An 88-year old Oxenholme man has helped to raise more than £16,000 for St John’s Hospice in less than six months.
David Aris, a retired marine engineer, was so moved by the care provided to his wife, June that he, with the support of his family, has been coming up with lots of different ways to raise money since her death last September.
He has donated a number of personal items to the St John’s furniture shop in Garstang including a classic rocking horse, which once belonged to his daughter, Sharon. Other unique items have included memorabilia from his time in passenger ship management in Southampton such as a barometer, a skeleton clock and even a wooden bowl, which was made out of scrap wood from the Queen Mary and given as a gift many years ago.
David’s latest fundraising idea is courtesy of his other daughter, Jill who has designed and created an exclusive limited edition range of beautiful individual handmade ceramic brooches and pendants bearing her interpretation of the St John’s logo. The jewellery is now being sold in the hospice shop.
Speaking about his efforts, David said: “The care and support we received from St John’s over the last six months of June’s life was out of this world. When people use the word hospice, you relate it to death but in actual fact, spending a few weeks there with both of us being looked after by the in-patient staff, actually gave June and I some extra precious months at home. If she had gone straight home from hospital then she wouldn’t have lasted any time at all but we got another five months at home with support from carers, district nurses, and the Hospice at Home nurses.
“Whilst we were in St John’s, the facilities there were being replicated for us by the NHS in our own home. This was all organised by hospice staff and I didn’t have to lift a finger. We were so well looked after that we were a bit nervous about going home. It was almost like being wrapped in cotton wool. As the nurses cared for June, it dawned on me that they were looking after me as well. If I was having a particularly bad day, they would just sit with me, chat and listen. As far as I’m concerned, I will always help the hospice in any way I can.”
We have 10 charity shops across the area including three furniture shops in Kendal, Lancaster and Garstang. To find your nearest shop click HERE.