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Press Release Archives - St Christopher's Hospice

Join us to Remember with Ribbons this summer

Hundreds of people will come together at St Christopher’s Hospice this month to remember people they love who have died.

We’re inviting the community to pay tribute to loved ones with a display of colourful ribbons at our annual Remembering with Ribbons events.

The community are invited to hang their ribbons on the tree at Caritas House, Orpington on 16 August or at the main hospice site in Sydenham on 17 August.

Wendy McMahon with Ribbons

The ribbons will have the names of those they are dedicated in memory of written on them. Anyone wishing to dedicate a ribbon can do so online at https://bit.ly/RibbonsatStChristophers or by phoning our fundraising team on 020 8768 4575.

Wendy McMahon, an Occupational Therapist at St Christopher’s, dedicates a ribbon each year in memory of her husband Glenn who died in 2015.

She said: “Remembering with Ribbons is a really positive thing to do. Obviously I remember Glenn all the time, but joining with others who are grieving is really important too. There is a unity between people that have lost loved ones. Things like this, little by little, help you learn to live with it.

“The ribbon dancing around in the breeze on the tree of ribbons reminds me of the energetic, vital person Glenn was. It also gives me the chance to help support other patients at St Christopher’s with a gift.”

She added: “I get great joy remembering the times we had, Glenn and I. There are seasons in your life and that was one of the seasons of my life, and probably one of the best seasons.”

Ribbons 2022
Photo by Rachel Manns

Rachel Hedley, Legacy and in Memory Manager at St Christopher’s, said: “Our colourful and vibrant Remembering with Ribbons events is always so heart warming as hundreds of people from across South London come into our beautiful gardens to celebrate loved ones who have died.”

“By remembering your loved one you are also supporting the hospice and helping us to provide care for someone else and their family and friends at the end of life.”

:: To dedicate a ribbon or to find out more visit https://bit.ly/RibbonsatStChristophers or call the hospice fundraising team on 020 8768 4575.

£500,000 fundraising effort a huge success as target smashed

We’re delighted to announce that we’ve smashed our fundraising target of £500,000 as part of our What Matters Most campaign.

Together, we’ve raised almost £600,000 and counting – an incredible amount which will help us to do so much and meet the challenges of both rising costs and growing demand.

In the video below, you can hear from a number of people who wanted to share their thanks and let you know what your money will do.

Every donation made during the 36-hour online fundraising campaign was doubled by match funders.

We’re currently responding to an increase in demand for our services, which comes at a time when income has fallen due to the cost of living crisis. A Hospice UK report this year found that the cost of living crisis could have a devastating impact on hospices in the UK, and the services we provide. 

Jez Robinson appeared in the campaign film which you can watch below. His sister, Charlotte Smith, was supported by the hospice. She died the day after her 37th birthday in April 2017.

He said: “I’m always so grateful for the support they gave Charlotte. Everyone was so kind, so understanding and I think those days after Charlotte passed we just got great comfort from being here [at St Christopher’s].

“My mum and dad still do that now … it felt like a place where Charlotte was happy.”

The fundraising campaign was named What Matters Most – a reference to a question our staff strive to ask each of their patients, carers, loved ones and supporters; What Matters Most To You?

More than 125 teams took part in the campaign, each tasked with rallying friends, family and colleagues during the 36-hour period to show their support for the hospice via social media, text, WhatsApp or email.

A number of staff got involved in the campaign with our Sydenham Community Team organising an amazing fashion show and our Caritas House team holding a hugely successful fun day.

Each team had their own dedicated fundraising webpage and competed with other teams to see who could raise the most money.  

Jez Robinson says in the film: “In my head I had what I thought a hospice was, and I guess I was pretty scared because I knew Charlotte wasn’t well and I was kind of still hoping she was going to get better.”

He adds: “What Matters most to me, ultimately, is to continue fulfilling what my sister wanted me to do. She told me to keep raising awareness and funds for St Christopher’s, and what matters most to me is that I can continue doing that, in any way that I can. So please join me in supporting St Christopher’s while they fight rising costs.”

Ben Parish, 17, also features in the film and talks about the death of his mum and grandad and the support he received from St Christopher’s Child Bereavement service, Candle.

“I was just 12 years old when my mum died,” he says. “I had no idea. I was young and confused. St Christopher’s were there for me when I needed them and they might need to be there for you one day too.”

“They helped me open up and realise that my mum and my grandad are a part of me. Please donate during the campaign so they can continue to help people.”

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