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Keech Matters Your award-winning hospice •

Keech reaches out to Herts •

This summer’s hottest events

Spring 2018

The magazine of Keech Hospice Care

“The nurses don’t treat me like a patient - I can be myself.”

Orla and her family get on with living, thanks to Keech Hospice Care

How we gave Hazel a voice when MND robbed her of speech

TV celeb Adam Frost

returns to look after his garden legacy


Events Guide 2018! Get involved: if not now, then when?

Registered Charity No. 1035089

Do you like hearing from us? As a charity, around 70% of our funding for our

We would very much like to stay in touch with

care services comes from our local community

you so - if you’re happy for us to contact you by

and supporters. Without your wonderful support,

phone and email - please take a moment to let us

we couldn’t continue caring for and supporting

know by completing the form which comes with

seriously ill adults and children, and their families.

this issue of Keech Matters.

Keech Matters is one way we let you know the

You can be sure we will treat your data with respect

difference your support is making to patients like

and we promise never to sell or swap your details

Hazel and Orla, whose stories are featured in this

with any third parties.

issue. Occasionally, we also like to let you know about our fundraising appeals and events, shop

You can also change your mind

activities, and volunteering opportunities so you

about how you hear from us

can get involved.

at any time. Simply write to us at Keech Hospice Care, Great

However, from May this year, new legislation around

Bramingham Lane, Luton, LU3

data protection (called the General Data Protection

3NT, phone 01582 707940

Regulations) means we can’t phone or email you

or drop us an email at

unless we have your specific permission to do so.




Sign up at:

Registered Charity No. 1035089 c e e k . w w w h or call: 01582 707940


Letter from Liz

3 News in brief


a busy time at pring is always t into action Care, as we pu Keech Hospice is to make e year. One aim our plans for th not somewhere es know we’re iti un m m co r sure ou lp patients and e to die – we he people just com to the full. families live life t PCC) is all abou e Care Centre (K tiv llia Pa h and stay ec Our Ke ses to live well e-limiting illnes lif ith w ts ul tured below) ad supporting lped Hazel (pic he e w w ho er r story n page 5, discov chard told us he independent. O Her husband Ri e. as se di e on worst things otor neur live well with m mits one of the ad he k ea sp to lost the ability an I love”. because Hazel ice of the wom vo e th g in ar he n ai ag was “never d their families, s like Hazel, an nt tie pa r fo re able to ca s give us We wouldn’t be e way you alway it’s fantastic th d an re rs te or pp 2017, our My Ca without our su n’s Best Awards to Lu e th in e, ar r exampl Choice aw d. your backing. Fo g the People’s in ud cl in , ds ar , thanks am won two aw arity of the Year Coordination Te Supporters Ch ’s ub Cl ll ba ot n Town Fo We’re also Luto voted for us. of people who r be m nu g in lm to the overwhe es and Milton Keyn , Hertfordshire re hi ds ’d or df Be ss ing Orla, 3, who Supporters acro as Appeal featur tm ris Ch r s, ou to nerously d so many first contributed ge r family have ha he d an rla O e. ristmas at hom ory on page 9. never had a Ch am. Read her st te re ca s n’ re h’s child thanks to Keec Bubble our brand-new our events (like of e on in ed lv get invo with this Keech If you’d like to 2018, enclosed r fo e id Gu ts your free Even Rush), dip into you! Matters. Thank

5 Finding the

right words

When MND left Hazel unable to speak, Keech Hospice Care helped her husband Richard hear her voice.

7 Adam Frost

remembers us

Our Courtyard Garden is the celebrity TV gardener’s precious legacy to us – what will yours be?

8 Reaching the

heart of Herts

How we’re bringing our care closer to home for children with life-limiting illnesses in Hertfordshire.

9 “We always

wanted a normal family life.” Orla, 3, has spent most of her life in hospital. Now Keech is helping the family get on with living.

11 Join Me

Discover a new you by volunteering at your local Keech charity shop.

12 Summer of fun

Best wishes,

Get the fundraising buzz with our hot line-up of summer events.

13 Putting families first

Stay in touch Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter @KeechHospice Watch us on YouTube

If you have any questions or would like to find out more about getting involved, email us at: Visit our website

Our charity partner Center Parcs Woburn Forest has fun fundraising for Keech Hospice Care.

14 Fall in love with fundraising

After beating cancer, Sarah ran the London Marathon to “give something back”. Now she works for Keech Hospice Care.

15 Play our lottery

News in brief

Did you know we’ve won three awards for our care and leadership?


ur CEO Liz Searle - a nurse who has worked her

“When I became CEO

way up the ranks to become the first woman to

in 2016, I had two main

take the helm of Keech Hospice Care – has won

aims. To ensure we meet

the prestigious Charity Comms Inspiring Communicator

the needs of patients and

award. The award recognises Liz’s work in publicising

families, and for our staff

the big issues for life-limited and terminally ill patients,

and volunteers to know

and their families, both locally and nationally.

they’re valued. I’m proud we’re achieving both.”

In other awards news, Keech Hospice Care’s My Care

Liz Searle, CEO

Coordination Team hit a double whammy by scooping Luton’s Best Care in the Community and People’s Choice Awards.

Donations help us help more patients

Our amazing, one-of-a-kind team goes the extra mile 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to make sure people in Luton and south Bedfordshire with a life-limiting or terminal illness get the highest standard of care in their own homes, free of charge, in the final weeks and months of their lives. Since the team’s beginnings three years ago, it’s already cared for more than 2,000 patients.

Last year, My Care Coordination Team supported around 700 new patients and stopped 224 unnecessary hospital admissions.

We’ve got two new wet rooms on our children’s unit, thanks to big grants from Morrison’s Foundation and the Screwfix Foundation. Wet rooms are easier than bathrooms for patients to use without assistance and they reduce the amount of lifting and moving involved – so good news for patients and staff alike! The Harpur Trust has also given us a generous grant to help us help more life-limited children in the Bedford area. Many thanks to all our wonderful supporters! In November, one of our treatment rooms finished having a full upgrade and reopened for patients at the Keech Palliative Care Centre. The renovation went ahead when the Varney family (award nominees for their fundraising – see left) pledged to raise the funds needed. What would we do without our fantastic community and supporters?

Smiles all round He was out and about for 22 nights, travelled over 1,300 miles and brought joy to children and families across Luton and surrounding areas. No, not just Santa – Luton’s much-loved train, Smiley Sam! With our Sleigh taking care of the Bedford area, they raised an incredible £49,000. Also, a hugely deserved well done to the Varney family,

Thank you to all the amazing volunteers who gave their

runners-up in Luton’s Best Fundraisers Award, and

time, to Friends of Bedford for organising the Sleigh, and

Lottie Ward, a patient of children’s day support, who

to Volkswagen Financial Services for loaning us the car to

won Luton’s Best Child of Courage Award. The Varneys

tow Smiley Sam and Santa.

have raised around £35,000 for Keech Hospice Care, in

Our Luton and Bedford Santa Runs raised over £20,000

memory of Aimee Varney, 21, who was a nurse at Keech

and our first-ever Keech Christmas Market was a huge

until her sudden death four years ago.

success, raising over £13,000 over the weekend.



01582 707940


Keech scores a HATTER TRICK Keech Hospice Care is Luton Town Football Club’s Supporters Charity of the Year 2017-18. With the backing of the family of Keech Hospice Care patient and lifelong Luton Town fan Rob Figgins, we kicked the online public vote into the goal with 1,700 votes! We’re now into a fantastic year of fundraising which has already seen LTFC supporters run for Keech in the Love Luton 10K, Smiley Sam winning fans over Christmas and a dedicated home match day. There’s still a lot to play for! In the meantime, watch out for the up-coming fundraising event on 29 March - the Kenny Seat Challenge, when Luton Town supporter Madison, 12, and her dad Derek are being sponsored to sit on every seat in the stadium (10,200 seats). You can sponsor Madison at We wish her good luck!

Read all about us "The only thing I want for Christmas is money for Keech Hospice Care and sick children..." Did you see the wonderful letter Luke, 8, from Knebworth, Hertfordshire, wrote to Santa? This little boy wanted the money to come to us to help us care for his best friend’s cousin, Orla, 6, from Stevenage, who has a brain tumour. Luke’s letter was picked up by national media including Good Morning Britain and ITV News. Coincidentally, another Orla, 3, from Luton, was the cheeky face of our Christmas Appeal - her mum and dad were celebrating their first Christmas at home with her. As well as being front-page news locally, Orla was

Did you Clear for New Year?

star of The Mail on Sunday’s health pages. Together, both stories helped 25 million people

Thank you if you’ve been having a good clearout

learn about the excellent specialist support

of your wardrobe, attic and kitchen cupboards.

Keech Hospice Care gives to children from

We still need more of your great clutter so we can

Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Milton Keynes. You can

continue to turn it into our great care.

read Luke’s story at and turn

You can drop off your great clutter at your nearest

to page 9 to discover how Keech is supporting Orla.

Keech Hospice Care shop or at the hospice itself at Great Bramingham Lane, Luton. To find your nearest shop and for more information, visit; to arrange for furniture to be collected, call 0800 032 3440.


01582 707940



Finding the right


They say the human voice is the most powerful instrument of all. When motor neurone disease (MND) robbed Hazel, 67, of hers, husband Richard was devastated that he’d never hear his wife again. Keech Hospice Care helped them make a lasting memory and find order in their chaos. ou can’t imagine what it’s like


chaos - we had appointments here,

something someone says and think,

not being able to speak,” said

there and everywhere. Hazel’s speech

‘That’s exactly how I feel.’

Richard. “For Hazel, it means always

began to rapidly deteriorate, and, by

having to communicate by writing

May, she’d lost her voice completely.

Hearing Hazel’s voice again

her thoughts down, banging on the

Hazel also had difficulty eating and

Doctors outside of Keech often

wall downstairs if I’m upstairs and she

drinking so she had a feeding

just talk to me and I say: ‘Don’t ask

wants me, always having to choose

tube fitted.

me, ask Hazel - she’s sitting right

the exact words to get across what

there.’ Liz, the neurological lead at

you want to say, never saying enough

Frightening times

Keech Hospice Care, doesn’t do that.

because it just takes too long.

After Hazel stopped being able to talk

She helps with the slightest worry,

and eat, we didn’t know what would

suggesting we try new things. It

The day Hazel was diagnosed was

happen next. We were frightened. It

means so much to have someone

one of the hardest we’ve ever had.

was at this time of uncertainty Keech

who totally understands MND.

She said, at first, the news didn’t

Hospice Care came into our lives.

Keech Hospice Care isn’t just for

seem real. She felt like a normal

people who have cancer, you know!

person except her speech was

Hazel was referred to the Keech

slurred, she couldn’t move her tongue

Palliative Care Centre (KPCC) for

We didn’t realise how quickly Hazel

as easily and her smile was slightly

one day a week for support. Now

would lose her voice, so we only had


she’s also part of the charity’s

one recording of her - a clip of her

Independence and Wellbeing Service

being interviewed by Stephen Rhodes

For the first few months after the

and benefits from its weekly Walking

on BBC Three Counties Radio in the

diagnosis in February 2017, it was

and Move, Music and Mind groups.

1980s. She was talking about being a traffic warden. Unfortunately, the tape

Thanks to Keech Hospice Care, I’ve

had oxidised from being sat in the loft

also got the support I need, too, and

for years.

get so much out of attending the charity’s weekly carers’ group. I like

Then Liz at Keech did something

having somewhere to go where I can

wonderful: she had the tape restored.

talk to people who are in a similar

When I heard it, I was so emotional

situation to me. It’s fantastic to have

- I was hearing Hazel’s voice again.

people who will listen. I’ll pick up on

I never thought that telephone call, that piece of radio, would become so precious and mean the world to me.”

Sadly, Hazel died just before we went to press with her story. She was looked after by Keech Hospice Care at the end. Richard continues to be supported by us. Hazel’s husband, Richard



01582 707940


All that silly chatter we all take for granted is gone. For me, it means never again hearing the voice of the woman I love.



t costs around £900,000 each year to run our Keech Palliative Care

What does Keech Palliative Care Centre do?

Centre, and a large majority of the care and support given is funded by our local community. With your help, we can make sure we continue to

support more people like Hazel and Richard.

Did you know, last year, 202 patients attended the KPCC? We held 838

Please help us make the difference when it matters the most by

complementary-therapy sessions and 466

donating at, call us on 01582 707940 or

sessions of music and art therapy. Not only


that, but 198 patients got the support they needed from our dedicated social workers who help with practical matters as well as

“I love going to Keech Hospice Care. They all understand I have to write

running the drop-in carers’ group which

everything down - it takes me much longer now to say what I want to

Richard attended.

but I can have proper conversations and a bit of a laugh. The nurses don’t treat me like a patient, they treat me like Hazel - I can be myself.

Our care and support are offered to

At Keech Palliative Care Centre, I have reiki, which I love because it’s so

both the patient and their family.

relaxing. And I’ve spoken to Nathan, the music therapist, about having music therapy as well. Keech Hospice Care is amazing!”

• We help patients manage their pain and

How Hazel felt about Keech Hospice Care, written in her own words.

symptoms • We offer transfusions and infusions in a homely environment, surrounded by nurses the patients get to know well • We help patients’ mobility through gentle exercise classes, occupational therapy and physiotherapy • Our excellent care extends to a patient’s family and friends, offering emotional, spiritual and practical support • Patients and their families benefit from support therapies like reflexology, massage, reiki and aromatherapy.

Hazel with music therapist Nathan


01582 707940



Adam Frost

remembers us Our favourite TV gardener came back to the Courtyard Garden he created for us, to pass on his legacy to our dedicated volunteer gardeners.

£15,000 What it costs a day to provide our care services.


The total number of adult and child patients, and their families, we supported last year.

1 in 7

How many people we can care for thanks to gifts left in Wills.


BC Gardeners’ World expert, Adam Frost, has returned to the


hospice to give our team of volunteer gardeners some timely tips

ake a Will Fortnight,

on caring for his legacy, our lovely Courtyard Garden. Adam has left

11-22 June 2018

Keech Hospice Care something our seriously ill adult and child patients will benefit from now and into the future.

Many of us find it hard to think about or

You, too, can pass on something precious to our patients, by leaving us a gift in your Will.

talk about making a Will but here’s a date for your diary to consider - and you’d be helping patients of Keech Hospice

These special gifts make sure we can continue to provide our excellent

Care, too. During this year’s Make a Will

care and support to adults and children living with life-limiting and

Fortnight (11-22 June), local solicitors will

terminal illnesses, and their families. We can help them to live pain and

generously give their time and expertise

symptom free, to spend untroubled time with their family and friends,

to help make (or update) people’s

and to make the most of the time they have.

Wills in return for a donation to Keech Hospice Care.

We understand that your family and loved ones must always come first. All we ask is - once you have looked after those closest to you - you

Participating solicitors and further

consider remembering Keech Hospice Care in your Will.

information on this year’s Make a Will Fortnight will be available in June at

Adam Frost’s beautiful gift will inspire our patients for many years to come. What will your legacy be? A gift to us in your Will would help us continue supporting our patients, and their families, at a time in their

A huge thank you to the solicitors across

lives when it seems like nothing will ever be the same again.

Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Milton Keynes who participated in our Make a Will Fortnight in October 2017.

If you would like a free guide to leaving a gift in your Will to Keech Hospice Care, please call 01582 707940, email or write to us at Great Bramingham Lane, Luton, LU3 3NT.



01582 707940


Reaching the heart of Herts Thanks to funds raised through The BraveHerts Appeal, a new nurse is making the difference to community care for families in Hertfordshire.


igning up Louise McLaughlin,

to get the team in place first, so we can

our first clinical nurse specialist

provide this support in the community

focused on Hertfordshire, is a big step towards realising a long-held plan,”

while waiting for the physical buildings.”

beams Elaine Tolliday, Keech Hospice

Helping families

Care’s clinical director. “As the children’s

“The best part of my new job is caring

hospice for Hertfordshire, it means more

for so many young patients. There’s one

families in the county will benefit from

family I care for whose daughter has a

our specialist care.”

brain tumour. She’s losing her ability to walk and talk but she’s not giving up. She

The long-term plan is for The

comes out with remarks, small things to

BraveHerts Appeal to raise funds to

show she’s still there. It certainly puts

support all the children who need us,

things into perspective.”

and their families, in Hertfordshire. We would like to place a full-service team

With Keech Hospice Care and its

in community ‘hubs’ across the county,

BraveHerts Appeal coming to the heart

reaching every child with a life-limiting

of Hertfordshire, Louise and the team will

illness. “The hubs are still some way off,

be able to help even more families, really

though,” said Louise. “We’re working

making the difference when it matters the most.


ill you support us? We want to provide full care to all the children in Hertfordshire who

need our support. BraveHerts has already given us the funding to employ Louise. Now we hope it will help us expand our service further to provide:

a team offering all the services of the hospice in the community

a children’s palliative-care services register to help families find their way through the maze of the services system

community hubs where families can go for clinics, doctor’s appointments and therapy sessions as well as allowing families to meet up, and children to play and build skills in a secure environment.

To find out how you can make this a wonderful reality, call 01582 707940, email or visit


The number of Hertfordshire families left caring alone for a seriously ill child.


01582 707940

The BraveHerts Appeal



We’ve always wanted a normal family life.

In her first years of life, Orla had cardiac arrests at home with her terrified parents forced to give CPR on their living-room floor. Now the family are getting on with life, thanks to the support of Keech Hospice Care.


rla’s three and a lovely, cheeky

Because of her illness, Orla has to

little girl - we’re so proud of her.

have a carer go to nursery with her

Wonderful first moments Out of hospital, Orla now loves going

But it’s devastating to see other children

every day and a nurse watches over

to Keech’s Tots ‘n’ Toys activity

her age and know she’ll never be able

her every night. As a family, we’re

sessions on Thursday mornings

to do all the things they can,” said Orla’s

rarely alone. There’s someone with

and spending time with the other

dad, John, 34, from Luton.

us most hours of the day and night.

children there. It’s a great support for

It’s hard constantly having healthcare

me and my wife, too.

“Our daughter’s spent most of her life

professionals in your home. We get so

in hospital – for a year and a half we

little time just to be a family and do

Keech just gives us so much that

couldn’t be at home for more than a few

the normal things that other families

otherwise we wouldn’t have. Orla‘s

days at a time. She’s had open-heart

do without a second thought.

had amazing days out at weekends

surgery seven times, the first time when

with Keech Hospice Care’s play

she was just three weeks old. It was

Keech never forgot us

terrifying for my wife, Tina, and me. In

We first visited Keech Hospice

all honesty, there were times when the

Care when Orla was very young

doctors didn’t think Orla would make it.

and we used the charity’s amazing

specialist, Jennie, and Sara, one of the fantastic nurses. On these day

hydrotherapy pool – Orla always had Orla was born with DiGeorge syndrome.

a great time splashing about in the

We’d never heard of it, but we now know

water. However, not long after she

it’s a rare genetic illness caused by a

started going to Keech, Orla had a

missing chromosome. It means she has

cardiac arrest at home and we spent

severe heart problems and, in 2016, she

almost a year in hospital, so we

had to have a breathing tube fitted into

couldn’t continue our weekly visits to

her throat which she relies on 24 hours

the hospice.

trips, Orla’s experienced many of her first moments, thanks to Keech, including sitting on a pony, going on a fairy hunt and having a picnic in the park. As a family, we’re given the best care and support.”

a day to keep her alive. The tube makes it almost impossible for Orla to speak,

It was amazing, though, because the

which is hard, but we’re helping her learn

whole time Orla was in there, Keech

sign language, so she can talk to us.

stayed in touch and even came to see us at the hospital. We just felt so

Always a risk

supported knowing Keech was there

Having her tube fitted has helped us

and would continue to be so once we

cope better at home. But there’s always

were ready to return.

Jennie, play specialist,

a risk that even something as simple as a

with Orla

cold will make Orla seriously ill and we’ll end up back in hospital again. 9


01582 707940


Talking to Steve, Keech Hospice Care’s family-support worker, we finally feel someone understands exactly how we’re feeling. For that, I’m so grateful.

Keech understands It might sound odd but right now it’s like we’re going through a grieving process. Not because Orla has died,


eech Hospice Care is the children’s hospice for Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Milton Keynes. Every day, our community nurses visit streets near you, supporting

seriously ill children and their families in hospitals, in schools or in their own homes.

but because she’s not the same little girl we had before. She’s so much more unwell than we expected her to be. Orla is wonderful and we’re so grateful she’s with us, but it’s hard knowing she’ll never do everything other children can do. The support Keech Hospice Care gives families like mine is so important just for us to be able to

At the children’s unit itself we offer: • day support with trips out and activity groups such as Tots ‘n’ Toys • care from our team of doctors, nurses and therapists • support services including a play specialist, art and music therapy, complementary therapies, social worker, and pre- and post-bereavement support • in-patient stays • end-of-life care.

live our day-to-day lives – there’s nothing else like it for Orla. It’s easy

How your donations made the difference for children in 2016/2017.

to forget it’s a charity. Everyone at

We supported:

Keech is so friendly, and they always see Orla as a person, helping her

• 317 children and 188 relatives

fulfil her potential. We’ve always

• 302 families in their own home

wanted as normal a life as possible

• 99 children with stays at the unit

for Orla - Keech Hospice Care

• 160 children with day support

is helping us have that sense of

• 19 children with end-of-life care, at the hospice and at home.


Sara, day-support team leader, with Orla

Please help us to make the difference when it matters the most to more families like Orla’s by donating at or call 01582 707940.


01582 707940



Open your

Can you spare a few hours a week to help in your local Keech Hospice Care shop?



If you’re retired, looking for a way to use your skills or just

and Milton Keynes. e r i h volunteer at your local Keech charity shop. Bring your friends ds rtfor e H , along, too – everybody’s welcome! ire rdsh o f d Be cross a s r e very year it costs around £5.7 million to lunte We need more shop vo provide our specialist care services. The want to make new friends and socialise, sign up to be a


money raised from our 32 charity shops is crucial. “My wife and I wanted to do something worthwhile with our

So, by volunteering for just a couple of

spare time, something that would

hours a week, you’re helping us continue to

help our community, and we found it

care for seriously ill adults and children, and

in our local Keech shop. Not only do

their families, at a time in their lives when

we get a real sense of achievement,

they need us the most.

we also meet lots of great people.” You don’t need qualifications or experience

Peter, Leagrave shop, Luton

– just a few spare hours, enthusiasm and a friendly smile! “When I retired, I needed something that would give structure to my week. Volunteering at the shop is a way to give something back but also a reason to get up in the morning.

In return, volunteering in a Keech Hospice Care shop will give you: • retail training and experience

What I love most is meeting people

• a sense of purpose

and finding bargains. There’s always

• a way to put existing skills to good use

something interesting on the rails!”

• new friends

Christine, Katherine Drive shop,

• the satisfaction of ‘giving something back’.


“I have a paid job but volunteer at

To find out more, locate your

my local Keech Hospice Care shop, too. It’s not like work – it’s a little

nearest shop or sign up, visit

family and I’ve made great friends.,

I get a real sense of achieving


something by helping people in my

or call 01582 707955.

spare time.” Kitty, Hoddeston shop



01582 707940



PromF e Keech st and Fest

le R Bubb


Summer of FUN

heck out the hot-ticket summer fundraising highlights we’ve picked out for you. For a full 2018 rundown, dip into Your Events Guide 2018, free with this issue of Keech Matters. Prepare to be inspired!

PromFest and KeechFest Weekend

All-new Bubble Rush

9 and 10 June, Keech Hospice Care

15 July, Cranfield University, Cranfield, Bedfordshire

Who says you can’t party at a hospice? Join us for a whole weekend of live music.

Join hundreds of other Bubblers for an incredibubble summer of multicoloured, frothy fun!

Saturday: New! PromFest, an elegant afternoon of

Walk, run or dance your way through eight

classical favourites. Listen while you picnic on the lawns.

scented Bubble Stations along the 5km route as

Sunday: the return of our ever-popular KeechFest,

bubble cannons create a 4ft-deep bubble bath

a day of family fun with live music, retail therapy,

around you. Then continue the fun at the Bubble

refreshments, bar and children’s entertainment.

After-Party with great music, food and drink.

It’s going to be a sell-out so book your tickets early at

“My friend told me about Bubble Rush. I couldn’t and

wait to sign up when I saw Keech is hosting

keechfest or call us on 01582 707940.

one. Bubbly fun and raising money for a great charity!”

More great summ

er events

Leanne, Keech Bubble Rush participant

Skydive 24 June

Sign up now at

The ultimate adrenalin rush!

“The thought of doing a skydive scared and excited me at the

or call 01582 707940.


for by Keech Hospice Care.

g amazin in h t e m o s o dd ing buzz, an is a r d n u f e h up today! n Get t ig s re a C ospice for Keech H

Prudential Ride London 29 July

Once you’ve dipped into Your Events Guide 2018, we’re sure you’ll want to take part

same time. It’s an amazing feeling and gave me a huge sense of achievement.” Lesley, skydiver, whose dad was cared

Unbelievable value with the lowest sponsorship rate around! Enjoy a fantastic 100-mile cycle through the capital and into the Surrey hills, before heading back for a triumphant finish on The Mall.

in our exciting events and challenges. You can even organise your own event, if you’d prefer. Check out our online fundraising guide at Whatever you do, we have a team of fundraising experts on standby to support you. Call 01582 707940 Email Visit


01582 707940



Putting families first A chat with Lee Carpenter, deputy general manager of Center Parcs Woburn Forest, about how the Bedfordshire holiday village is supporting Keech Hospice Care.

What have been your best fundraising events so far?


hat is it about Keech that motivates your staff?

We’ve had a wishing well installed which has been extremely popular with guests. We’ve also had duck

Family togetherness is at the heart of

races, where we sent hundreds of guest-sponsored

everything we do. We’re all about helping families spend

rubber ducks down the Wild Water Rapids. The team all

precious, quality time together. So we can really relate to

dressed as full-sized ducks! We’ve held our own tasty

what Keech Hospice Care gives families and that’s why

take on The Great British Bake Off, brave team members

we love fundraising for the hospice, as part of Center

took on skydives and the runners among us got their ho,

Parcs’ charity partnership with Together for Short Lives.

ho, ho on at Keech Hospice Care’s Bedford Santa Run. So far, we’ve raised over £15,700.

What’s your role? fundraising activities as possible – and

What other exciting fundraisers do you have planned?

make sure staff and visitors know

We have some brilliant events lined up: a staff

what we’re doing to raise awareness

dinner, bumper Christmas raffle, more duck races

and money! The Woburn Forest

plus plenty of other activities in the pipeline.

To get us involved in as many

team is constantly coming up with new ways to fundraise and everyone

Why not sign up your company to be a Keech

supports the activities – we’re never

Hospice Care corporate partner? To find out more,

short of participants and volunteers!

call 01582 707940, email or go to


r e p 1 £ t e k c i t


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To buy your raffle tickets, call 01582 707940 before Friday 23 March 2018.

“Keech Hospice Care does wonderful work, not just for patients but their families and friends, too. I could hardly believe my luck when I got the call to say I’d won its raffle - it’s the icing on the cake.”

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01582 707940


Fall in LOVE WITH fundraising After beating cancer eight years ago, Sarah Phillips got into volunteer fundraising to “give something back”. Now she’s the regional fundraiser for North Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes at Keech Hospice Care.


xactly one year after

something to focus on

the final operation in

completely – “for a year, I

a gruelling treatment

lived to the training plan,” she

regime to beat breast cancer,

admitted, “and, of course, I had

Sarah, 46, signed up for the

to raise a lot of money. The

London Marathon. “Running

only way I could do that was

the Marathon was very

by encouraging my community

emotional,” she remembered.

to support me - with afternoon

“On the start line, I was

tea parties, cake bakes, golf

standing behind two girls

days, raffles, parties at the

racing in memory of their

local pub and more. I raised

mum. The first thing that

over £11,000 – I was thrilled!”

What’s a typical day, Sarah? “In my role as a regional fundraiser, I'm usually out and about, meeting our wonderful supporters. John Howlett (top left), the captain of Millbrook Golf Club, Bedford, came for a hospice tour and was so moved, he had no hesitation in selecting Keech Hospice Care as his chosen charity for 2018.

came into my mind was: ‘That could be my daughters.’ That

Sarah certainly knows the ups

moment completely threw

and downs of fundraising. “At

me off track. But, to raise

the outset, the thought of

the money supporters had

raising so much money can be

pledged, I had to do it.”

daunting,” she said. “You may

At an MK Dons family fun day in Milton Keynes, I met Radar and Bootsie, who’re undertaking a mammoth 130mile kayaking expedition from

not know where to start but, Two years before, Sarah had

as you get into it, your fears

developed a particularly

dissolve. You realise how many

aggressive form of breast

people want to help you.”

The Wash to the stadium, all to raise funds for Keech. Sometimes, the simplest ideas

cancer. “I was married, with two children, aged seven and

Before breast cancer, Sarah

five. In the first moments after

worked in corporate travel.

diagnosis, I thought I wouldn’t

Now her illness has put her

make it. I was really scared and

on a different and, she feels,

uncertain. But my kids were at

happier path. “I’ve found

school and practicalities took

I love fundraising, getting

over – practicalities like picking

everyone together, organising

them up. So, I just got into

events, raising money and

my treatment and once it was

- most importantly – seeing

over, I was back on my feet.”

the results, seeing that you’re

are perfect. The Cakestand and Crumb in Ampthill, Bedfordshire, held a scrummy afternoon tea in aid of Keech Hospice Care, raising £762. The Friends of Keech Bedford is just one of the volunteer groups I’m lucky to be involved with. Here they’re planning their fundraising activities for

making the difference to Signing up for the London

people when it matters

Marathon gave Sarah

the most.”


01582 707940

the year.”




150 prize p of £rizes 5

Keech Hospice Care weekly

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0 5 2 £

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u can day, yo a p 4 1 s as r adult s little care fo o From a t g e u in it lim contin ith lifew help us g in v ildren li esses. and ch inal illn m r e t and

Sign up today at or call 01582 707940 to play.


Keech Hospice Care ’s S u m m e r F e s t iva l

10 June 2018

11am - 4pm, Keech Hospice Care For tickets, visit or call 01582 707940

Tel: 01582 707940 Registered Charity No. 1035089

Keech Hospice Care, Great Bramingham Lane, Streatley, Luton LU3 3NT.

Profile for Keech Hospice Care

Keech Matters Spring 2018 magazine  

Read the latest edition of Keech Matters, our magazine for supporters and find out what's been going on at the hospice this spring.

Keech Matters Spring 2018 magazine  

Read the latest edition of Keech Matters, our magazine for supporters and find out what's been going on at the hospice this spring.