A Sutton Coldfield woman whose Mum was admitted to St Giles Hospice on Christmas Eve for end of life care is calling on people to support the charity by playing its festive raffle.

Rebecca Horton-Worby, aged 35, from Boldmere, said that her Mum Sandra Horton, who had bladder cancer, was so relieved to get the news that there was a space for her at St Giles.

She said: “We got a call on Christmas Eve morning. It was such a relief as St Giles was where she wanted to be. Christmas is a particularly difficult time to go into a hospice – but St Giles made it feel special and like a home from home.”

Mum-of-one Rebecca and her family first encountered St Giles in 1995 when her Nan’s husband, Ken Rose, received end of life care at the hospice. In 2011, her Nan Cynthia Rose was also supported by the hospice after becoming ill with pancreatic cancer.

Rebecca Horton-Worby with a picture of herself and her mother

“When Mum was in hospital and they were discussing her options she knew she wanted to go to St Giles,” added Rebecca. “She had heard such good things about it from family and friends and people in the community.

“We were met by such caring and compassionate staff. We sat down to discuss mum’s final wishes, which were all met thanks to these wonderful people. They did everything they could to make the situation easier.

“As a family, we always love the anticipation of Christmas Eve. I’d bought Mum, my sister Abbie and I matching bracelets with ‘Mum’ and a little flower on. It was such a nice atmosphere on Christmas Eve that I decided to hand out the bracelets while it was just the three of us – it’s a moment I’ll cherish forever.

“Christmas Day was lovely too, as you could hear Christmas carols playing and the joy of people opening presents.”

Rebecca began fundraising for St Giles as a child after her Uncle Ken died. When she got married, she asked for donations to the hospice instead of presents and has taken part in a number of fundraising events, as well as organising a charity ball at the George Hotel in Lichfield. Since her Mum died she has also started volunteering to help out at hospice events.

“The care my family got from St Giles has been absolutely phenomenal,” said Rebecca. “They weren’t just caring for Mum, they were caring for us too. Having St Giles Hospice in our community is a true blessing for people with a terminal illness and for their families.

“I hope people will support St Giles this Christmas by playing the Christmas Raffle. The money raised will help give other families the care, space and support that St Giles provides both at Christmas time and throughout the year.”

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 people.

Tickets for the hospice Christmas 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.

Elinor Eustace, Income Generation Director at St Giles Hospice, said: “Every ticket sold in our raffle will help to ensure we can continue to be there for people like Rebecca and her family when they need us most – your generosity makes such a difference to the care we can provide.

“Playing our Christmas raffle is an easy way to support St Giles while also having a bit of fun, with the chance to win some fabulous cash prizes. Hitting our jackpot could really put a smile on your face to start off the new year!
“Tickets are now on sale and we are so grateful to our community for continuing to support us.”

Anyone wanting to enter the draw (18+ and GB residents only) can find out more or buy raffle tickets online until midnight on Wednesday, January 5 at www.stgileshospice.com/raffle or by calling the St Giles fundraising team on 01543 434020. The raffle will be drawn on Wednesday, January 19.

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