TELLING the stories of hundreds of fundraisers – and encouraging others to do the same – has earned the Observer an award for its coverage of St Luke’s Hospice’s 25th anniversary appeal.
For more than a year we documented the sterling work of staff, trustees, volunteers and backers of the Kenton charity to help it generate an extra £250,000 in its birthday year.
Dozens of photographs and tales of endeavour, entrepreneurship and emotional commitment to the worthy cause were featured, from runners to riders and from coffee morning guests to concertgoers, and we also asked our wonderful readers to donate directly towards the total.
To thank us, and you, the hospice gave the Observer a Silver Supporter Award which was collected by our chief reporter Ian Proctor on Wednesday last week.
Pam Russell, the hospice’s director of fundraising and community relations, said: “This 25th anniversary year was a tremendous success in getting the community involved and one of things we have really welcomed is the support that the Harrow Observer has given.
“It’s been very encouraging for the organisations who held events for us to see themselves in print and it’s encouraged other organisations because they have seen the kind of things people can do, and they thought, ‘Yes, I can do that too’.”
Mrs Russell said the paper helped to raise greater awareness about St Luke’s, introducing readers to the charity and informing them of the services offered and the fact the services are free, despite the hospice receiving no NHS funding.
She said they have also seen a rise in the number of people who are interested in volunteering and the fundraising has continued, with more events being held in the next few months.
The bulk of the £279,039 raised by the appeal is being spent on hiring new nurses to expand the hospice’s Hospice At Home outreach service.
Mrs Russell added: “The key to our care is one-to-one, professional care and being able to introduce more of this has been tremendously valuable.”
Editorial director Kim Chapman said: “ We are delighted with the award and even more so that the campaign has been such a success.
“We accepted the award on behalf of our generous readers who give so much and do so much to make the world a better place.
“Our thanks to the hospice fundraising and community relations staff for their hard work too,” she added.