Yes, this is ‘True’. It was ‘with pleasure’ that St Giles Hospice welcomed pop star and former Spandau Ballet frontman Tony Hadley this month.
He created a ‘glow’ when he visited the Whittington site on Wednesday 4th December, meeting patients, staff, volunteers and visitors throughout the hospice. Tony also handed over a £4,000 donation from the proceeds of his Lichfield Festival charity concert at Lichfield Cathedral.
Tony said: “St Giles Hospice is an amazing place – I didn’t know what to expect but I was bowled over. It’s an incredible and beautiful building and the staff have been so fantastic – their friendliness shines through.
“St Giles is a really happy place with a beautiful atmosphere and it’s been a real privilege to come along and meet everybody. I’m full of admiration for the work that they do.”
Backed by his six-piece band, Tony delighted fans with a selection of his classic hits, songs from his new album and a sprinkling of festive favourites, at Tony Hadley Live on Tuesday 3rd December. The concert was presented by Lichfield Festival and Lichfield Cathedral, sponsored by City Jewellers of Lichfield, in aid of Lichfield Festival and St Giles Hospice.
Tony, who is a patron of Lichfield Festival, visited the hospice with Festival Chair Helen Wiser and Festival Director Damian Thantrey the following day to hand over the cheque, and they were given a tour of the facilities by St Giles Group Chief Executive Emma Hodges.
Emma said: “Tony made such a difference at St Giles during his visit. He was so generous with his time, chatting by the bedside of three patients, who are big fans.
“He struggled to leave our Day Hospice having been given a huge hug by one of our ladies and chatting to everyone there. He was clearly moved meeting a lady who following the death of her husband and support for her children from our Phoenix service had set up a family support group.”
“Our team were so grateful for this visit and donation, that he was rewarded with a huge cheer and a round of applause when he left the building to pose for the cheque presentation.
“I have to confess that there was the occasional shout of ‘gold’ up and down the corridors. It was a really uplifting and fun experience for everyone involved.
“We’d like to thank Tony and everyone at Lichfield Festival for their support and generosity which will help to fund the £10m St Giles spends each year caring for local people and their families.”
Helen Wiser, Chair of Lichfield Festival, said: “Tony is a fantastic Festival patron and we’re hugely grateful for his support. Not only were we treated to a fabulously entertaining and memorable evening in the Cathedral but his generosity through this fundraising concert is a major boost for 2020.
“He really has become part of the whole Festival community and it’s always a pleasure to see him in the audience at summer Festival events.”
The 2020 Lichfield Festival will take place 9-19 July, see www.lichfieldfestival.org for details.
For more information about St Giles Hospice and the care it provides, please visit www.stgileshospice.com
PICTURE CAPTION: Tony Hadley with St Giles Group Chief Executive Emma Hodges, Chair of Lichfield Festival Helen Wiser, Festival Director Damian Thantrey, St Giles Hospice Director of Fundraising Elinor Eustace and members of St Giles staff. Picture: Peter Blanchflower