In the working world of staring at computer screens for hours on end we often forget that the people we spend the majority of our day with aren’t just the people we see at work; like anyone, they have social lives and family lives away from the office. More often than not, these lives are kept private, especially when bereavement is involved, but GForces’ Product Manager, Chessy Morgan, has turned a family tragedy into a positive and inspiring tale – one that works to benefit The Heart of Kent Hospice and those who use it. Here, she tells her story:
My first experience with The Heart of Kent Hospice was in 2009 during my Grandad’s illness, although unfortunately he became too ill to be moved there. A year later I was lucky enough to experience the excellent care provided by the wonderful Hospice team to both patients and their families, when my Nanny spent her last few days there. The team of nurses and doctors working at the Hospice truly are inspirational people; they know just what to say and when, and the whole team, including the catering and facilities teams, make the Hospice feel like a very special, welcoming place; not clinical at all. There are day rooms for patients to visit and get away from their rooms, or even to visit for respite away from home, and there are also break out areas and lounges for visitors and families to do the same during tough times.
The Heart of Kent Hospice provides specialist care and support to those who are affected by cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. This care is provided through its Inpatient Unit, Day Therapy, Community Nursing Team and Family Support to approximately 600 patients each year.
Care at the Hospice is free to those who need it. However, with annual running costs of over £3.8 million each year, only 29% of which is received through statutory funding, the Hospice is heavily dependent on the generosity of the local community.
In 2013, I decided to organise a Summer Ball in order to give something back, and as my way of saying ‘thank you’. A friend of mine, Rhiannon, who has also been supported by The Heart of Kent Hospice, helped me a great deal, and we raised just over £2,000 which made a huge difference to the charity.
In January, Rhiannon and I decided that we wanted to do another Ball for the Hospice. With many large events such as the World Cup in the summer, we made the decision to organise a Winter Wonderland Ball, which took place on Saturday 22nd November.
Unfortunately in April, whilst planning the Ball, my Grandma was diagnosed with terminal Bowel Cancer and I was reunited with the Hospice sooner than I had thought. Once again, I was overwhelmed with the support and care they provided to both my Grandma and our family while she spend her final days in their care. This really highlighted the importance of our efforts to make this years’ Ball even better than the previous year, and raise more vital funds.
We wrote to local businesses and, with their support, together with that of family and friends, we were able to put together a great selection of raffle prizes for our guests. Social media helped us not only utilise a platform to advertise the event, but also provided contacts and generous donations for photography, chair covers, room decorations, a sweetie cart and entertainment.
On Saturday 22nd November at Oakwood House, we welcomed 150 guests dressed in their posh frocks and smart suits into our very own Winter Wonderland full of surprises, for what can only be described as a very enjoyable, successful and special evening to remember. The evening commenced with welcome drinks where friends and families met to then enjoy a 3 course meal, an extravagant raffle and dancing late in to the night from the sounds of the DJ.
We’d like to say a special Thank You to our family, friends, guests and suppliers for their generous support; you helped us to smash last year’s figure to raise an amazing £3,055 for The Heart of Kent Hospice. We are so very proud and couldn’t have done it without you all.
We would like to thank and acknowledge the following for their support:
Rose Royce Events – https://www.facebook.com/roseroyceevents
Charlton Photography – http://www.charltonphotography.co.uk
Coty – http://www.coty.com
Diggerland – http://www.diggerland.com
DOMO Bluewater – http://www.bagsetc.co.uk
Fraser Hart – http://www.fraserhart.co.uk
Heaver Castle – http://www.hevercastle.co.uk
Jane & Martin Hunt – https://www.flipkey.com/aime-condo-rentals/p628120
Jim Cattermole – https://www.facebook.com/thekenttoastmaster?fref=ts
John Henderson and Pizza Express – http://www.pizzaexpress.com/
Leeds Castle – http://www.leeds-castle.com/home
London Guthy Renker – http://www.guthy-renker.co.uk
Lookers Mercedes-Benz Maidstone – http://lookersmercedesbenz-px.rtrk.co.uk/mercedes-benz/contact-us/60/mercedes-benz-of-maidstone
Marriott Tudor Park – http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/tdmgs-tudor-park-marriott-hotel-and-country-club
Millie’s Cookies Bluewater – https://www.milliescookies.com
Nichola Balloons – https://www.facebook.com/nicola.balloons
Oakwood House – http://www.oakwoodhousehotel.co.uk
Philip Powell – https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004108697968&fref=ts
Sandra & Trevor Morgan
SmileTech Bluewater – http://www.smile-tech.co.uk
Ted Baker – London – http://www.tedbaker.com/uk
TYI – http://www.transformyourimages.co.uk
VomFass Bluewater – http://www.vomfassuk.com
Whitehead Monckton – http://www.whitehead-monckton.co.uk