July 10 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


65th year is eventful one for hospice

MICHAEL McCARTNEY shines a light on events held to celebrate ST MARGARET OF SCOTLAND HOSPICE’S 65th anniversary

The past few weeks at St Margaret of Scotland Hospice have been among the most frenetic of a very busy 65th anniversary year. Several important fundraising activities have taken place and the planning of several more—including two of the biggest events of the year—continue apace.

Among the recent highlights was the Hospice Ladies’ Lunch at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow, which attracted hundreds of guests for a thoroughly enjoyable music and glamour-themed afternoon.

The scene was set for a day to remember and that was exactly how it turned out, with a fantastic fashion show featuring homegrown catwalk kings and queens among the most memorable aspects of another successful event.

Hospice auxiliary nurse Tony Martin was one of just a handful of men in attendance, after he volunteered to strut his stuff in front of the all-female audience to display a range of clothing supplied by House of Fraser. Tony, who donned an eye-catching ‘Summer Getaway’ ensemble featuring a Hawaiian shirt and salmon pink shorts, said of his experience: “That was my modelling debut. It was terrifying but surprisingly good fun.”

As well as the fashion show—hosted by Mark Heyes of ITV’s Lorraine show—guests enjoyed a delicious three-course meal before getting on their feet for some musical entertainment from The Singer Swingers and Mr Onkel. Those who attended helped raise vital funds and many left delighted with the fantastic prizes they won in

auctions and during the event’s raffle, which included two tickets for famous local comedian Kevin Bridges’ upcoming show.

“It was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon and we were delighted to have had the support of so many ladies and all those who generously gave prizes to help the event be such a success,” Sr Rita Dawson, the hospice chief executive, said.

Fundraising cycle

Also hard at work to raise funds for the hospice was the intrepid group who braved rainy conditions to take part in the annual Millport Cycle. The weather might have been more suitable for canoes, but it failed to dampen the spirits of the 26 hospice supporters who got on their bikes to take part in the event—sponsored by The Dolphin Bar in Glasgow’s West End. Each of the cyclists was asked to gather at least £50 of sponsorship funding to take part, which should guarantee a total sum well into four figures, and they are already looking forward to next year’s cycle.

The group left the hospice by bus early in the morning to travel to Largs, set for the short trip by ferry to the Isle of Cumbrae. There, they picked up their hire cycles and began the 10-mile circuit of the island. All of the cyclists were back in Millport by 3pm and were awarded certificates for their efforts before heading back home across the Firth of Clyde.

Golfers’ support

A day earlier, local golfers got into the swing of things again to support the hospice. Clydebank and District Golf Club’s annual Am-Am featured twice as many teams as the 2014 event and raised more than double the proceeds.

Davie O’Neill, chairman of the club’s Am-Am committee who organised the event alongside  colleague Stuart Gallagher, said: “The day was a huge success. We raised £6900, which was well in excess of our target.”

That terrific sum will be split evenly between the Hospice and other chosen charities Macmillan Cancer Support and Erskine.

Mr O’Neill was delighted by the level of support the Am-Am received from local firms and explained the club’s long-standing association with the hospice. “The club has always supported the hospice and we know that they do such a good job,” he said. “I have done a lot of volunteer work for the hospice through my job and for a lot of people at the club, there is a personal connection to it.”

Marathon man

While many hospice supporters were clubbing together to do their bit, one individual was performing a heroic sporting feat of his own to contribute to the worthiest of causes.

Clydebank man Stephen Gallacher put in the extra mile—or 26.2 to be exact—to complete the gruelling Edinburgh Marathon. His family regularly volunteer on the hospice’s Christmas Bus and he decided he wanted to do something personal to help. The race was Stephen’s second marathon—the other also being in the nation’s capital—and the 43-year-old has so far raised an impressive £614.

“I wanted to raise money for a local charity,” he said. “The best thing about the day for me was knowing that the effort you were putting in was to help and support local people.”

Although the day was undoubtedly a positive and rewarding experience for both him and the hospice, it did not come without its hardships.  Mr Gallacher, who plans to carry out further hospice fundraising work in future, added: “It was an amazing feeling to get over the line. The hardest thing is just keeping on track and not letting the mind tell you to quit.

“It was a great day and I’m proud to have achieved it, knowing that it was worth it as all the money I raised will go towards helping the hospice.”

You can donate to Stephen Gallacher’s fundraising effort by going to www.justgiving.com/ste713.

Future events

Looking to the future, efforts are now gathering pace to prepare for the ladies’ 5k midnight walk. Taking place on Saturday, September 5, the event begins at 9.45pm with a registration process,

followed by live music and a keep-fit session with a qualified gym instructor before the walk itself begins at midnight.

After completing their task, the ladies will then enjoy a presentation ceremony and barbecue at 1am, before time is called on what promises to be a fantastic night out at 2am.

Entry is open to ladies only and participants must register beforehand. Girls aged 6-16 may enter if accompanied by an adult. There is a £15 entry fee (£5 per child), which entitles each participant to a special commemorative T-shirt and medal.

The deadline for registration is 5pm on Friday, September 4. Each adult is asked to raise £30 in sponsorship, which can be collected through the Hospice Just Giving page www.justgiving.com/smh. All entrants are asked to complete a registration form, which can be obtained by contacting the Hospice fundraising team on 0141 435 7018 or fundraising@smh.org.uk

Male and female volunteers are also required for the event to help with stewarding, registration and catering. If interested, please contact the fundraising team.

Having a ball

Also looming large, and much-anticipated, on the events calendar is the hospice annual ball, which will have an added sparkle to it this year as we celebrate our 65th anniversary.

Taking place at the Radisson Blu Hotel on Saturday, October 24, the Sapphire Ball will bring together supporters of the hospice for a terrific evening of entertainment featuring top musical acts and much more.

Hosted by hospice patron and popular TV and radio presenter Peter Martin, the event—traditionally the hospice’s biggest of the year in terms of fundraising—will begin with a champagne reception, followed by a four-course meal before the entertainment begins on stage. With the hospice celebrating 65 years of providing the highest quality of care, the theme of this year’s ball—the Sapphire—was an easy one to choose.


Meanwhile, latest developments at the hospice include work for the launch of a new website, featuring an enhanced fundraising section and up-to-the-minute news and events updates, which is due to go ahead imminently.

Our bucket collectors, who carry out such valuable work at their regular locations including the SECC Hydro, enjoyed a night to live long in the memory when they were given special permission to collect at the recent AC/DC at Hampden Park.

As tens of thousands of fans of the veteran rockers descended on the national football stadium, the bucket collectors were out in force at nearby train stations Mount Florida, King’s Park and Crosshill.

This month’s Hospice Lottery winner was Catriona Wright and her son, Gordon, who have developed a plan to share the winnings from their lottery numbers and were thrilled to pick up their prize of £2000.


— If you would like to help to make a difference to St Margaret of Scotland Hospice in its 65th anniversary year, we would be delighted to hear from you! There are many opportunities for volunteering at the hospice or to help the hospice by joining our Monthly Lottery, with a £5 per month subscription. As we must raise approximately £40,000 each week to continue to provide the services at and from the Hospice, we are incredibly grateful to receive the support of those in our community. For more information visit http://www. smh.org.uk




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