17 January 2024

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Lottery win “felt like a gift from Charlotte”

Couple to split lottery jackpot between sponsorship of son’s marathon effort and a treat to honour daughter’s bucket list wish

Mike and Penny Robinson lottery winners

A surprise win on the St Christopher’s lottery for Michael and Penny Robinson, felt like a present from their daughter Charlotte, who was the very reason they started to support the hospice.

The retired couple from Goring by Sea began playing the lottery while Charlotte was being cared for at St Christopher’s in 2017 and the whole family’s appreciation and gratitude for the care and support they received, has seen family and friends raise more than £50,000 since Charlotte’s death, aged 37.

“It was such a surprise when I opened the envelope,” said Michael. “The first thing I saw was the cheque. At first, I thought it was £15, then £150 before finally realising it was £1500.

“It’s difficult to accept such a large sum of money from a hospice but it felt like a gift from Charlotte, because she was so committed to and passionate about St Christopher’s.”

Michael and Penny have been giving some thought to what they might do with their windfall and think they’ve settled on a plan which will see some of the money finding its way back to the hospice, while they will also spend a little on a symbolic treat.

“Charlotte had a bucket list and insisted that no day should be wasted,” Michael adds. “Sadly, there were several things she wasn’t able to fulfil, and she and her mother were great fans of afternoon tea. So, I think we’ll go somewhere special for tea in London.”

Not content with joining 37 friends and family members from all over the world to take part in the St Christopher’s Fun Walk two days after her funeral, walking 57 miles from the hospice to Charlotte’s childhood home in Goring, cycling from London to Amsterdam and walking a further 100km from Eastbourne to Arundel, Charlotte’s brother Jez will be running the Brighton marathon in 2024 to raise further much needed funds.

Michael says: “I think a fair bit of the £1500 will filter its way back to St Christopher’s by way of sponsoring Jez. We’re so proud of all the fundraising efforts he’s put in.

“The money raised so far went towards refurbishing the hairdressing salon and complementary therapy rooms which was great because it felt very personal and gave us something tangible that we could identify with and see that it was making a difference to other people.”

Charlotte spent two and half weeks in St Christopher’s and was then cared for at home in Beckenham, where Penny says Charlotte and the family so appreciated knowing they could call the hospice 24 hours a day.

Now, six years later, the couple share a real sense of warmth when they think about St Christopher’s.

“What matters most to me is that I know when I go back there I feel tremendously welcome and hugely supported,” says Michael.

Penny adds: “For me, going into St Christopher’s feels like having a big blanket going around you. We’ve maintained a relationship and it’s important for us to know what it’s doing for other people.”

If you’d like to support St Christopher’s in memory of someone special, or you maybe just fancy your chances of winning one of our monthly jackpots, playing the lottery couldn’t be simpler – just click here.

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