A band of inspiring and energetic supporters have helped make 2017 a showstopper of a year for local charity Rennie Grove Hospice Care.
People from Herts, Bucks and beyond walked, ran, swam, cycled, skinny-dipped and danced their way across the year in a myriad of fundraising feats. Many have devoted hours of their time as street collectors, trustees, Family Support listeners, complementary therapists, receptionists, event marshals, shop helpers, van drivers, and more – while thousands have dipped into their pockets and purses to sponsor and make donations.
In such a busy 12 months for the charity there are many landmarks to celebrate, and many reasons to thank its dedicated fundraisers and 1,500 valued volunteers who make such a difference to Rennie Grove and the work the charity does in providing care and support to local patients with life limiting illnesses, and their families.
These 1,500 volunteers were recognised this year when they were awarded the highest possible accolade - The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. Presented in recognition of their outstanding work, the Queen’s Award is the MBE for volunteer groups.
Speaking at the presentation of the award in September, Sue Varvel, Director of Nursing at Rennie Grove said: “We simply cannot do what we do without our volunteers. We’re a team.”
Further accolades followed when Rennie Grove collected the Innovation in Income Generation prize at the national Hospice UK Awards 2017 in Liverpool where the charity also picked up the Innovation in Care award in partnership with Peace Hospice Care, the Hospice of St Francis and Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust.
A new addition to Rennie Grove’s fundraising calendar this was the national 3 Peaks Challenge which saw participants scale the highest peaks in England, Scotland and Wales in just 24 hours.
Other physically demanding events included the Chilterns Cycle Challenge, Hemel 10K, Chilterns 3 Peaks Challenge, Colour Blast: The Scramble, Herts 10K, Jingle Bell Jog and Reindeer Runs, Moonlight Walk and London Marathon. The participants turned out in style and did Rennie Grove proud, proving once again what tough stuff its fundraisers are made of - both physically and emotionally - as so many take part in memory of loved ones whose names are tenderly added to running vests and T-shirts.
Getting physical isn’t for everyone so some less energetic - but equally important - activities have taken place too. The Sounds Around the Abbey concerts in St Albans, a magnificent Musical Masquerade Gala at Penn House, a Night of Dining and Cabaret at Chartridge Park Golf Club, featuring Strictly Come Dancing veteran Anton Du Beke and the glamorous Bisham Abbey Ball also attended by Strictly stars all helped to swell the fundraising coffers. In addition, funds have also been raised at fashion shows, craft fairs, quiz nights, tribute night, street collections and Santa floats.
Rennie Grove supporters and sponsors also got in the swing at golf days, hit new heights with wing walking, showed their pulling power by towing a Land Rover, drove Bangers to Bangor and Back, pitted their wits against competing teams at the ever popular Question of Sport evenings. They also attended tribute nights, shopping events and held street collections.
The Path of Life scheme continues to provide a way for people to remember lost loved ones with a lasting tribute and Rennie Grove’s recent Light Up A Life ceremonies in November and December have provided opportunities too for families and friends to come together and reflect on memories of loved ones and light a candle as a symbol of remembrance.
Gillian Barnett, Director of Marketing and Fundraising at Rennie Grove said: “Thank you to each and every one of our supporters and fundraisers whose efforts have made such an important contribution to the work of Rennie Grove this year. We hope that they have created lasting memories with family and friends while raising much needed funds to continue providing support and nursing care to thousands of local patients with life-limiting illness and giving them a choice about how and where they receive care towards the end of life.”
To find out more about taking part in fundraising events or the range of volunteering opportunities available in 2018 please visit www.renniegrove.org.