Victoria and James' story: Supporting St John's for almost 30 years

We recently caught up with supporters Victoria and James whose connection with St John's has been going strong for almost 30 years! Over the years, their support has taken many forms including taking on challenges and attending events. Since 2001, the pair have donated a percentage of profits from their business Vishana, an outlet for luxury cashmere and fine wool shawls and accessories.

Our connection to St John’s started in 1995 when my ex-partner Jonathan became an inpatient for the first of a series of three respite care stays. During his third stay he died on 15th October 1996 and St John’s transformed the last year of his life and gave him a peace beyond peace with their amazing palliative medical and nursing care.

The priest at the time held a memorial in the chapel for Jonathan who was Jewish which meant loved ones in London could attend a service and pay their last respects. The hospice helped to arrange transport back to Israel for burial on the Mount of Olives with his family members.

Victoria and James’ support began back in the days when we were pink!

I always wanted to give something back to St John’s for what they had done for Jonathan and in 2001, I suggested that we start a sale as a fundraiser with our business Vishana, which we have done ever since. Vishana is an outlet for luxury cashmere and fine wool shawls and accessories. We provide high quality products sourced ethically and sustainably. We absolutely love the relationship we have with everyone at St John’s, all the patients and staff, and we really enjoy participating in the events put on by their fantastic Fundraising team. Over the years we have attended many ‘Light Up a Life’ events at Christmas and most recently James did the abseil challenge. He had a great day and can’t wait for the next one!

James has previously taken part in a winter ascent of Jebel Toubkal, the highest mountain in North Africa back in 2005 and in 2010 he climbed the South ridge of the Lagginhorn in the Swiss Alps as another fundraiser.

James alongside his fellow abseilers in October. They were all smiles after their descents down the UK’s tallest sculpture, the Olympic Park’s iconic ArcelorMittal Orbit!

With regard to anyone who wants to take on a challenge to support St John’s I would say, ‘Go for it, you couldn’t pick a more worthy cause to do something spectacular for.’ St John’s Hospice is absolutely brilliant and has immense integrity, providing a safe, loving and expert environment for people who need the special and wonderful end of life care it provides.

We’re incredibly grateful to Victoria and James for sharing their story with us and for their kind words. If you're feeling inspired, you can take a look at our calendar of upcoming events here. If you would like to shop their range of luxury shawls and accessories, pop along to the hospital on any of the following dates:

  • 10th January 2024
  • 24th January 2024
  • 7th February 2024
  • 15th February 2024
  • 21st February 2024
  • 6th March 2024
  • 13th March 2024

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