If your dad received critical care from St Helena Hospice in his hour of need, how would you repay them?
Alix gives back to St Helena Hospice by playing Your Hospice Lottery every week. She has been playing the lottery for 10 years now. She sees this small donation each week as something so small that she doesn’t even notice it, but is grateful to be able to do her bit to help secure their future.
“It just trickles away, so I don’t even notice it.”
Alix sadly lost her dad to cancer in 2009. St Helena Hospice were on hand to give the vital care her dad needed just a few days before his death.
“We lost my dad to cancer in 2009 at the end of September. Although he didn't go into St Helena Hospice, we had the local palliative care team here, but we knew that the Hospice were on hand to help.
In his last couple of days, he was in hospital for a week, but then he wanted to be at home. The last night he was with us, he needed to go onto a morphine pump to settle him and make him more comfortable. The palliative care nurses had access to use the doctor from the hospice over the telephone. I remember this clear as day. The hospice doctor was able to give them the advice and the official ‘ok’ for them to set up the morphine. Which was amazing.
He was a very private man. So, he didn't like the idea of going into the hospice, even though there was so much to offer at St Helena. He was happy, he was comfortable as he was. But the care at the end and knowing that there was support from the hospice doctor made a huge difference.
It is difficult, and even now, you have that difficult bit, that as much as you want dad to be there... You know that he's suffering, and you want him to be comfortable and to go.
He was so poorly but he didn't have any pain. That's the one thing. He was poorly for maybe two years. When he was diagnosed we found out that it wasn't an operable cancer.
To us he felt so young because he was still active and was sailing. He was 74. A lot of people would say that’s a good age. But we lost my grandparents in their 80’s, so we felt robbed. We thought he would have lived well into his 80’s or 90’s. but, you know, that's happened, and a lot of people go through a lot worse.
After years of playing Your Hospice Lottery in memory of her beloved dad, Alix finally received a very exciting call from the lottery team sharing the news that she had won £1000!
We asked her how it felt to be on the receiving end of that winner’s call.
“We had friends staying at the time. I answered the phone, and it was really great! I went all pink. The first thing I said was ‘I don’t win anything!’
This is the first time I have won with Your Hospice Lottery. I've got premium bonds, and I never win anything with them. My first expression was ‘I’ve won proper money!’ Then I came in and spoke to the others and screamed ‘Yayyyy!’”
Alix has some exciting plans for her big win. But is eager not to spend it all in one go.
“If I ever have birthday money or anything, I like to do a little bit here and a little bit there. I'm not very good at blowing the whole thing, I tend to hold on to it.”
She has decided to split her winnings into items she will treat herself to, and some of it she wants to give back to charity.
“I've got my Alexa now and I've got some walking shoes. 10% of it I want to go to the Woodland Trust because of my dad. I want to donate £50 to another charity, it's an overseas one, where you loan money for people to start up a small business. I thought I'll do that rather than buying a gift for somebody. It’s nice to do something that is going to benefit somebody else.
We're also hoping to meet our friends that we've only seen once since COVID. So, some of that money is going to go towards us meeting up with them to have a little holiday later in the year.
We are going to Derbyshire and will rent a little house. I am going to treat them. I love walking because of dad. We had all our childhood holidays caravanning and walking because my dad was a teacher, so we had the school holidays. It will be nice going back up there.”
Alix encourages everyone to play Your Hospice Lottery in support of their local hospice.
“It's a very small amount, so you don't really notice it going out. If lots of people give just a little bit, it's a bit like crowdfunding. If everybody just gives that pound here and pound there, you know, two pounds. It makes a difference at the other end.
Lots of people pay to play the main lottery but as far as I’m concerned, you have got so little chance of winning that. So, I'd love it if everybody played Your Hospice Lottery to support their local hospice. I think it's great because you don’t know when you might need it, you don't know when you might need that help and support.
Everybody, I'm sure has lost a family member to cancer. Someone who is having problems probably wouldn't think twice about contacting the hospice if they had an illness within the family. But then you don't realise that it's relying on donations to continue. You expect every town to have a hospice, but I think people forget how they are able to run.
We can’t just guarantee that they will always be there.”
St Helena hospice are there to support people facing incurable illness and bereavement in the Colchester and North East Essex area. Like Alix, you never know when you will need your local hospice. Click below to find out the services they offer in your local area.
You can play Your Hospice Lottery to support YOUR local hospice just like Alix. You never know, you could be a lucky winner too!
To find out how you can play, click below.