Angela’s story: A party for Pam
Last month, our brilliant supporter Angela decided to take part in our Mad Hatter’s Tea Party celebration, choosing to host her party in memory of her Mum, Pam. We caught up with Angela to hear more about their celebration.
My connection with the hospice started when my Mum came in for respite care in May 2022. She had been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) in the summer of 2021 and sadly deteriorated, quite quickly, passing away while staying at the hospice in June 2022.
The way the hospice cared for Mum and for us as a family, was just something I can’t even describe. We are forever grateful for the support we received and are always saying we’ll never be able to thank them enough for everything they did and have done for us since.
At Mum’s celebration of life, last year, we had a collection instead of flowers and were able to raise enough to sponsor a leaf on the hospice’s Giving Tree in her name, which will remain there for five years. We also attended their special ‘Light Up a Life’ celebration in December as a family. But I had been wanting to do something special to raise money for the hospice to try and show just how much their support has meant to us, but honestly, I could never quite think of the right thing to do.
When I saw on social media that the hospice was asking people to host a Mad Hatter’s Celebration throughout the month of June, I thought that was perfect! It aligned with Mum’s first anniversary, and it just felt like it was meant to be. I spoke to a couple of friends and my sister, and they agreed that it felt right to come together on Mum’s anniversary to celebrate her life and raise as much as we could for the hospice that looked after her, and us, so wonderfully.
So, I got to planning. I invited family and some of me and my family’s biggest supporters through this difficult year. I also invited my Mum’s friends as I know they are grieving her too. You know, you don’t get to see and hang out with your Mums friends when she isn’t here anymore, and my Mum has some truly amazing friends, so it was important they were there to celebrate her life, with us!
Our celebration was held at the Hyde Park Bandstand on Saturday 10 June, a gloriously sunny day. We had food, drinks and cakes made by friends, all to do with the theme. I made a raffle where you could win some of Mum’s favourite things. There was a cup and socks with flamingos on, a bottle of Baileys, as well as a hamper full of a lot of Mum's favourite things, including Yorkshire Tea, Liquorice Allsorts, a Costa gift card (she loved a latte!), her favourite face cream and many other things. I also had a ‘guess how many’ Liquorice Allsorts were in the jar competition. I asked people to pay £5 towards the food and drinks, £1 to guess how many sweeties were in the jar, 50p to enter the raffle and had a collection for any other donations people wished to make.
I never in a million years thought we would raise over £600 on the day. I am still overwhelmed and shocked when I think of it now. It just shows, how my Mum was loved! Mum was looking down on us all that day and even if she had a bit of FOMO (fear of missing out), I know she was just so happy to see everyone together again.
Now, I am embarking on my journey to become a volunteer at the hospice. I attended their Volunteer Appreciation Party just the other day and I loved having the opportunity to chat with so many of their wonderful volunteers. I can’t wait to get stuck in!
We are incredibly grateful to Angela for sharing her story with us and for hosting such a wonderful party as part of our Mad Hatter’s Tea Party celebration. Together, our partygoers raised over £5,000 throughout June to support our hospice, enabling us to provide quality, holistic care to patients and their families, just like Angela’s when it is needed most. If you’re feeling inspired and would like to find out more about the different ways you could fundraise to support our hospice please visit www.stjohnshospice.org.uk/get-involved/fundraise.