The Hospice of St Francis – Hospice News

  |  Published: Jan 9th 2019

A huge thank you to the thousands of you who showed your support for the Hospice last year by taking part in one of our fundraising events or by holding your own fabulous fundraiser to raise funds for hospice care.

Whether you threw yourself from a plane, trekked through the desert, ran, cycled, walked or simply strolled through the beautiful grounds of Ashridge House soaking up the atmosphere at our annual Garden Party, we are constantly humbled by the level of support and love we receive from our local community.

Every penny you raise goes towards the over £5million we need every year to fund our free care so that we can continue to help people across West Herts and South Bucks live their precious lives well.

Susan Thorp, 52, from Hemel Hempstead, is someone who recently received our support after her partner Ron was diagnosed with vascular dementia in February last year. As his mobility deteriorated and he became increasingly dependent on her, help and support came from various health professionals who often gave different and conflicting advice, leaving Susan feeling frustrated and confused.

When our clinical and supportive care teams stepped in, she finally felt she had someone who could pull all that advice together and help her sort through the muddle.

As soon as the Hospice came on board to support me with Ron’s care it was like finally having a safety net,” Susan says. “Before that the help we were getting was very disjointed and I felt very much on my own.

The biggest thing the Hospice did for me was pull together all that advice under one umbrella and help me sort through the muddle. Having one person to rely on who knows the system and knows how to handle it all was life-changing.”

To read more of Susan’s story visit

As we enter our milestone 40th birthday year (watch this space for more details..), we’re looking forward to thanking and celebrating everyone who has been a part of our journey, welcoming even more of you to our exciting events throughout 2019 and hearing about the ways you’ve chosen to support your local hospice so that we can continue to be there for people like Susan and their families for the next 40 years and beyond.

Here’s some of what’s in store in the year ahead:

Pledge to volunteer in our birthday year

As we celebrate our 40th birthday and thank all those who have supported, volunteered and fundraised for us to get us to where we are today, we will also be looking at what we need to do to sustain us for the next 40 years.

One of our aims is to welcome even more volunteers to the Hospice to join the 1,200-strong army who already give their time to help us – people like Ken Waldram, who at 90, is our oldest volunteer and has been helping out at our Marshalswick charity shop for the past nine years.

We’re asking people to pledge to volunteer in our birthday year. When we were founded in 1979, our founders said that we could ‘use every talent’ so whatever time or talent you may have, we’d love to hear from you and welcome you to the Hospice team. Find out more at

Run or ride for us

If you want to push your boundaries and make 2019 the year you take on a personal challenge, there are plenty of opportunities to run or ride for us, including the fabulous London to Paris Cycle ride. Taking place on 18th-22nd September, this iconic ride will take you from the heart of London through beautiful English villages and into the stunning countryside of rural France before you reach Paris and end your challenge under the Eiffel Tower.

If you’d like to find out more about this exciting challenge of a lifetime, come along to an information evening on Thursday 31st January at the Musette Café in Aldbury or email

Golf Days

Putt the ‘fun’ into fundraising by joining us at one of our ever popular golf days. Starting with Moor Park Golf Day on Tuesday 2nd April, our Golf Days offer the chance to socialise on the green while raising money for a worthwhile cause.

Keep your diary free for Stocks Golf Day – The Challenge Trophy on Friday 5th July and Ashridge Golf Day on Wednesday 11th September.



Update provided by Alison Purdy, Hospice of St Francis.

To find out more about all the ways you can support us throughout 2019 visit and thank you in advance for being a part of our St Francis family. Facebook at: The Hospice of St Francis

Twitter: @hospicstfrancis Tel: 01442 869555

ken waldram - the oldest volunteer
Ken Waldram - the Hospice's oldest volunteer.
susan thorp with her partner ron and their son matthew
Susan Thorp with her partner Ron and their son Matthew. Images courtesy Hospice of St Francis.
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