Fundraiser to support local hospice and to remember loving step-mother Linda

A fundraiser for St Michael’s Hospice is being held by a Bexhill man to thank the charity for the help they gave his late step-mother.

Gavin Greenaway has organised the event for Saturday March 29 at Sidley Working Men’s Club on Holliers Hill after seeing first-hand how hospice nurses provide vital support to both cancer sufferers and their friends and family.

His step-mum, Linda Greenaway – who was manager at the Eridge House rest home for 21 years - was misdiagnosed for months before finally being told she had terminal bone and lung cancer in October last year.

She endured radiotherapy and chemotherapy but in January of this year she was given the tragic news she only had weeks to live.

Just one week later, on January 22, she passed away peacefully in her home.

And Mr Greenaway was full of praise for the support given to the family by St Michael’s which enabled her to stay in her home until the end.

He said: “My step-mum wanted to be at home and never wanted to stay in the hospice as she wanted to spend the end of her life at home with us her family - her husband Mark Greenaway who is my father, me, my four sisters Ceri, Emma, Shelly, Becki and her sister Jo - all to care for her at home.

“St Michael’s Hospice always said to her and us that it was always there if she wanted it and the Hospice At Home nurses made it possible for mum to be at home with us by visiting my step-mum at home on a daily basis and offered all the care and support she and us as a family needed.

“Linda was a well known and loved lady in Bexhill she was the best mum, wife and grandmother you could ever ask for.

“St Michael’s Hospice and Hospice at Home nurses are the loveliest nurses I have ever come across and were so caring and kind to mum and our family - they gave us such comfort and were always straight to our house when my step-mum or we needed them.

“I have since learnt that St Michael’s Hospice relies on donations to help stay open as the Government only funds a certain amount so I am now giving them something back as I know my step-mum would want me to raise as much money as possible.”

The fundraiser will run from 12pm until 4pm and there will be a giant raffle alongside an afternoon family disco and other entertainment – including a hypnotherapist, cake auction and cake stall.

Mr Greenaway and his family have been busy collecting donated prizes for the raffle and have been delighted with the response from locals and local businesses.

Among the booty available on the raffle are £100 in cash, a three-course meal for four at the Star Inn in Normans Bay, a fitness course from Commando Fitness UK, hair and beauty vouchers, an hour-long family photoshoot, a signed book by Sunday Times number one best-selling author Kimberley Chambers, an array of shopping vouchers, pine furniture and much more.

Tickets will be on sale at the Picnic Basket in Bexhill and the Kings Arms carvery in Ninfield as well as on the day and anyone who would like to donate further prizes should contact Mr Greenaway on Facebook (search Gav G-star Greenaway) or get in touch via the Picnic Basket Bexhill or Kings Arms.

Mr Greenaway now hopes as many people as possible will get involved.

“Everyone is welcome on the day to come along and dig deep for such an amazing cause,” he added. “I think most people will be affected in some way by cancer whether it be family friends or themselves. The guys at the hospice really don’t get the help and praise that they so deserve.”