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Keith Ainsworth: Sootyman

St John’s Hospice is proud to be caring for and supporting Keith Ainsworth and his family. Keith is currently receiving treatment from St John’s including pain management.

He has been fundraising for the RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People) for 35 years. Famed for his fundraising throughout the area he is known as The Sootyman, after the mascot for the RNIB.

As part of St John’s commitment to Keith’s care we have supported his last wish of collecting the last £10,000 of a lifetime fundraising target of £500,000. We are delighted that through the support of the North West community, Keith has reached his target!

Keith and his family kindly ask that any further donations are now to be made to St John’s Hospice.

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Keith said, “It’s important to me to fundraise for a charity where money is spent locally. Local fundraising for local charities is really important – look at St John’s Hospice, which is funded by people from across the area – they’ve been absolutely marvellous, they can’t do enough for you and as for the soups and the sweet trolley – just brilliant. “Sight loss is something that has hit me hard over the years, I miss my driving but most of all I miss being able to watch the football and cricket. I may be cracking on now but if I could raise that last £9,625 it would be like achieving a lifetime ambition.”

Catherine tells Keith the good news

Director of Income Generation, Catherine Butterworth give Keith the news that he’s reached his target

St John’s Hospice provides care to those with life shortening conditions like Keith as well as their families from Grasmere to Garstang. This care is provided freely. We receive around 30% of our funding from the NHS while the remaining 70% comes from donations and fundraising. Every pound makes a difference.

Keith’s wife Carol added, “I was apprehensive at first about coming here to St John’s but all of them here; well they can’t do enough for Keith and I. Keith and I have been married for 33 years next month and his energy has inspired me to help him – even if it has sometimes meant counting copper coins on the carpet in the early hours of morning!”

Keith and Graham Liver from BBC Radio Lancashire

Graham Liver from BBC Radio Lancashire visits Keith to congratulate him on reaching his target

Maddy Bass, Director of Nursing and Quality, St John’s Hospice said, “Keith’s work is a great example of supporting good causes, which as a charity we fully recognise. Keith is a lovely man and it’s a privilege to care for him.”

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