Grandmother Andrea Baxter has great affection for St Catherine’s Hospice – she and her husband Keith lived on their family farm opposite the hospice when it opened its doors in 1985.
Her latest connection comes as the winner of the charity’s £2,000 weekly lottery jackpot. The couple, who joined the lottery when it launched in 1993, have generously split the winnings between their family and St Catherine’s.
She said: “St Catherine’s means everything to our family and we owe it such a lot. I started volunteering there soon after it opened and because I lived across the road I’d go and help with the teas and various jobs in the evening.
“Later I was employed in the kitchen two days a week and was offered a job in fundraising in 1992. I loved every minute of it and it was fantastic to be involved in all the major fundraising events from the beginning. I retired in 2010 and still volunteer at events, though that’s stopped for the moment because of the pandemic.
“I did help in the lottery office for a while and know the income helps enormously towards funding patient care. Some think mistakenly that St Catherine’s is a depressing place, but it has an uplifting and happy atmosphere.”
Andrea’s mum Ethel Jackson died at St Catherine’s in 1996 and her late brother-in-law Ian Whiteley, who had multiple sclerosis, attended day care.
Andrea, now of Croston, said: “My sister could never have carried on looking after Ian without the care they received over such a long period of time.”
The lottery funds the care of one in 10 of our patients, and has been the most resilient income stream for St Catherine’s in this last year as many of our fundraising activities have been impacted by the pandemic, such as our events, café and shops.
It costs just £1 a week to join, and there’s a weekly £2,000 jackpot prize, so it’s a great way to support a much-loved local cause all year round, from the comfort of home.”