Gazette readers are hailed as champions

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Overjoyed staff at Trinity Hospice celebrated a special open day – their first following the kind-hearted donation of £268,000 by Gazette readers.

Thanks to the generosity of our readers – who donated in their thousands through The Gazette’s Hospice Heroes campaign – Trinity Hospice opened its doors to show off the first class facilities fund-raisers have helped to provide.

Big cheers: Sandra Cheston and Owenna Jones with volunteers, from left, Jan Lumby, Gavin Quick, Kat Hilton and Sara-Jane McLeish at the open day

Big cheers: Sandra Cheston and Owenna Jones with volunteers, from left, Jan Lumby, Gavin Quick, Kat Hilton and Sara-Jane McLeish at the open day

The £268,000 raised, for a much-needed modernisation of the Low Moor Road facility and Brian House children’s hospice, is now being put to good use.

And among those praising the fund-raising drive was Trinity Hospice representative Shirley Morgan, who called the response “absolutely staggering.”

She added: “Hospice Heroes was absolutely incredible. We were all overwhelmed by the response. We thought £200,000 would be optimistic, but to reach close to £270,000 was just overwhelming.

“Donations have come from every part of the community. Support has come from big businesses right through to the man on the street. We were absolutely staggered.”

The hospice opened its doors as part of National Hospice Care Week, with talks given by Trinity’s medical director Dr Susan Salt about palliative care and a talk on dementia friends.

The new facilities followed donations from readers who held mass fancy dress days, took part in daredevil stunts and raised cash by buying tickets to major events like Rod Stewart’s appearance at Bloomfield Road.

Shirley added: “Most people only come to a hospice as a patient or family member.

“Having an open day like this is something we would never normally do.

“We touch the lives of about 8,000 local people every year.

“This year is particularly special after the big refurbishment which Gazette readers contributed to.

“Thanks to the cash donated, we completely refurbished the hospice and did a large refurbishment of Brian House – people say the facilities are now like a five-star hotel.”