012, scans also revealed that Charlie had epilepsy. He was later awarded the South Tyneside Child of Courage Award in April 2013, before passing away on 29th October 2013. His parents Sarah and Christopher Cookson had to reduce their working hours to care for Charlie full-time and know only too well how difficult it can be coping with the stresses and strains of everyday life on top of caring for a seriously ill child. They set up the Charlie Cookson Foundation in his honour. It provides help towards the financial burden of essential nursing facilities, bills, rent and other monetary difficulties which arise from full-time care.

Charlie with his mum and dad, Sarah and Chris

Charlie with his mum and dad, Sarah and Chris

Chris and Sarah, Charlie’s parents and the founders of the charity, explain: “When your child is born, the last thing you want to hear from a Consultant or Doctor is that your child won’t live a long life. We’ve now supported 53 families with up to £3,000 each, and we’ve seen the Foundation grow from our breakfast bar table to now have a shop in South Shields Town Centre and one down at the Community Centre.

“We are absolutely delighted that Your Charity Lottery will be working with the Foundation. We’re so grateful for the incredible support that we have from the local community, but our work is done all over the country, so to have support from outside of South Shields too means so much.”

The Foundation also offers financial support to families after bereavement, recognising the difficulty of many situations in which families are forced to vacate the housing they have been provided with just two weeks after their child passing.

Just over 100 players together could provide financial support for one family for up to 3 months. Could you be one of them? To join click here.

Summer Raffle Jackpot Winner

Mr Fletcher Jackpot winner.jpg

Mr Fletcher, a retired joiner from Hedon, is the lucky winner of our Summer Raffle jackpot of £3,000. He was very surprised to get the call and was delighted with the prize. He told us ‘the last time I won first prize in a raffle was in 1978. It was a live pig and although the ticket only cost 20p at the time, I ended up spending £110 on a new freezer to store it!’  He visited Dove House to collect his winning cheque and take a tour of the hospice. He was impressed with the facilities and was delighted to see what his support meant to the hospice.

The Summer Raffle raised a fantastic £43,444 which will go towards the many services Dove House Hospice is able to develop and run free of charge to the user. A huge thank you to everyone who taken part in our Summer Raffle.

To join the lottery and support Dove House in continuing to provide vital care in the community click here.