The daughters of a Staffordshire musician who spent his final days at St Giles Hospice are calling on people to support the charity by backing its summer raffle.
Claire Barton and her sister Melanie Floyd say that their family would not have made it through their dad’s illness without the help of St Giles.
Claire said: “We are so thankful that St Giles were there for us and they were involved every step of the way during Dad’s last months at home and then in the hospice. We will always be so very grateful.
“I hope people will support the St Giles Hospice Summer Raffle. At any moment you could find out that a family member or a friend needs the support of St Giles. It’s our community’s hospice and I want to ensure that it is there in future for families like ours.”
Claire and Melanie’s parents Sue and David – known as ‘Chas’ - Chandler moved back to Lichfield in April 2019 after living in Wales for 13 years. During the previous Christmas the family had all noticed that Chas’s behavior seemed to have changed, and after watching him struggle to cope with the house move Claire and Melanie encouraged him to seek medical help. Chas, 72, was diagnosed with an aggressive brain cancer and was put in touch with the St Giles Hospice community team.
Claire said: “Our community nurses, Amy and Katie, were amazing and we couldn’t have managed without them. They organised a care package so Mum could look after Dad at home. “After six months of being cared for at home, Dad was transferred to the Inpatient Unit at the hospice for the last few days of his life. Amy and Katie made sure that the timing was right for him to go into the hospice, and when they told him he gave us all the thumbs-up, which was his only way of communicating with us by then.
“As soon as we arrived at the hospice we knew he was in the best place, with someone there to help him and us at all times. It was so calm and peaceful and the sense of security, safety and love was just such a massive relief.”
Claire added that her dad received “truly unique care” at St Giles before his death in November 2019. “He was a musician and the nurses would talk to him about his music and listen together to CDs of him playing,” she said. “It was all about the music for him and they tuned in to that and allowed him to share his gift with them, which was lovely for him.” It costs more than £10 million to provide the care St Giles offers every year and the hospice needs to raise £850,000 each month to keep its services going and continue to support more local families living with a terminal illness.
Tickets for the hospice summer raffle are now on sale at £1 each and prizes up for grabs include a jackpot of £8,000, a second prize of £2,000 and other cash prizes. Alison Jerram, Individual Giving Manager at St Giles Hospice, said: "We are asking our local community play our 2021 summer raffle – it’s an easy way to support St Giles while also having a bit of fun, with the chance to win fabulous cash prizes.
"With so much of our fundraising continuing to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, our summer raffle is a vital source of income for St Giles. Every ticket sold in our raffle will help to ensure we can continue to be there for local people like Chas and his family when they need us most. “Tickets are now on sale and we are so grateful to our community for continuing to support us."
Anyone wanting to enter the draw can find out more or buy raffle tickets online until midnight on Wednesday, June 30 at www.stgileshospice.com/raffle or by calling the Lottery Office on 01543 434020. The raffle draw will be made on Wednesday, July 14.
For more information about St Giles Hospice and the expert care it provides, please visit www.stgileshospice.com
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