Allotting time to care - 14 September 2020

Residents in Ashford now have the opportunity to grow vegetables as well as friendships, harvest fruit or simply sit in the fresh air due to a new allotment scheme.

The scheme, launched by Princess Alice Hospice, is aimed at those living with life limiting illness, their carers or recently bereaved and is designed to bring those people together to work on the land and benefit from the healthy produce grown there.

The allotment, which was closed in March due to COVID-19, is now open to those who would just like some fresh air, a cup of tea and a well deserved socially distanced chat.

Community Communities Lead at the Hospice Mia Patterson said: ’We all know that being outside has many health benefits and we hope that the allotment will bring people together, those who might not otherwise get many visitors, and give them the chance to do some digging or get some air, or maybe both’

The allotment sessions run two days a week at The Clumps Ashford, Feltham Road, TW15 1AT, Saturdays between 10am and 12pm and Wednesdays between 1pm-3pm.

If you would like more information or if you can spare some time and expertise, and who would like to volunteer to support the scheme and your local Hospice, please contact or 01372 461958.

Our commitment to ensuring that our website content is inclusive and accessible - 10 September 2020

In order to ensure that our website content is accessible and inclusive, we have engaged The Shaw Trust to complete an Accessibility Assessment on our behalf.

The assessment will be completed during October 2020.

Barry takes to the skies - 17 August 2020

Night Response Team member at Princess Alice Hospice, Barry Armour, isn’t afraid of going above and beyond to raise funds for the Hospice. He’s taking on his second wing walk on 28 August at RFC Rendcombe Airfield, Cirencester and this time he’ll be doing stunts.

Travelling at up to speeds of 150mph at a height of 2500ft, the Wing Walk will include the Loop the Loop, The Stall Turn and the Hesitation Roll. Barry, who has completed a wing walk before to support the Hospice, says, “It’s exhilarating to be up in the clouds”.

Barry, who has worked for the Hospice for five years and is a registered paramedic, has seen first-hand how recent restrictions and cancelled events have had a huge detrimental effect on Hospice funds. Looking for an exciting challenge, he decided on the Aerobic Wing Walk

He says, “It’s great fun. Initially, when you stand on top of the plane and get strapped in, you think ‘what am I doing?’ However, that feeling soon disappears as you speed along the grass runway and take off into the blue sky. Along with the securing straps and the wind, you are safe and secure, there’s nothing to worry about, you won’t fall off, and you have some hand signals for the pilot, so he can land any time you’re not happy.

“I’m really looking forward to doing this again and hopefully reaching my fundraising goal.”

If you would like to support Barry and the Hospice you can do so here

Princess Alice Hospice shops make a phased return to the High Street - 6 July 2020

Princess Alice Hospice was forced to close all 46 of their charity shops on 21 March, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Following weeks of extensive work and planning behind the scenes, we are delighted that 7 shops will re-open their doors to customers on 2 July, as part of wider, phased re-opening plans. The first shops to reopen will be in Ashford, Banstead, Croydon, East Twickenham, Esher, Staines and Twickenham.

The shops bring in approximately £500,000 of vital funds for the Hospice every year, which means we have lost in the region of £125,000 while they were closed. The shops have been risk assessed and will be following the latest Government guidance to protect staff, volunteers and customers.

Cherie Noy, Deputy Director of Retail Operations, says: ‘We’re delighted to be throwing open our doors to customers again from 2nd July. It’s been a tough few months for us but I want to reassure everybody that we’ve worked incredibly hard to protect our staff, volunteers and customers for the re-openings. We’ll quarantine all donated goods for 72 hours before processing them, and we’ll have hand sanitiser in all shops. We’ll be displaying posters with advice about how to shop safely in all our shops, and we’ll only be accepting card and contactless payments. Our shops will also close an hour early to allow for cleaning.’’

Cherie continues: ‘In June we rolled out a series of ‘drive-through donation’ points to allow people to donate items to us safely and easily. Due to the overwhelming response we received, we introduced an appointment-only scheme and we’ve been delighted by the high-quality nature of donations we’ve received: from high-end fashion labels through to designer items too, I would encourage people of all ages to come and grab themselves a bargain in our shops!’

Details about further drive-thru events can be found on our website. People can also drop off donations at their local shop when it reopens, between 9.30 and 11am. We plan restart our furniture collection and delivery service as soon as we can. Please follow us on twitter, Facebook and Instagram for latest updates or visit our website to find out more.

Tribute to Tony Pidgley CBE - 2 July 2020

It is with great sadness that we learn of the unexpected death of Tony Pidgley, 72, on Friday, 26 June. We extend our most sincere sympathies to his family at this difficult time.

Tony was the founder and chairman of Berkeley Group Holdings, as well as a highly influential visionary, entrepreneur and philanthropist. He was a former Trustee of our Hospice in Esher, Surrey between 1992 and 1999, and Berkeley Group was one of the sponsors of the variety show at Wimbledon Theatre to celebrate the Hospice’s 15th anniversary.

We have benefitted from several Berkeley Group donations over the years, which have helped us to develop and grow our charitable services in palliative and end of life care.

Jane Formby MBE, a founder Trustee of the Hospice, and Honorary President said: “It was such a shock to learn of Tony Pidgley’s sudden death last Friday. My first meeting with him was in 1983 when I was vice-chairman of the appeal committee set up to raise funds to build a hospice in Esher. He had been approached for support by Virginia Waller who was Chairman of the appeal committee, and he turned up unannounced at my home to introduce himself, and I suspect to suss me, and the committee out.

“We hit it off straight away – he was so straight-talking, you knew exactly where you stood with him. I saw more of him when he was for a time a trustee of the Hospice and then at odd intervals over the years. I am so grateful that after a gap of several years, I had a long meeting with him last December when he was in good form and we shared memories and had a laugh together.

“He was a doughty opponent in business, but underneath you sensed a warmer, more caring centre. He will be much missed by many.”

Claremont 4 Carers - 17 June 2020

Claremont 4 Carers raises vital funds for Hospice during lockdown

Claremont Fan Court School pupils have risen to the challenge with their ‘Claremont 4 Carers’ fundraising campaign during lockdown, in support of Princess Alice Hospice.

With most school children spending their days at home during lockdown, many have been finding worthwhile ways to use their time for good causes. Pupils of Claremont Fan Court School in Esher have been fundraising for their own campaign, ‘Claremont 4 Carers’ since April, in support of Princess Alice Hospice. The campaign began in the senior school, inviting pupils to complete a set of ten sponsored activities from home which amounted to a £20 donation to the Hospice, when completed. Activities included:

  • 30 minute run or cycle
  • helping with household chores
  • visiting someone who may be feeling lonely
  • writing a thank you letter to the NHS or a key worker

The senior school hit their initial £1,000 fundraising target in one week; after two weeks they had raised over £3,000. Nursery and pre-prep children then participated in a Great Claremont Fancy Dress Friday charity day on Friday 15 May, completing their sponsored tasks in full fancy dress. The total of fundraising for Princess Alice Hospice now stands at over £4,000.

Kerry Brown, Senior Partnerships Fundraiser at Princess Alice Hospice commented: ‘It’s been a difficult time for us, with most of our planned fundraising events being cancelled, but support from local schools like this is absolutely fantastic and so appreciated. We were bowled over with the school’s fundraising efforts, which will all go towards ensuring our compassionate care continues for those who need it most in the local community.’’

Lottie Andrews, Website and Communications Coordinator, Claremont Fan Court School, commented: ‘’Our school community came together during the COVID-19 lockdown to support a wonderful team who, as key workers, continued to provide vital compassionate care for patients throughout the pandemic. The response has been fantastic and we congratulate every pupil who got involved to successfully complete their sponsored activities from home whilst the school was closed. Equally, a huge thank you to our school community who came together to support this fantastic cause and donated towards our Claremont 4 Carers campaign so very generously. It has been a great pleasure to support a local charity in this way.’’

Thomas Rixon, Head of Academic PE, Head of Football, Claremont Fan Court Senior School, also commented: ’We are extremely pleased with the success of the initiative where we have raised a great sum of money which we hope can make a huge difference. We haven’t quite finished yet!’’


New Help and Advice Service launched - 1 May 2020

A new Palliative Care Help and Advice service has been launched by Princess Alice Hospice, in Esher. Supported by Surrey Downs Integrated Care Partnership, the service is designed to support health and social care professionals caring for those with palliative care and end of life needs.

The Hospice has for 35 years been committed to supporting patients and their families in the local area, but has found that health and social care professionals are often in need of some guidance and advice, particularly since the outbreak of COVID-19, and where a full referral to the Hospice might not be necessary. The unique service, which will operate remotely, will be available seven days a week from 1 May and differs from the usual hospice service as the main aim is to offer advice on caring for those who are not already under their care.

Health and social care professionals will have access to a dedicated website where they can find guidance and advice on caring for patients who have specific palliative care needs. From here they will be able to talk to a specialist advisor via telephone, Webchat, email and WhatsApp. The advisor can give guidance on specific cases regarding a number of issues such as medication, pain relief and broaching difficult subjects.

The service will be open from Monday to Sunday 9am -6pm.

Chief Executive Nicki Shaw said, ‘’We care for patients, their families and friends in our local community and will continue to do so for as long as they need us. This exciting new service will ensure that healthcare professionals in our area, whether their patients are under our care or not, are also being supported at this challenging time.  It is a mark of the strength and vision of the Surrey Downs ICP that we were able to work together to get this new service up and running in a matter of weeks so that more patients can benefit from the expertise of PAH specialists in end of life care.’

Harry Swings into action! - 1 May 2020

Inspired by Captain Tom Moore, keen sports enthusiast, Harry Swing 11, ran a full marathon over the course of four days to raise funds for Princess Alice Hospice.

His mum Gail told us that Harry normally spends a fair amount of time running around a football pitch at Claygate Royals FC and Wycombe Wanderers Football Academy, competing in cross country events and playing golf all over Surrey in county tournaments. The recent lockdown has proved extremely difficult for him as he likes to be so active.

In a bid to burn off some of his excess energy and support the Hospice, Harry, a pupil at St Pauls, Thames Ditton, chose to take on a 2.6 challenge and has so far raised more than £2000 for his local Hospice

His mum Gail said, ‘He’s always been active and the recent restrictions have proved really difficult for him. After seeing Captain Tom walking round his garden, he decided he would go one further and raise funds for our local Hospice by running a complete marathon. He’s an absolute inspiration, we’re so proud of him’

Community Partnerships Lead at Princess Alice Hospice, Claire Woodward added, ‘We loved watching Harry complete his challenge to run a marathon for Princess Alice Hospice. It is with thanks to our community, taking on creative challenges whilst staying safe, that our Compassionate Care Continues to be funded.  Harry is an inspiration to children of all ages and I have no doubt that he is as proud of his achievement as we are of him.’

If you would like to sponsor Harry, or if he has motivated you to take on your own 2.6 Challenge

Hospice chaplain in the front line - 10 April 2020

Princess Alice Hospice chaplain Steve Nolan is used to working alongside medical staff at the frontline of end of life care – but the coronavirus crisis is adding almost unbearable stress to their jobs. Steve has written a blog of his thoughts as Easter approaches.

Living with and learning from Covid-19

There was a joke I spotted in a newspaper around the time the Corvid-19 lockdown began. Two people were talking and one said: “I didn’t expect to give this much up for Lent!”

For anyone unfamiliar with the season, Lent began a mere six weeks ago. Since then everyday life has been radically transformed. Not by the spiritual preparation of self-denial, which is intended to characterise the build up to Easter, but by the arrival of this invidious virus, too small to seen but powerful enough to separate families and bring the economy to a virtual stand-still.

For the Hospice, the first group to be impacted has been our highly-valued volunteers. Most have been stood down. This has been difficult for both the volunteers and the staff who continue coming to work.

The Hospice is a team, and we miss seeing our teammates, many of whom are self-isolating and miss so much the social interaction that working at the Hospice brings. But those of us who are able to still work also feel the loss of the important contributions our volunteers make to the work.

Speaking personally, I feel the loss of my beard! It’s kept my chin warm for 40 years, and provided me with at least a pretence of maturity if not wisdom. But like other colleagues working on the In-Patient Unit, I feel the loss of my individuality. That’s because, like them I’ve gone into uniform. This is part of the new and wide-ranging infection control procedures now in place.

Beyond the constant handwashing and the social distancing measures, the thing I find most difficult is having to don the personal protective equipment (PPE) in order to visit a patient. This is for their protection as much as ours, but it creates a barrier between us and those we want to care for. The apron and gloves are one thing. But the real difficulty comes from trying to offer care from inside a mask and goggles.

At the weekend I was asked to visit a young person who was dying. A close family member was in the room with the patient. I donned the full PPE and went into the room. The patient was asleep so I spoke with her very tearful family member. I wasn’t able to shake hands or in any way touch either the relative or the patient. I wasn’t able to offer any comfort for the tears, and the family member was unable to see the reactions on my face as I responded to the emotional pain they were expressing. I was able to offer a prayer, but I had to stand at the foot of the bed and not place a gentle hand on the shoulder, as I might normally have done.

This sense of distancing from patients is shared by the nurses, doctors, social workers and therapists. Shielded behind PPE, we all struggle to project the compassionate care that we are so used to and so skilled at providing. We of course understand the importance of PPE – it protects patients and staff – but we nevertheless feel constrained by its limitations.

But if Covid-19 has anything to teach us (and I’m sure we will learn a great deal from the experience of living with it) it is that human connection and contact is profoundly important to us. Even when we are locked away behind PPE or viewed at a distance inside a computer screen, something in us remains able to reach out and touch the spirit if not the body of another person with humanity and compassion

Our latest appeal –



Hospice donation raised by not going out - 10 April 2020

The disappointment of a cancelled night out for charity didn’t dampen the spirits of a Surrey Rotary club – they dug deep and made a donation to Princess Alice Hospice regardless.

With the ban on fundraising events for the foreseeable future – due to the Coronavirus emergency – the Hospice’s income has taken a pounding.

The Hospice has launched Compassionate Care Continues – a campaign and appeal to help boost income to replace that lost by the measures imposed by Government during the crisis.

The Bookham and Horsley Rotary Club had planned to raise money with a prestigious musical evening, A Touch of Glyndebourne, featuring the Cameo Opera company from Kent and offering a three-course meal.

This would have taken place in Great Bookham’s Old Barn Hall in the centre of the village.

Rotary President Nick Garrett said: “We have done this once before and it was very well received. The plan was to sell around 140 tickets with the aim of raising some £1,500 for the Hospice – helped by local caterer Elizabeth Treliving, making this one of her charitable events of the year.

The event was to be given a boost of sponsorship by Lane’s Health, a family company of which one of the Club’s members, Paul Simons, is a director.

With postponement until 2021 an inevitable decision, the members faced disappointment and the Hospice, the loss of vital funds.

In a happy turnaround for all concerned, Lane’s very generously said the Club could keep their sponsorship money and use it to support one of their nominated charities.

At a recent meeting using Zoom technology, the club agreed to that the money going to the Hospice, and that members would match fund – making a donation of £1,300.

Nick said: “We were really disappointed not to be able run this fun event in May, but Bookham and Horsley Rotary, with the generous support of Lane’s Health, are delighted to be able to help the Princess Alice Hospice at a time when their people and their finances are so very stretched.”

Angela Grimes, Director of Income Generation at Princess Alice Hospice, said: “In response to the blow of closure of our entire retail chain, and cancellation of fundraising events, the Hospice has launched Compassionate Care Continues – both a pledge to patients and staff and an appeal for support.

“Seeing supporters like the Bookham and Horsley Rotary stepping up when the chips are down, is not only very welcome, but we hope it inspires other supporters to get behind the Hospice to enable us to continue providing outstanding end of life care throughout these troubling times.”

>> To help ensure #CompassionateCareContinues  you can donate to our appeal at


Hospice pledges “Compassionate Care Continues” amid crisis - 10 April 2020

Amidst the crisis which the UK is facing as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, Princess Alice Hospice is committed to continuing to deliver outstanding end of life care - as we know our services are needed more than ever at this time

Despite the blow of enforced closure of its entire retail chain, and cancellation of fundraising events, the Hospice has launched Compassionate Care Continues – both a pledge to patients and staff and an appeal for support.

While the Hospice is keeping its head above water for the short term – down to robust financial planning which made allowances for a  sudden crisis, a shortfall of 25% of its fundraising and shops income is the very least that will hit its bank balance. In reality it could be much worse and if the restrictions remain in place for a longer period it certainly will be.

News this week that the Chancellor has pledged money to help frontline charities – including Hospices, to the tune of £200m a quarter – has been welcomed. We are awaiting details about when this will be allocated.

Meanwhile, the physical and emotional toll on Hospice staff and patients’ families is increasing.

But the Esher-based charity’s assertion that “Compassionate Care Continues” is the rallying cry to supporters – to enable the Hospice to ride out the storm.

Deputy Medical Director at Princess Alice Hospice, Dr Jennifer Todd, said: “These are extremely difficult times. In all my years as a doctor, I’ve experienced nothing like it. But, every day, I see my colleagues go above and beyond, to provide the best possible care they can to every single one of our patients, whether at the Hospice or in their homes.”

Dr Jennifer Todd

The Hospice faces multiple challenges:

  • A huge increase in patient referrals – which have shot up by 47% since the beginning of March.
  • The growing need for additional emotional and practical support – many patients face the added trauma of having to self-isolate from their families.
  • A higher demand for bereavement services – especially as families face the heart-breaking prospect of social distancing at loved ones’ funerals.
  • Most worryingly, Princess Alice Hospice faces losing 25% of its income this financial year – forced to close its high street shops and cancel all fundraising events.

With limited NHS funding, 78% of income must be raised through voluntary donations and fundraising; the current crisis has swept away major income streams.

Dr Todd added: “My colleagues and I have been working all the hours we can, frequently 12 hour shifts on consecutive days with limited time to rest in between. Many of us have changed our personal plans at short notice, to ensure we always have cover when team members are unwell or need to self-isolate.

“And let’s not forget that every hour they give doesn’t just help our patients. They’re also doing a wonderful job reducing the burden on local NHS hospitals, who are struggling to cope with the number of people who need their care.”

“But to keep going – to keep providing the exceptional care for which Princess Alice Hospice is renowned – we urgently need help. That’s why we’ve launched our Compassionate Care Continues appeal, to raise funds to support our staff and get us through this difficult time.”

How can you help?

£65 could pay for an hour of vital support and advice for seven patients and their carers, using Zoom video software to communicate with them in their homes.

£100  could pay for 40 tubs of alcohol wipes, to prevent infection here at the hospice itself.

£265  could pay for 40 protective gowns and 40 boxes of gloves – enabling our staff at the Hospice to continue to care for patients.

To donate visit

Advice about flu-like illnesses including Coronavirus - 2 March 2020

Princess Alice Hospice is well-prepared to deal with influenze and flu-like viruses. Here is how you can protect yourself and others.

FLU-LIKE ILLNESSES including Coronavirus


It is important for the Hospice to be prepared to deal with influenza and flu-like viruses.

You can help too. Germs can live on some surfaces for hours.

To protect yourself and others:

  • Catch it. Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze.
  • Bin it. Bin the tissue.
  • Kill it. To kill the germs, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, or use a sanitiser gel.

This is the best way to slow the spread of almost any germs / infections.

Where possible it is sensible for people with flu-like symptoms to minimise unnecessary contact with frail and / or unwell relatives and friends, and thus visiting the Hospice In-Patient Unit is not encouraged.


The Hospice is following advice from the Government and the NHS to be well-prepared to deal with this virus. Again, you can help too.

To protect yourself and others:

  • Catch it
  • Bin it
  • Kill it

This is the best way to slow the spread of Coronavirus.

If you have arrived back from China or any of the other areas particularly affected by Coronavirus / COVID-19 across the globe within 14 days:

  • Please follow the specific advice for returning travellers e.g. contact NHS 111.
  • Do not visit the Hospice In-Patient Unit if you have any flu-like symptoms.

Find out more at

Grandad Dave reaches for the skies - 28 February 2020

A grandad of seven who says he never plans too far ahead, is taking to the skies this July in a skydive to raise funds for Princess Alice Hospice

Dave Higgins, who lives in Epsom, is taking the plunge so he can hold his own among the rest of his family, who between them have joined the Hospice’s annual Santa Fun Runs for the past three Christmases. One daughter has completed a five-day Sahara trek for charity.

“Running about isn’t really my sort of thing,” he says. “I can step out of a plane and lie down – so this should suit me down to the ground – literally.”

Dave, 68 this year, is aiming to raise at least £1,100 from his sponsored tandem jump, as a “thank you” to the Hospice which cared for his wife of 45 years, Ann, before she died in August 2016.

He praised the care and attention that Ann had received from everyone at Princess Alice Hospice, a sentiment echoed by his family, he said. “Sometimes there was quite a crowd of us here to see Ann – but that was fine, we were treated so well the whole time.

“We couldn’t have asked for better. She received the very best care imaginable.”

With his skydive booked for 18 July, Dave is aiming to drum up as much sponsorship as he can. He’s hoping the social clubs he attends will rally round. A fellow member at West Ewell Social Club, Ted White, will be joining Dave on the day as he has a skydive on his bucket list and decided it was now or never. Dave is also a member at the Comrades Club in Epsom.

Originally from the Speke area of Liverpool, Dave’s early career was as a ladies’ tailor, followed by a career in heavy engineering: “Quite a big change of direction!” he said.

At the height of the economic depression in 1983, Dave had been unemployed for a while and made his way South to take up work on building sites; he trained as a bricklayer and thus began another career.

Ann and their children followed and the family has expanded to seven grandchildren as well, ranging in age from one to 27.

This isn’t Dave first foray into fundraising; he previously abseiled down a tall building in Croydon – somewhat less than the 15,000ft he’ll dive in July.

Dave is now a regular at the Man Shed in the grounds of the Hospice in Esher – a facility where men can meet up for a chat and a cuppa, sharing and learning skills such as woodworking and crafts. He’s recently restored a bench for one of the Hospice’s community allotments.

He has set up a JustGiving page where donations can be made

Our photo shows Dave, right, with fellow “Shedder” Ken Snowden

Sons share mum’s poetry to help Hospice - 21 February 2020

Hundreds of handwritten poems, charting a woman’s journey from teenage years to adulthood, have been published by her adoring sons, who will use the proceeds in gratitude for the compassion and dignity she was afforded in her last days

Hundreds of handwritten poems, charting a woman’s journey from teenage years to adulthood, have been published by her adoring sons, who will use the proceeds in gratitude for the compassion and dignity she was afforded in her last days.

A Woman’s Verse by Susan Ealey, tells of the highs and lows in the progress from childhood to womanhood, through youth, first love, raising a family, and into later years.

It also features the hardship of single parenthood, growing older, loss, secret love and finding one’s place in the world.

Susan Ealey was 69 when she died at Princess Alice Hospice in October 2019.

Her son Matthew, himself a screenwriter and author, said: “Though my mum was only at the Hospice you for two or three days, it made a massive difference for those final days for her to be out of hospital, to be treated with respect and be able to say proper goodbye to my brother and me, in a loving and caring environment.

“In finding Mum’s poems and deciding to publish them, we both knew immediately we wanted to give our proceeds to the Hospice as a thank you from us; also, we believe it’s what Mum would’ve wanted.”

Following Susan’s death, Matthew and his brother Marcus found 320 unpublished poems she had written over the years.

Stashed away in a folder under her bed, the pile of handwritten poems had no titles, no dates or explanation.

Her sons dedicated their efforts to choosing and categorising a selection to include in A Woman’s Verse. “It will read as a poetry journey of my mum’s life from youth, to family, to love, to views on the world,” said Matthew. “We want our beautiful and powerful mum’s words to be read by as many people as possible, in her memory.”

Susan was a striking young woman who worked as a PA in Fleet Street and model, in the late Sixties and Seventies. She had her boys in her twenties and continued with her career, later becoming a single mum and juggling work and family.

Matthew said he recalls her writing poetry since he was a child, but she always kept her creative work to herself – apart from the occasional verse or two she’d share.

“Her own mother died when she was just 23, and she had a lifelong avoidance of hospital,” said Matthew. “Luckily she had always had a very healthy life and was never ill when we were growing up.”

She only became ill in the year she died; a bout of shingles in mid-2019 marked a turning point in her health.

“Mum resisted going in to hospital but it became inevitable – it turned out she had cancer – and it looked as though there was no option but being admitted,” said Matthew.

“After a while, whoever liaises with St Peter’s Hospital came to see us, and we knew she wanted to be anywhere but the hospital – it would have crushed us all.

“The option of Princess Alice Hospice was just perfect – it gave us the time together in her last couple of days, to hear her final wishes, even plan her funeral with her – in privacy, peace and quiet,” said Matthew.

“She had a great room, with a lovely view, which she could enjoy during her favourite season – autumn. She was treated with huge compassion and kindness, dignity and respect.

“It was the best place she could have been. We were so impressed – there are no words.”

Matthew, 45, and Marcus, 49, have stayed in contact with the Hospice, from which they continue to derive comfort and support.

A Woman’s Verse poetry book is available, via Amazon Paperback and Kindle.

Proceeds will go to Princess Alice Hospice and Cancer Research.


You composed a song of love
Dedicated just to me

Placed me high upon your pedestal
For all the world to see

How those words haunt me
They touched deep in my soul

Instead of reading between your lines
I lost all control

In your eyes I owned the world
But I let it slip away

Now I’ve only memories
A lonely price to pay


A Woman’s Verse ISBN 978165793314

Snow White enchants at Hospice shop - 20 February 2020

Things were anything but Grimm when the Princess Alice Hospice shop in East Molesey was transformed into a fairytale land of dancing animals and romance

It was a specially themed Snow White day which saw customers drawn into a magical realm of woodland wonder, a tale of jealousy and love, tempting arrays of cakes – and a host of colourful characters including seven remarkably small diamond miners.

The far from Grumpy staff dressed up as the main characters from the Brothers Grimm story, welcoming customers into the magical scene. Centrepiece was a fabulous bed made up in the shop window, a magic mirror and wood.

Four enthusiastic volunteers from nearby HSBC branches collected donations and sold delicious cakes which had been freshly baked and donated for the occasion.

The Hospice was left feeling Happy from the boost in takings; several customers weren’t Bashful – they turned up in fairytale attire themselves.

PJ Day fun takes off for Hospice - 20 February 2020

Hundreds of people from schoolchildren to firefighters, shop staff and care workers, have so far taken part in a huge PJ Day fundraiser – in support of the night nurses of Princess Alice Hospice

And there’s still loads of time to take part!

Five primary schools signed up to wear their pyjamas for a day before half-term, as part of the Hospice’s bid to raise funds during its spring campaign – Care Through The Night.

Supporters are being encouraged to don PJs and dressing gowns on days throughout February and March. A suggested donation of £1 each will help achieve the fundraising target.

Hospice Partnerships Fundraiser Eilís Kiernan said: “Our night nurses provide so much more than medical care. They help support patients and families when they need it most, in their own homes.

“Our spring appeal aims to raise £54,000 to help ensure that our night nurses can continue to deliver care each and every night.

“We’re encouraging families, colleagues, schools, clubs, pubs, and teams of all kinds to hold a PJ Day for Princess Alice Hospice. It’s simple, easy – and lots of fun.

There is a dedicated webpage to the PJ Day event – where you can download a fundraising pack full of ideas and tips to make your PJ Day a fantastic success.

Our pictures show Sunrise Senior Living, Esher; New Malder Fire Station; Great Bookhm Hospice shop; Echelford School, Ashford; Riverbridge School, Staines; Hospice colleagues at Esher; Lakesiders in Weybridge; Fidelity UK of Tadworth

Thousands of pupils to join PJ Day fun for Hospice - 4 February 2020

Around 2,500 Surrey schoolchildren are set to join a huge PJ Day fundraiser – in support of the night nurses of Princess Alice Hospice

Five primary schools have so far signed up to wear their pyjamas for a day, as part of the Hospice’s bid to raise funds during its spring campaign – Care through the night.

The children – and their teachers – are being encouraged to don PJs and dressing gowns on Friday 14 February, the day when staff and volunteers at the Esher–based Hospice will be holding their own PJ Day. Other people are holding a PJ Day on different days in February and March.

A suggested donation of £1 each will help achieve the fundraising target.

Hospice Partnerships Fundraiser Eilís Kiernan said: “Our night nurses provide so much more than medical care. They help support patients and families when they need it most, in their own homes.

“Our spring appeal aims to raise £54,000 to help ensure that our night nurses can continue to deliver care each and every night.

“We’re aiming to get families, colleagues, schools, clubs, pubs, and teams of all kinds to hold a PJ Day for Princess Alice Hospice. It’s simple, easy – and lots of fun.

There is a dedicated webpage to the PJ Day event – where you can download a fundraising pack full of ideas and tips to make your PJ Day a fantastic success.

The five schools – all part of Lumen Learning Trust – are Saxon Primary, Shepperton; The Echelford Primary, Ashford; Riverbridge Primary, Staines; Walton Oaks, Walton and Darley Dene, Addlestone

Green Goddess Diana endorses Hospice fashions - 4 February 2020

Evergreen fitness guru Diana Moran has demonstrated her dedication to green principles - by wearing a pre-loved outfit when being presented with the British Empire Medal

Diana – dubbed The Green Goddess for her high-profile healthy exercise spots on breakfast TV in the 1980s – was awarded the BEM for meritorious service by Lord Lieutenant of Greater London Sir Kenneth Olisa.

She wore an ice blue ensemble and hat, all of which cost her £43 from the Princess Alice Hospice shop in her home town of Shepperton. She said she was delighted with her bargain buys.

Diana also recently picked up an award from the Women of Influence 2019, for remaining among the most influential commentators for fitness and wellbeing in the UK.

The citation reads: “Your zest and energy to ensure all generations benefit from healthier life choices remains at forefront of your life.”

Diana’s support of the Hospice charity goes further than snapping up clothing bargains; a couple of years ago she took to the catwalk at the Princess Alice Hospice bridal show at Shepperton Studios.

Hospice shop manager Linda Kemp said: said: “At Shepperton we have a separate bridal and special occasion wear department which has numerous beautiful designer outfits for all kinds of events and celebrations.

“We are fortunate to receive generous donations of wedding gowns, prom dresses and partywear – but more are always welcome, especially with spring weddings and the prom season on the horizon.”

999 crew responds to Hospice appeal - 29 January 2020

Firefighters from the country’s busiest fire brigade showed their community spirit this week - by taking part in a PJ Day photoshoot for Princess Alice Hospice

London Fire Brigade’s New Malden Green Watch pulled on their night attire – ranging from sensible Dad style pyjamas, through manly superhero – to frilly pink shorts, before showing off their firefighting skills in support of the charity’s night nurse service.

The pole sliding and hose deployment – all clad in pyjamas – was to encourage everyone to think about holding their own PJ Day for the Esher-based Hospice which serves a huge swathe of Surrey, SW London and parts of Middlesex.

Hospice Partnership Fundraiser Eilís Kiernan said: “In February, a time of year when the nights are long and cold – and our nurses are out and about in all weathers – we are asking supporters to join in a fun event to raise awareness of what they do, and how the public can help.

“We’re aiming to get families, colleagues, schools, clubs, pubs and teams of all kinds involved. Green Watch have been fantastic – really good sports and willing to help us promote our campaign.”

PJ Day:  All you do is wear your pyjamas while doing your job, hobby or sport, on one day – and pay £1 for the privilege.

For a PJ Day fundraising pack with details of how to join in – and lots of fun ideas to make your PJ Day special – email or phone 01372 461808

Care Through The Night campaign:

Cheeky calendar hunks raise cash for Hospice - 13 January 2020

Sold out almost as soon as it went on sale, a cheeky charity calendar raised loads of laughs - and a few eyebrows - along with £1,400 for Princess Alice Hospice.

Featuring the charms of around 25 regulars from the Royal George, the Hersham Hunks 2020 calendar comprised 12 glossy images of the chaps engaged in various manly pastimes – wearing smiles and very little else.

With their modesty preserved by strategically-placed sports equipment, tools and towels, the Hunks launched the calendar in time for Christmas and were amazed by its popularity.

Calendar co-ordinator Sam Weller involved her husband Lee as photographer, and make-up expert daughter Jade Weller, to ensure the photoshoot was as professional as possible.

Sam said: “They were snapped up really quickly; no one was allowed to see the contents beforehand, so there was a lot of speculation and curiosity!”

Local firms Surrey Lofts, TNC Builders and the Royal George itself sponsored the printing of the 130 calendars on sale – so all the proceeds have been given to the Hospice in Esher.

Tim Iredale, the Hospice’s Corporate Partnerships Lead, said: “The Royal George are such good sports – and here’s the evidence.

“The pub and its regulars are great supporters of Princess Alice Hospice and are always thinking up new ways to raise funds for us – fancy dress events, quizzes and the like.

“Seriously, we’re very grateful indeed for their donation – which will go direct towards caring for those who need it.

“The Hersham Hunks calendar will take some beating next year!”

Photo: Barely there: Regulars at the Royal George pose with calendar co-ordinator Sam Weller, front right

Award-winning Hospice campaign held up as shining example - 13 January 2020

A Hospice fundraising campaign featuring innovative digital tools has been singled out as an example of excellence, by global online social platform JustGiving

Princess Alice Hospice in Esher, won the JustGiving Christmas Campaign award for the 2018 Santa Fun Run, an annual event held in three iconic  parks in the care area.

The campaign has now become subject of a case study on the JustGiving website, for other fundraisers to see how it achieved such success – including exceeding its fundraising target by nearly a fifth.

The success of the event was due in part to the move towards more digital interaction with participants: a separate campaign page, dedicated microsite and integrated JustGiving Leaderboard all contributed towards fostering a community atmosphere among those taking part.

Another key aspect of the campaign was to grow awareness and engagement within local communities by using social media and generating stories and features to increase press coverage.

The Hospice’s fundraising target was exceeded by 18 per cent, raising £76,600.

“The uplift in fundraising and number of participants was in large part due to the digital element of a bigger push overall,” said Angela Grimes, Deputy Director of Fundraising at Princess Alice Hospice.

“We receive limited NHS funding, and rely heavily on the generosity of the community in which we deliver our services; increased revenue on the scale of the Santa Fun Run success is vindication of using every tool in the box.”

Rotary gift for Hospice care at home - 20 December 2019

A huge brunch date for 130 guests raised a hearty £1,000 for Princess Alice Hospice

Members of Bookham and Horsley Rotary Club enjoyed the mid-morning get-together in November, to highlight and support the Hospice’s care for people in their own homes.

When Rotary President Nick Garrett and Treasurer Terry Driscoll visited the Hospice to hand over the money, Nick said the club had been inspired by his account of the Hospice’s care for his wife, Carol, who died earlier this year.

He said: “It was such a relief to have Hospice nurses come out to care for my wife. We really appreciated it.”

Accepting the cheque, Partnership Fundraiser Eilís Kiernan said: “Donations are the lifeblood of the Hospice – without which we could not continue to provide outstanding care.

“The Rotary club’s funding represents several visits from a nurse – a relief for patients who wish to stay in their homes, and a lifeline for their families and carers.”

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year - 19 December 2019

A message from Chief Executive, Nicki Shaw.

As the festive break draws near, it is time for me to wish you good tidings and say a huge ‘thank you’ for your continued unstinting support, during what has been a turbulent year for charitable hospices in particular, and the UK as a whole. With the dawn of a new decade, we hope that soon a line will be drawn under previous uncertainty within the external environment, and we, as an organisation, can move forward with delivering our progressive, and ambitious, plans over the next two years.

Despite a challenging time for our sector, Princess Alice Hospice remains committed to providing free outstanding care and support, in every aspect of end of life care, now, and in the future. Our support extends beyond our patients; to their families, carers and friends who we help to make the most of the time, they have with their loved one, while ensuring life goes on after bereavement. And it goes without saying, that we will always strive to get both the big and the little things right and go the extra mile to ensure that the people who need us most, receive the care and support they need and deserve.

Our focus in 2020 will be to:

  • Carry on with our constant efforts to drive significant income. In the last financial year, we needed to raise £10.3m (only 19% came from the NHS) through fundraising, donations legacies and our 45 shops, to provide specialist services within a large care area of around 600 square miles, where 80% of our services are delivered in the community.
  • Help build resilience within our compassionate communities, through our Community Engagement team, by furnishing them with the skills they need to support each other at times of crisis.
  • Grow and consolidate our approach to digital technology, which will allow us to work more cohesively, and improve the quality of living for people from diagnosis to death through our first-class teaching, training and research.

Our organisation has never been one to stand still, not for a moment. As Chief Executive, I’m exceptionally proud of our staff and our army of more than 1,400 volunteers, and I thank them for their dynamism, dedication and willingness to go above and beyond daily.

For all the fun and celebration of Christmas, for many families, it can be an incredibly sad and tough time. Still, our excellent staff and volunteers will be there, working around the clock to ensure the best possible experience.

Have a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

For Excellence. For compassion. For People. For Living.

Teacher mounts silent appeal for a good cause - 4 December 2019

Pupils at a Walton school were tickled to discover their teacher had vowed to remain silent for a day – and then the fun began

The attempt by Shellie Bradford to keep schtum from the morning bell to going home time was “harder than I imagined” she said. Even her mum doubted she could do it.

With pupils trying to trick her into responding, and colleagues resolutely not speaking to her, she said it was agony at times.

Shellie maintained her sponsored silence to raise funds for Princess Alice Hospice, a place she had initially been reluctant to visit – until it changed her outlook on life and death.

“I never shut up,” she said. “I love talking, I knew it would be hard but didn’t quite appreciate just how hard! All the children (staff and parents too) thought it was highly amusing, the thought of me staying quiet all day. My mum had no faith in my whatsoever!”

Her vow of silence raised a fantastic £821.99 and a big cheer from the pupils.

Her imaginative fundraiser was inspired by her visits to the Hospice over the years.

She said: “I’ve been visiting Princess Alice Hospice for a few years now, sometimes face painting at the summer fete and enjoying the festivities at the Christmas fair.

“If I’m honest I’d always felt really apprehensive about going in there, but this year, over the holidays I spent some time there visiting a friend, keeping her company, while her dad was there.

“As I spent more time at Princess Alice Hospice, I became calm and found a real sense of peace there. Everyone’s so welcoming and kind and I could see families around me being supported but given time and ‘normality’ in a really hard time.

“One afternoon when I was there, I saw a huge family in grief after losing someone a few moments before; at that moment I turned to my friend and said: ‘Do you know, one thing that has come from me visiting here, is that I no longer fear death.’ It was an overwhelmingly calm feeling. That is why I felt such a need to show my support.”

Her sterling efforts lasted 10 hours – from the moment she woke up at 6am, until 4pm.

She said: “We had full on lessons in the morning, maths, English and so on. I did a lot of writing messages on a whiteboard and signing, facial expressions too. The afternoon was my planning and prep time but that was just as hard because none of the staff would talk to me in the office.

“I actually felt quite lonely and a little sad. It made me feel how isolating it must feel for people who are unable to communicate.”

Claire Woodward, Community Partnerships and Events Lead, said: “Shellie set a memorable example to the children, with this quirky way of raising funds for the Hospice – for which we are very grateful indeed.

“Our supporters constantly amaze us with their enthusiasm and commitment to fundraising.

“We could not continue to deliver our outstanding care to patients and carers if it weren’t for all the thousands of dedicated people like Shellie in this world.”

Photo: Teacher Shellie Bradford with Butterfly class and Hospice Director of People & Communities Zoe Byrne

Wellbeing Centre’s welcome to all - 4 December 2019

An improved range of opportunities for patients and carers from across the community, is now available at the Princess Alice Hospice Wellbeing Centre

The Wellbeing Centre, based at the Hospice in Esher, brings together a range of specialised outpatient services and activities.

The aim is to help give people with life-limiting conditions and their carers the best possible quality of life by managing symptoms, building confidence and helping them take back control of their lives.

TV fitness guru Diana Moran paid a visit to the Hospice, to see the Wellbeing Centre since its recent significant refresh.

Following a welcome address by Rebecca Trower, Deputy Director, Quality & Patient Experience, Diana helped patient Jean Stewart cut the ribbon to mark the occasion.

Diana then said a few words in praise of the Centre, the staff and volunteers. She stayed for tea and cake and chatted to guests.

The success of the improved space has been brought about largely by the imaginations of Hospice staff, who worked incredibly creatively with a minimal budget to create maximum impact – they also employed their full powers of persuasion when contacting local companies to ask them to donate materials for the works.


Finishing touches such as new shelving, trays and coasters were contributed by the Hospice Man Shed.

The Centre will be offering a wide programme of events, including educational talks and drop-in sessions, alongside an extended choice of wellbeing therapies, nursing care and support for patients and their families.

Each weekday has a different focus: Tuesdays, for example, are devoted to helping people learn about what the Hospice can offer – whether you are a patient, family member, care professional or member of the public. There’s a variety of information sessions to pop into, as well as complementary therapies, exercise, relaxation sessions and art sessions.

Other days offer a respite day, social group, move & relax.

A booklet to explain the full range of services on offer is on the website –

Photo: Diana Moran and Jean Stewart mark the opening moment

Church gifts to help Hospice - 4 December 2019

A pile of children’s clothes, toys, books, luggage and handbags has been collected by a church congregation and donated to Princess Alice Hospice shops as the winter season gears up

The congregation at Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church of Christ) in Sunbury brought their gifts to the church on Staines Road West, where they were collected for distribution to the Hospice’s 45 shops across Surrey and SW London.

The goods will be sorted, priced and put on display alongside other new and nearly new items in the next couple of weeks.

Area retail manager Shane Moore said: “We are pleased to make a connection with such a generous organisation as this church.

“The congregation lives in the community we serve, so this is very close to home for them all. We’re very grateful for this timely donation.

“Our Hospice shops raise £500,000 each year towards the £10.3m it takes to provide end of life care to around 800 people at any one time across Surrey, SW London and parts of Middlesex.”

Giancarlo Mattera of the Iglesia Ni Cristo said: “Our Church is always happy to help our local community whenever we can and we look forward to working together with our local charities again in the near future.”

Photo: Just some of the donated gifts collected by Iglesia Ni Cristo. Hospice area retail manager Shane Moore, third from right, and Giancarlo Mattera, right

Re-use stores up funds for Hospice - 25 November 2019

A money-spinning initiative which keeps re-usable items from landfill, has led to a funding boost for Princess Alice Hospice

More than £3,700 raised by selling unwanted items too good to scrap, was handed over to the Esher hospice by Surrey County Council Leader Cllr Tim Oliver.

Cllr Oliver visited the Hospice to hand over the cheque. His student nurse daughter Emily, 21, was cared for there before she died of a brain tumour in July this year.

The money came from two of the county’s five recycling Revive shops – Shepperton and Leatherhead – where goods are reclaimed from the community recycling centres and sold at the sites. Customers are asked to nominate a charity to win 10 per cent of the profits each quarter.

Princess Alice Hospice Chief Executive Nicki Shaw said: “This is a fantastic win-win situation – a green initiative which supports our ongoing end of life care.

“The communities which support this scheme will benefit twofold – from a better environment and from the Hospice’s invaluable services, delivered free across Surrey.

“It takes a lot of money – and we are grateful for such donations.”

Cllr Oliver said: “Princess Alice Hospice provides a truly fantastic facility for end of life care. I know from personal experience how important the support and comfort they offer people is in the most difficult of circumstances. I’m delighted that our partnership with SUEZ can go some way to supporting this work.”

More than £3,700 raised by selling unwanted items too good to scrap, was handed over to the Esher hospice by Surrey County Council Leader Cllr Tim Oliver.

Cllr Oliver visited the Hospice to hand over the cheque. His student nurse daughter Emily, 21, was cared for there before she died of a brain tumour in July this year.

The money came from two of the county’s five recycling Revive shops – Shepperton and Leatherhead – where goods are reclaimed from the community recycling centres and sold at the sites. Customers are asked to nominate a charity to win 10 per cent of the profits each quarter.

Princess Alice Hospice Chief Executive Nicki Shaw said: “This is a fantastic win-win situation – a green initiative which supports our ongoing end of life care.

“The communities which support this scheme will benefit twofold – from a better environment and from the Hospice’s invaluable services, delivered free across Surrey.

“It takes a lot of money – and we are grateful for such donations.”

Cllr Oliver said: “Princess Alice Hospice provides a truly fantastic facility for end of life care. I know from personal experience how important the support and comfort they offer people is in the most difficult of circumstances. I’m delighted that our partnership with SUEZ can go some way to supporting this work.”

Our photo shows Tim Oliver, Nicki Shaw and Kacie Thompson from SUEZ, the firm which operates Surrey’s recycling and recovery centres

Ducks go quackers for charity shop fare - 20 November 2019

Posh nosh is being served up to the feathered residents of the river Mole thanks to a local heritage and conservation project being supported by the Princess Alice Hospice shop.

Custom-made duck food pellets – said to be better for aquatic birds than common or garden bread – are now available from the Hospice’s Cobham shop, just a few yards from the Riverhill platform installed by the river in the village.

The duck food, sourced by the Cobham Conservation and Heritage Trust, is being sold at the shop with a proportion of the profit going to the Hospice funds. Donations of £1 are requested for each packet.

“It’s a wing-wing situation!” said area retail manager Libby Dey. “There’s a new CCHT sign at the duck feeding station telling people they can get the special duck food at the Hospice shop – so they pop along to buy it and often end up browsing our rails and shelves for bargains.

“It’s a great way of being part of the community in which the Hospice’s services are available.”

The trust – which holds an annual duck race on the river every September – is dedicated to the protection, enhancement and development of Conservation Areas, of which there are four in Cobham.

The trust is a local charity which relies on volunteers to help run the trust, promote local history and conservation issues and organise fund-raising events.

“The village is very much defined by its association with the River Mole,” said CCHT environment officer Laurence Wells “and the traditional simple pleasure of feeding the ducks is very popular for all ages.

“By highlighting the importance of supplying good quality food to our wildlife, in partnership with the Hospice’s nearby shop, it reinforces everyone’s feeling of community spirit.”

DHL’s early Santa sighting - 11 November 2019

Getting set for an extra-early festive delivery at DHL Express, are Santa Fun Runners Matt, Harry, Victoria and Dan – who have signed up for the Princess Alice Hospice Santa Fun Run in December

When not in Santa disguise, the four colleagues are familiar faces at the Esher Hospice, where they have spent time volunteering on the phonelines to drum up more fun runners to raise vital funds for the Hospice.

This intrepid quartet – based at DHL Express’s head office at Colnbrook’ – are joining the Bushy Park run on December 15 – just one of four runs in this year’s offer.

The others are in Richmond Park and Painshill Park over two weekends – so there’s plenty of choice for runners, families, friends and colleagues to join in.

The emphasis is on fun over the 5k routes – and it’s fine to walk, stroll, run, – whatever pace suits you.

Bring the dog as well – four-legged entrants are free and they’ll be in good company alongside the dozens of canine participants.

Matt said: “We’re all looking forward to the fun run – we’ve really enjoyed helping at the Hospice and are grateful to DHL Express for supporting employee volunteering.

“The Santa Fun Run will be a chance to join in with hundreds of other people with the aim of raising as much as we can for the Hospice.”

For dates, venues and entry details visit

Wimbledon brings team spirit to Santa Fun Run - 4 November 2019

There’s always plenty of action when AFC Wimbledon players get the ball.

The squad took a fun break from training for their upcoming FA Cup First Round match this week, to kick off Princess Alice Hospice’s Santa Fun Run 2019.

It was merry mayhem as the team donned red Santa suits, beards and hats to launch this year’s annual family fundraising event and encourage everyone to take part in the 5k runs.

Loyal supporters for several years, the team has helped raise vital funds to keep the Hospice delivering its outstanding care across a wide area of Surrey, SW London and Middlesex.

Who needs a beard? Midfielder Scott Wagstaff came prepared

Beth Sadler, Princess Alice Hospice Partnerships Fundraiser, said: “Apart from our big events like the fun run, the club helps boost our fundraising throughout the year, with matchday collections and other support; we’re so grateful for this kindness – and seeing them all getting into the festive spirit with such enthusiasm is so infectious!”

This year’s four Santa fun runs will be held at three venues: Richmond Park, Bushy Park and Painshill Park over two December weekends – so there’s plenty of choice for runners, families, friends and colleagues to take part.

Join the AFC Wimbledon squad at Bushy Park on Sunday, December 15 – they’ll be kicking off that day’s fun run, complete with Santa suits, at 10am.

The emphasis is on fun over the 5k routes – and it’s fine to walk, stroll, run – whatever pace suits you.

Bring the dog as well – four-legged entrants are free, and they’ll be in good company alongside the dozens of canine participants.

For dates, venues and entry details visit

Big band show is a blast for Hospice - 23 October 2019

Buoyed up by a message of support from Hollywood superstar Lily James, a fundraising big band night in aid of Princess Alice Hospice raised the roof on Saturday 12 October

The star of Downton Abbey, Baby Driver and Cinderella also gave signed copies of DVDs and books to help the Hospice raise funds to continue its outstanding end of life care.

Around 300 guests – including 40 enjoying special VIP status – were transported to the golden eras of Big Band, Rat Pack, jazz, soul and rock ‘n’ roll courtesy of the talented Ember Big Band at a show in the Hammond Theatre, Hampton.

Conducted by one of the country’s best-known trombonists, Bill Geldard, the band rocked the rafters with a selection of toe-tapping classics, while dancers from Impact Dance Studios provided visual entertainment.

A moving closing speech by Hospice supporter Jeremy Cowdrey gave the audience an insight into how the Hospice had not only cared for his wife Pippa when she died, but created such a lasting memory for their four children that 10 years on their commitment has not faltered as they continue to fundraise for and support Princess Alice Hospice.

Jeremy Cowdrey addresses the audience

Hospice Community Partnerships and Events Lead, Claire Woodward, said: “Sometimes the generosity of people blows me away.

“We were treated to a wonderful show by the Ember Big Band – there was laughter, singing and a few tears shed in memory of loved ones – but all for the wonderful cause of Princess Alice Hospice who were so grateful for the commitment and support from all these great people.”

Hospice Community Partnerships & Events Lead, Claire Woodward, centre, with event volunteers Nigel Conway and Denise July

In addition to the money raised by the tickets, a further £2,000 was raised on the night via a raffle and collections. The total is still being calculated.

Rocky’s fourth challenge makes a charity difference - 23 October 2019

When a stuntman, a boxer, a handful of footballers and celebrities get on the golf course - anything could happen

Luckily, it resulted in a cash bonus for the one good cause they all support – Princess Alice Hospice.

Stuntman Rocky Taylor – the Cobham-based veteran of scores of action movies – hosted an afternoon of golf followed by dinner and entertainment at Burhill Golf Club, raising £4,903 for the Hospice.

The event was enjoyed by former world champion boxer John Conteh, football manager and TV pundit Harry Redknapp, former England and West Ham footballer Trevor Brooking; QPR and Arsenal footballer Terry Mancini; former England and Watford player Luther Blissett; TV motoring presenter Tiff Needell and singer/actor Jess Conrad – in all a 100-strong group of players.

During the evening fundraising dinner, comedian Bobby Davro raised the roof with laughter and Britain’s Got Talent finalist Wayne Woodward entertained with his smooth singing style.

An auction helped top up the total; lots included Rocky’s autobiography Jump, Rocky, Jump and an evening’s private performance by Wayne Woodward.

Rocky called by the Hospice to hand over the money raised by the August event.

The golf and dinner is now in its fourth very successful year. To date Rocky and his fellow golfers have raised around £17,500 for the Hospice.

Claire Woodward, Princess Alice Hospice Community Partnerships and Events Lead, said: “It’s absolutely fantastic that Rocky and Burhill Golf Club chose to support the Hospice with this marvellous golf day for a fourth year in a row.  It’s wonderful that all involved can have a brilliant day out on the course in the knowledge that they are also helping to support such a worthy cause.

“This funding is vital for us to be able to provide palliative end of life care and bereavement support across such a wide area.”

Rocky expressed his own thanks to Burhill Golf Course – and the organising skills of ex Southampton, Liverpool and Welsh international goalkeeper Paul and Jones and his wife Annette who pulled together the entire event.

Next year’s Rocky Taylor and John Virgo Golf Day is pencilled in for 14 August – contact for details and bookings.

Photo: 1 – Sock it to me! Princess Alice Community Partnerships and Events Lead Claire Woodward tries a stunt on Rocky Taylor.

Gerald’s on the run again – at 89! - 23 October 2019

Once bitten, twice shy is not something you can say about Gerald Pratt

At 89, bitten by the fun run bug last year, Gerald is among the first to sign up to this year’s Princess Alice Hospice Santa Fun Run.

Former machine shop foreman Gerald, who hails from Whitton, has been walking regularly in Richmond Park and Bushy Park for the best part of two years, having joined the Princess Alice Hospice Walk and Talk group after the death of his wife Margaret.

They both worked at the Wilson and Kyle factory in Brentford; Margaret starting at 14 and Gerald at 17.

They married in 1958 and moved to a house in Whitton the day they were married, where they raised a family and where Gerald still lives. He’s been retired 24 years.

He was inspired to join the Santa Fun Run last year by a new friend he made while on the regular Princess Alice Hospice Walk and Talk strolls in Bushy Park. That same friend, Barry, will be joining him again this year, along with fellow Walk and Talker Sylvia – who last year cheered them on but is joining in this time.

A grandfather of seven, Gerald reckons he will be taking the fun run at a leisurely pace – hopefully a fast walk – and finish under an hour.

When he’s not out and about on his favourite walks, Gerald can be found in the Hospice Man Shed, which he joined after last year’s Santa Fun Run.

Here he can put his skills to use in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere – designing and making wooden toys and games, planters and other items.

  • If you would like to join Gerald and our other Santas in one of our upcoming Santa Fun Runs in Painshill Park, Richmond Park and Bushy Park, sign up at or call 01372 461808. There’s a 20% Early Bird discount if – like Gerald – you book before October 31

Photo: That’ll be me! Gerald can’t wait to join in at Bushy Park again this year

Hospice shows what it takes to be the best - 7 October 2019

Seven doctors, 1,040 litres of washing up liquid, 1,008 Santa suits, 1,415 volunteers and 13 window cleaners - this is just some of what it takes for Princess Alice Hospice to provide exceptional end of life care each year

Princess Alice Hospice is one of more than 200 charitable hospices across the UK taking part in Hospice Care Week (7-13 October).

This year the theme “This is What It Takes” will be highlighting that while hospice care is provided free for people with life-limiting conditions and their families, it is not cheap and takes a lot of skills and people and resources.

The Princess Alice Hospice in Esher is the hub which coordinates end of life care at home, for more than 800 people across the care area, at any one time. This all costs £10.3million a year.

Hospices depend on the contribution of many “backroom” people such as: cleaners, cooks, shop staff, gardeners, as well as countless dedicated volunteers.

Princess Alice Hospice is supported to the tune of £500,000 a year by its 45 shops. Our five vans cover the equivalent distance of London to Mexico City every month as they collect and deliver furniture and other items. The service gets 10,800 furniture collection requests a year.

Annually, Hospice staff travel 192,400 for their duties in the community, with another 28,700 miles covered by volunteer driver ferrying patients to and fro.

Customers bought 23,619 packs of Christmas cards in 2018 – and the Hospice strung up 1,425ft of 5,000 tree lights. Another 16,000 fairy lights decorate the outside of the building.

We launder around 24,960 uniforms a year – and dispose of 5,016kg of clinical waste. Meanwhile, 47 loos and 146 sinks in the building have to be cleaned at least once a day – most, twice.

Enough milk to make 5,927 mugs of tea is used every week in the Hospice – along with 300 eggs (15,500 a year). Imagine chopping up 15kg of onions a week, along with 10kg carrots and 354kg potatoes – week in, week out.

Enough bread is bought each week to make 200 sandwiches and 370 pieces of toast; in one year, 472 litres of cream are poured, whipped and spooned.

Hospice care is about much more than nursing and medical care on the inpatient unit. It comprises other services including nutritional advice, physiotherapy, massage and reflexology, bereavement counselling, befriending and hospice care at home.

The majority of our support advice and care is provided in the community setting, enabling people to remain in their preferred place of care, usually home

Here’s what goes on in a year at Princess Alice Hospice:

  • 8,800 support sessions by our social work, chaplaincy, bereavement and Children In Need teams
  • 5,877 therapy sessions including 3,824 occupational therapy and physio sessions
  • 2,414 day services activities attended – supporting 254 people
  • 1,415 volunteers contribute across the region, in 97 different roles

In 2018, we helped:

  • 481 patients cared for by the In-Patient Unit
  • Another 800 people receiving direct care and support at home at any one time
  • 2,862 visits made by night response team

Nicki Shaw, Chief Executive of Princess Alice Hospice, said: “Princess Alice Hospice receives 19% of its income as grant funding from the NHS and has to raise the rest itself. It relies heavily on the generous support of the local community, including from companies, donors and hospice fundraising supporters.

“This year, many hospices are facing considerable financial challenges, so the support we receive from the public is more important than ever before.”

A wide variety of fundraising events help support the Hospice each year – including skydives which saw 35 people dive 465,000ft between them – that’s 16 times the height of Everest. Abseilers covered the equivalent of 61 Wembley football pitches – 21,400 feet.

Staff processed 176,800 monetary transactions in the year, with 25,771 retail customers taking advantage of Gift Aid.

Hospice Chair, Fiona Ross CBE, said: “Our grateful thanks go to the armies of supporters and volunteers who give so much of their time and effort to support the Hospice.

“From the Trustees through to the collection tin volunteers, we truly could not continue our outstanding level of service without their sterling efforts.”

Tracey Bleakley, Chief Executive of national hospice and end of life care charity Hospice UK, said: “Hospices provide incredible care and improve the lives of so many people with life-limiting conditions and their loved ones. During Hospice Care Week, we’d like to give a big shout out to everyone involved in making this happen for more than 200,000 families every year.”

Each year hospices care for than 200,000 people with terminal and life-limiting conditions and also provide bereavement support for more than 40,000 families.

Golf day milestone for Hospice funds - 26 September 2019

Royal patronage and a tradition of generous giving have distinguished a particular golf tournament over the past quarter century

Thanks to the annual Nelson Trophy event held at St George’s Hill Golf Club, Weybridge, Princess Alice Hospice has benefited over the past 25 years, to the tune of around £500,000 in total. £40,000 of this was raised by Saturday’s event alone.

This year is the 25th anniversary of the initial Nelson Trophy tournament dedicated to the Hospice.

Saturday saw a total of 124 players tee off for the pro-am tournament. Star guests included former professional snooker player and TV pundit Willie Thorne, TV presenters Mark Austin and Ben Shepherd and former professional golfer Neil Coles.

Comedian Bobby Davro provided the entertainment after golf over lunch.

A cheque for £500,000 – representing the accumulated total of funds raised so far by the tournament – was handed over to Hospice Honorary President Jane Formby.

She spoke of the enduring relationship between the club and the Hospice, outlining the history and development of its palliative care services and giving very grateful thanks to the players for their generosity.

She said afterwards: “”This was such an enjoyable day, but apart from great entertainment from Bobby Davro and excellent auctioneer Willy Thorne the best thing was the warmth felt towards the Hospice and the great generosity of all concerned whether financial or in time spent in the organisation of the day”

This year’s event alone should raise close to £40,000, via a silent and live auction, member donations and a raffle.


Background: St George’s Hill Golf Club has a strong historical and personal association with Princess Alice that pre-dates The Nelson Trophy.

The club’s inaugural President, between 1913 and 1956, was Princess Alice’s husband, Prince Alexander of Teck.

During his tenure as President, The Nelson Trophy was donated to the club by the Royal Navy/Royal Marine Golfing Society.

The competition for many years was played in pairs – one pro, one member; however in the late 1960s support waned and the competition was suspended.

In 1985 Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother officially opened the Hospice, in memory of Queen Victoria’s last surviving grandchild, Princess Alice, who died in 1981.

In 1993 under the initiative of the then-Captain, Barry Hancock, the Nelson Trophy Pro-Am was resurrected in the format we know today, a charity four-ball pro-am team alliance.

The following year, under Alistair Deane’s guidance the beneficiary of the event became the Princess Alice Hospice and remains so today. A respectable £6,500 was raised – the equivalent of £12,700 today.

Ourphoto shows, holding a cheque representing the cumulative total of funds raised since 1994, from left, Ross Marshall, SGH member and CEO Your Golf Travel; Julian Buck, SGH Men’s Captain; Jane Formby, Hon President, Princes Alice Hospice; Holms Carlile, SGH President; Alistair Deane, SGH 1994 Captain; Chris Pinsent, SGH member and Nelson Trophy organiser


We’re thriving, despite the challenges - 17 September 2019

This year has been a turbulent one for hospices: Uncertainty over Brexit, financial deficits and overstretched health and social care budgets have meant hospices face stark choices over what they can and can’t provide – at a time when demand on their services is growing.

This week’s publication of the Princess Alice Hospice’s Trustees Annual Report, shows how the Hospice has faced the challenges of the past year and how it has fought to achieve its goals despite the gloomy economic climate.

At the Hospice’s Annual Meeting on Thursday 12 September, Princess Alice Hospice Chief Executive Nicki Shaw said. “We are mid-way through a five-year strategy that was developed during what now feels as if was a very different time – pre-Brexit and pre-Donald Trump.

“That has inevitably had an impact on some of the scale and scope of our ambition, however we remain committed to our overarching aim of reaching more people with our care, skills, knowledge, expertise and experience.”

Ms Shaw also outlined the Hospice’s success in making progress in patient care and support as outpatients in settings nearer their homes; developing Compassionate Communities with the help of volunteers and community groups – and better use of digital technology to help the Hospice meet its ambitious goals.

Last year it cost the Hospice £10.3 million to provide free, high quality care and support to nearly 3,000 patients – this year it will be more. Yet only £2 million (19%) of this cost is met by NHS grants. The fact that its NHS grant funding has barely increased over the past 10 years has put additional pressure on fundraising staff and the local community to help plug the gap.

The £25 million recently promised by Prime Minister, Boris Johnson will not go far to alleviate the pressures faced by Hospices throughout the UK. It represents just four hours’ care per patient.

Ms Shaw added. “As always, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our volunteers, supporters and fundraisers for all their support. Their commitment to us has enabled the Hospice to be there for patients and families during those most challenging of times – and we know without their continued support, we simply couldn’t offer the excellent compassion, care and services that we do.”

The annual report is available on the Princess Alice Hospice website –

Iris’s short cut for Hospice charity - 17 September 2019

A little girl with a big heart has raised more than £2,000 for Princess Alice Hospice - by having her waist-length hair cut off

Iris Hayes, five, who lives in Walton, decided to raise money for the Hospice which cared for her grandma Wendy, who died at home earlier this summer.

Iris had already decided she wanted to have her hair cut like her mum Amber’s – a sleek bob – and donate her tresses to The Little Princess Trust, a charity which makes real hair wigs for children who lose theirs through illness.

Her brother Tom, seven, had heard that people did fundraising for the Hospice and mentioned it to his family.

Combining the hair donation with sponsorship, Iris’s efforts raised £2,070. Her hair was put into five foot-long plaits, then cut and styled into a bob, by Toni and Guy at Walton – who waived their fee for the occasion.

Amber said: “She wasn’t nervous at all – I think it was worse for me!

“People have been very generous with donations. It’s been really overwhelming.”

Iris has since visited the Hospice with Tom, Amber and grandad Lawrence.

They spoke of the family’s gratitude for the care given to Wendy.

“The nurses who came out to mum were incredible. Their kindness was on another level. They looked after us and made sure we were doing OK as a family too,” said Amber.

The first day back at Ashley Primary School, Iris turned heads with her new, sophisticated style.

She says her next fundraising event will be a marathon cycle ride with her dad Matt and Brother Tom – from London back to the family home in Walton. She’s hoping this will be her 2020 challenge.

Hospice rolls back the years - 17 September 2019

The clock was wound back 40 years or more at Princess Alice Hospice, in celebration of all things 1970s.

The Esher-based charity Princess Alice Hospice returned the days of UK joining the Common Market, decimalisation, the first test-tube baby and the emergence of punk.

It was all in support of this year’s Remember A Charity Week (9th–15th September).

The Hospice was one of more than 200 charities taking part in a series of events around the UK, urging supporters to pass on something wonderful by leaving a gift in their Will, after they’ve taken care of friends and family.

There was a display of 1970s memorabilia, featuring clothing, household items, LPs, books and toys from the era; a special 1970s menu comprising chicken chasseur, minute steak, veg lasagne and a cold buffet with poached salmon, alongside the iconic cheese and pineapple on cocktail sticks and prawn cocktail. Menus were designed with 70s stars adorning the pages.

Staff delved into their wardrobes – and the charity’s high street shops – to dig out 1970s fashions – flares, hippy gear, platform shoes and shades.

There was a 70s style film screening of the week’s promotional videos, with popcorn.

It was all with a serious purpose – to highlight the huge importance of legacies in funding the Hospice’s work.

The outstanding work of the Hospice has been made possible by gifts in Wills, with £5.1 million donated through Wills over the past year. That’s our biggest income stream –  50 per cent of the total £10.3 it takes to provide our free, high quality care.

Former Strictly Come Dancing head judge Len Goodman featured in the national campaign, along with a spoof version of “Points of View” the BBC TV viewers’ feedback programme.

Hospice Legacy, In Memory and High Value Partnerships Lead Alison Adams said: “We are delighted to be part of this year’s Remember A Charity Week, encouraging our supporters to pass on something wonderful to the next generation. Gifts in Wills are crucial to our charity’s work – both now and long into the future.”

If you have any legacy enquiries regarding Princess Alice Hospice, contact

Bridge Club invasion boosts Hospice charity funds - 17 September 2019

The usually sedate pastime of bridge isn’t usually associated with venue-hopping and fine dining - so a charity event in aid of Princess Alice Hospice was a remarkable experience in every way - including raising thousands of pounds

The Richmond Bridge Club’s Café Bridge tournament saw 332 players take part in the UK’s biggest-ever such event – and the fourth in Richmond town centre.

With 83 tables spread across 15 restaurants in the picturesque riverside town, competitors were required to play four hands of bridge in 30 minutes, at each venue.

Organised with military precision, café bridge players all begin at their allocated start venue and make their way to the next venue and the next – six times in all.

At their third venue – wherever it happens to be among the 15 restaurants taking part – players order a two-course meal to enjoy before they play.

This year’s event then continued until around 4.30pm – when everyone converged on a riverside venue for prize-giving. A raffle for prizes including restaurant vouchers was held, along with prizes from the bridge club itself.

The Hospice’s Richmond Friends group joined the event by selling raffle tickets at the start in the town hall, and toured the variety of restaurants to raise more funds.

Venues taking part this year were Bills, Adesso, Chez Lindsay, Cote, Jackson & Rye, The Old Ship, Pizza Express, Thai Elephant, La Buvette, Sebastian’s, Buenos Aires Steak House, Don Fernandos, One Kew Road, The Duke & The Railway Tavern.

The café bridge event, along with a Swiss pairs event and supper bridge evening, raised a fantastic £7,163 for Princess Alice Hospice.

“The Hospice was the chosen charity this year because our previous long-serving club chairman Richard Millard was cared for at Princess Alice Hospice earlier this year,” said Lee Byram, who organises café bridge for the 1,070-strong club – the biggest in the UK.

For details of the club’s upcoming events – including an open day for anyone thinking of joining – visit

>>>> Richmond Friends of Princess Alice Hospice have been supporting the charity for nearly 30 years; they not only raise funds through their own full calendar of events such as jazz and opera nights, garden parties, curry nights and tennis tournaments – but have stalls and help out at Hospice events including the summer and Christmas fetes, Women Of Our Time and Towpath Trundle.

Our picture shows, from left, Nicky Kwolek, Lee Byram, John Hughes, Sue Cummings, Moira McKenna, Judy Baker, Mikkie Bianchi, Sally Grant and Marta Hughes


Abseilers face their fear for Hospice - 3 September 2019

Two women with very different lives are both facing the same scary challenge - with the aim of raising funds for charity.

Retiree Jennifer Benyon-Tinker has worked in IT in various capacities, including many years in IT Career Placement. She also worked as a carer for people with learning difficulties, for four years.

Kat Hanouskova is a palliative care doctor at Princess Alice Hospice, the charity for whom the women are abseiling down the Broadgate Tower on September 15.

Jennifer has always tended to support charities linked to cancer – and first abseiled 20 years ago off the Fujitsu building in Bracknell, then in a Guinness World Record event at Twickenham Stadium in 2006, followed by Canary Wharf in 2007.

Kat is stepping off the 165-metre building for a challenge the like of which is completely unknown in her home country of Czech Republic, where she will return in two months’ time.

“People will maybe run a marathon for charity – but challenges such as this, or skydiving, are just not part of the culture,” she said. “It’s difficult getting the message across – just exactly what I’m doing – and why!” she added.

Jennifer’s motivation is to support the Hospice because of the care and support offered to people at the end of their lives, along with their families. She’s doing the challenge in memory of her close friend Nina, and as a tribute to her brother, Christopher Whitwell, who dies very unexpectedly in July.

Jennifer said: “In some respects it is often harder for the family and friends than the person with cancer and places like the Princess Alice Hospice allow people to die with dignity as well as offering the loved ones counselling and support.”

Kat, a mum of two young children, is facing the fear because she has so enjoyed working at the Hospice during the past year and wanted to mark that with something special.

She said: “One of the reasons I’ve decided to do this is that I really like the idea of this for me very ‘challenging challenge’ and feelings I have (and hopefully after I complete it) will be connected to Princess Alice forever.”

What the two women do have in common is their trepidation about the event.

On her Justgiving page, Jennifer said: “I am scared of heights and do not enjoy abseiling but feel I should do something that makes me face up to my fears. I hope the guys up the top don’t tell me not to look down or I might push them over the edge! Look down – don’t they realise that if I looked down I would stay at the top for ever?

“Who in their right mind would step off a building when they are that far off the ground?”

Kat did some abseiling and skydiving some years ago in the Antipodes and said: “I was always afraid of heights if I wasn’t attached to anything and I would say it is getting worse. I was always first on all sorts of rollercoasters but actually, not that much anymore.

“I have this completely mixed feeling about the abseil. I am very excited but petrified at the same time. Looking forward? Definitely. Worried that I will freeze – yes indeed!”

Both have a Justgiving page for anyone who’d like to sponsor them.

Success for first Hospice Summer School - 7 August 2019

“They started off very apprehensive about what a Hospice is . . . and by the end of the week had discovered that end of life care is not depressing and can be fun and uplifting.”

So said one of the Princess Alice Hospice Summer School leaders in the wake of the first week-long course for young people at the Esher-based Hospice.

The Summer School programme is a City and Guilds course designed for students aged 16 to 19 who might be interested in a career in health or social care.

Successful completion of the week, which includes the compilation of a workbook, results in a City and Guilds Level 2 Award in End of Life Care.

During Summer School, 13 students had the opportunity to meet patients at the Hospice Wellbeing Centre and also various staff in clinical and non-clinical roles.

This first group particularly enjoyed the speed-networking event where they were able to interview nurses, doctors, a physiotherapist, occupational therapist and social worker, about their work, the qualifications needed and the skills/attributes necessary for the job.

They learned about how to deliver care in a person-centred way and how to communicate sensitively with people who might have a life-limiting illness.

Inhibitions were shed as they brushed each others’ teeth, fed their partners jelly and juice, washed their hands and gave soothing hand massages.

The students met patients in the Wellbeing Centre, where people with life-limiting conditions can drop in to enjoy arts and crafts, active therapies, symptom management, future care planning and so on.

The students put into practice their new communication skills – being mindful to let the conversation be led by the patient, for example, asking open questions and actively listening – and being responsive to the patients’ comments about their illness or circumstances.

“They came up with some brilliant suggestions once they started to think about responding to sensitive or difficult questions,” said a session leader.

A session in the Hospice Man Shed went down well with students and shedders alike; the latter put together a team activity which they then coached the students in solving; then came more practical work in the form of building small electric motors.

Some of their comments before and after the course reflect the students’ preconceptions – and illustrate how the hands-on experience at the Hospice has had a strong, in some cases profound, effect on their understanding of end of life care.

They were asked: “What do you hope to learn?”

“Some important skills that can help with my later career.”

“How patients’ families feel about the Hospice’s care and how it has helped their loved one.”

Reflect on your expectation from day one – have these changed over the week and if so, how?

“At the start of the week I wasn’t too sure what to expect; however, it has proved to be very educational.”

How has attending the Summer School impacted on your career plans?

“I’ve always wanted a career in health care and more specifically as a doctor but I had never really considered specialising in end of life care as I thought it would be depressing; this experience has made me realise that it can be very rewarding and isn’t a depressing environment.”

“It had made me realise that I want to be a doctor more, because it opened my eyes to a whole new aspect of medicine.”

“I am now aware of more roles in health and social care and the different pathways people follow. It has made me realise I want to study nursing, to then gain different experiences before deciding which direction to go in.”

What have you learned from the Summer School?

“All the different roles involve in palliative care and health and social care in general.”

“About how to communicate effectively with patients, in a way that helps them remain calm.”

“We learned about palliative care, why it’s important, and the factors of a ‘good death’.”

“I really enjoyed the summer school as it was a fun experience that changed my perspective on death and dying and made me realise that caring for patients is so much more than physically helping them – and I hope to apply this when I become a doctor.

“A Hospice is not just a sad place where people die – it is a place where people with a life-limiting illness are comforted and taken care of so they have a happy death.

“I was surprised by how much the Hospice provides help for people in their own homes, such as fitting special equipment to make their lives easier – making a huge improvement to quality of life and helping them become more independent.”

“I learned that even with the illness they don’t see themselves as less than capable. One person I spoke with realised his limits and said that the Hospice really saved him, he spoke about the Man Shed and the social group.”

>>>>>>> The course was hosted by St. Christopher’s Hospice, a C&G registered centre, with Princess Alice Hospice acting as a satellite base.

Students came from Esher College, Kingston Grammar School, Heathside School in Weybridge and Southborough School, Surbiton.

Contact the Education Team to find out more: Email, telephone 01372 461 988 or visit

Families’ street party bonus for Hospice - 30 July 2019

The good vibes from a street party held in North London have been picked up miles away - thanks to a generous family who used the fun event to raise money for Princess Alice Hospice

Kim Smith and her family, from Epsom, joined the street party in Hornsey which has grown over the years to encompass residents and friends from many different communities.

Kim, her husband Admir and children Redian, 14 and Rejlinda,12, donned their Albanian national dress and danced to folk music – which was enthusiastically embraced by other families at the event.

“We also made food including honey cake and baklava,” said Kim. “It was a really great day which everyone enjoyed.”

The family raised £91.70 which they brought in to the Hospice. Kim explained that they decided to raise the money because they had learned about the Hospice from visiting the shop near their home in Epsom; they plan to support the Hospice with further fundraising events.

Mum’s two-for-one marathon challenge - 29 July 2019

Soon to be swapping the suburban streets and parks of Surrey for the heat, hardship and dunes of the Sahara is a mum with a mission

Keen runner Sophie Rees already has many fundraising runs under her belt, including a number of marathons and half marathons – and is now aiming for an ultimate challenge: two events back to back over two days – in the extreme conditions of the Sahara Dessert.

She’s giving her utmost to raise £10,000 in memory of her close friend Charlotte Coleman-Smith, who was cared for by Princess Alice Hospice before she died last October.

Almost a year later, 47-year-old Sophie will be tackling stone paths and sand dunes during the two marathons in October – through the Draa Valley in Morocco.

Bedouin camping out in the desert, with limited facilities, Sophie admits she’s never done anything remotely similar before. She admits to be being excited but nervous with her biggest fear being the prospect of lurking scorpions: “I’ll make doubly sure I shake out my running shoes in the mornings!” she said.

She won’t be alone by any means – the Ultra Sahara Challenge group will be 250-strong overall. Sophie also has scores of people at home rooting for her – not least her husband Huw and son George, 12.

“They’ve got used to my schedule taking over sometimes – with my training runs fitting in around home life and work,” she said. “George joins me on some of the shorter runs – while Huw is in charge of  the logisitics,” she said. Part of her preparation includes 3 UK marathons during the course of the year and an Ultra event in September – 50k along the Thames from Fulham to Windsor.

Her progress is also being keenly followed by the staff and students at St Paul’s School, Barnes, where she is HR Director.

“I’ve had invaluable advice and support from the school sports coaches, regarding how to build my strength and stamina,” she said. She will be fitted with a tracker device, meaning she can be followed online throughout the events.

Her friendship with Charlotte was forged on the school run and social events surrounding their children and families. Charlotte’s three sons Joseph, Patrick and Charlie and husband James have also been raising funds for the hospice. James has commented: “We’re in awe of Sophie’s monumental efforts to raise funds in such a challenging way. We’re also deeply touched that she is doing it all in memory of dear Charlotte.”

Sophie’s fundraising for Princess Alice Hospice and Breast Cancer Now.

To sponsor Sophie visit

Race night an odds-on winner for Hospice - 29 July 2019

A group of parents hit on a winning streak when they organised a race night at a Whitton school - with Princess Alice Hospice reaping the rewards

The light-hearted evening of horse-racing, organised by a group of Nelson School parents, was held for the third year running – this time raising nearly £3,000 for the Esher-based charity.

This year’s event was in memory of their close friend, Sam Coley, a mum of two who died last year after a two-year battle with cancer.

The Princess Alice Hospice supported Sam and her family through her illness and continues to support her young boys.

Whitton businesses were extremely generous with donating raffle prizes which, along with a fish and chip supper, were enjoyed by more than 70 guests.

The grand total raised on the evening was £2,946.20, which was presented to the Hospice by Sam’s mum Mary and friends.

Mary said: “Princess Alice Hospice will always be close to our hearts for the help they gave us while Sam was with us during her illness – and now without her.

“They also gave me support to care for my Dad, whose wish was to die at home just like our daughter; with the help and support from the Hospice, his wish was made possible.

“The Hospice does a great job at supporting families and we will be forever grateful.”

Hospice Partnerships Fundraiser Kerry Brown said: “We’re hugely grateful to Nelson Primary and everyone who helped raise this donation – the race night turned out a really enjoyable community event.

“We only get a fraction of our income from the NHS – and need to raise £9.9m every year to continue delivering outstanding care 24/7 across a huge area.

“Thanks to everyone who gave so generously of their time and money.””

Photo: From left, Rachel Somers. Mary Coley, Emma Cazemage. Another organiser – Carolyn Fursse – couldn’t be there

Golfers take cue from snooker star for charity - 26 July 2019

A golf day organised by John Virgo - former professional snooker player, co-host of BBC’s Big Break, and commentator for BBC snooker coverage - has raised £3080 for Princess Alice Hospice

Seven times world snooker champ Stephen Hendry and stuntman Rocky Taylor – the Cobham-based veteran of scores of movies – joined a fundraising day of golf at Hersham Golf Club.

The golf day – now in its seventh year – brings the overall total raised by the annual event, to more than £21,000.

The event is played as a four-ball Better Ball with the best two scores from the four players in each group counting; in all 124 golfers took part.

Along the way there were prizes for nearest the pin on three holes – and a VW car for a hole in one.

“There were a couple of heart-stopping moments for the sponsor – Lookers VW Walton – but it remained unclaimed!” said golf club manager Dean Mara.

John Virgo said after the event: “It’s always a pleasure to be able to help the Hospice with such an enjoyable event; it’s one of the highlights of the summer.

“From our regular visits to the Hospice itself, we appreciate the outstanding care and commitment of all the staff, in caring for people when they need it most.”

Claire Woodward, Princess Alice Senior Partnerships Fundraiser said: “It’s absolutely fantastic that John and Hersham Golf Club chose to support the Hospice with this marvellous golf day for a seventh year in a row.

“This funding is vital for us to be able to provide palliative end of life care and bereavement support across such a wide area.””

John was especially grateful to sponsors Lookers VW Walton, Wilson Bet, Srixon, Fullers and Roche Bobois of Walton. A raffle on the day raised more than £1,000.

Our picture shows John Virgo, left, with Rocky Taylor and the “Hole In One” car

Cooking with confidence - 25 July 2019

Hospice helps novice cooks conquer the kitchen

Picking up cookery skills at a time when you’re finding it hard to cope is a daunting task.

Those who’ve been bereaved – or suddenly find themselves caring for someone – can find themselves with the dilemma of having to fend for themselves in the kitchen

Help is at hand at Princess Alice Hospice in Esher, where short, practical cookery classes are proving a lifeline to people who’ve never dabbled in the culinary arts.

Groups of nervous novices have been amazed and delighted to find they can turn out mouth-watering dishes including pies, pasta, fish dishes, curry and stir fries, in just four two-hour sessions.

Led by head chef Allan Barclay, the courses focus on building the class’s confidence through teaching basic techniques and recipes that can be adapted to a variety of dishes.

He said: “We show them how a simple pastry recipe can be used as the base for crumble topping, a sweet or savoury pie or a quiche, for example. A meat and tomato ragout can be used for bolognese, lasagne, or chilli con carne.”

Allan believes that confidence is the key to successful cookery; trial and error can teach a lot – and the results aren’t always a disaster.

Allan starts by asking the class what sort of dishes they’d like to master and goes on from there – introducing techniques, tips and advice on what to look for when food shopping.

Learning together is also beneficial for the class. They can work alongside each other, practising chopping, folding, rolling out, baking – and washing up!

It is hoped that at the end of the course the novices will have learned about food hygiene, know more about nutritional values in food and what a balanced diet looks like.  They will be able to buy and prepare fresh vegetables, know how to handle sharp utensils safely and how to use an oven and be able to prepare and cook a variety of meals.

The most recent intake – the second course – included Chris, who was very impressed with the experience.

He said: “Allan gave us confidence to try new things as well as to plan and manage our menus – we learned basic food hygiene, food handling and menu planning. I certainly benefited a lot.

“The time went so quickly and I enjoyed every minute of it.”

Sue found the food preparation and tips on nutrition the most useful.

“To be honest, it was all helpful – and I hope I can now achieve some good results!”

She also mentioned the professionalism of the coaching – while leaving room for some fun as well.

James was pleased to discover the variety of dishes that can be made by adapting the ingredients in different ways – and surprised himself with his ability to make pastry for the first time.

He said: “The numerous tips that Allan gave us were particularly useful – especially using the chopping knife!

“I was very pleased to do the course and found it very helpful. It has given me confidence for the future.”

Allan was pleased to report that the group had swapped telephone numbers and plan to meet up; the same happened on the first course, whose members had a get-together in the weeks following the course.

James said: “It was nice to get along so well with the other participants.”

A final mention for volunteers Lynne and Natalie, who encouraged the newbie cooks and whose extra tips and advice were most welcome.

Two further cookery courses are planned for the autumn; all on Thursday evenings from 5-7pm starting 5 September and 3 October. There are two spaces left on the first, and four on the second.

Contact Sally Holland via email –, or phone 01372 461996.

Big band’s birthday goes with a swing - 25 July 2019

Big band sounds filled the air alongside the mouth-watering aroma of barbecue food, when Ember Big Band celebrated its 10th birthday at the weekend

The bars and garden of Marney’s Village Inn in Weston Green were packed with families enjoying a sizzling time at the lunchtime gig.

The programme of showtunes, jazz and band classics kept the crowds entertained – and helped raise funds for Princess Alice Hospice.

A portion of the barbecue income was also added to the donation on the day.

The Ember Big Band is staging a special concert in support of the Hospice on Saturday, October 12 at The Hammond Theatre in Hampton.

Supported by dancers from Impact Dance Studios, the 20-strong band will play hits from movies and musical theatre, with Glenn Miller and Rat Pack tributes, some soul, funk and good old rock ‘n’ roll.

Ticket options include a VIP package comprising champagne reception with canapés, a popular choice that will turn the evening into a memorable occasion.

For tickets visit

Hospice Dove flies high in 3D artwork - 18 July 2019

A fascinating artwork comprising hundreds of charity pin badges, has been created by artist Efrosini Hobbs

Taking almost three years to complete, the canvas depicts an eagle soaring into a star-filled sky above a dark forest. The eagle comprises bird pin badges, while star-shaped badges make up the constellation.

Prominent at the tip of the eagle’s leading wing is a Princess Alice Hospice dove badge in the charity’s distinctive pink.

One of three works on a theme, the canvas has taken a huge amount of effort from Efrosini, who is housebound due to a spinal condition, and also suffers fibromyalgia and Addison’s disease

Eltham-based Efrosini said: “I first had the idea in autumn 2016, to use charity pin badges to give my canvasses a 3-D effect, as I’d been collecting pin badges for years. I realised that an art project would give me something positive to focus on, to lift me out of my despair. And indeed, it has proved the best therapy for me!

“Every movement causes me pain and I am constantly fatigued,” she said

Efrosini has plans to write a book about the charities whose pin badges she has used.

“Every pin badge tells a story, especially when I look at the child-loss charities set up by bereaved parents, and these stories deserve to be told.

“With regard to the canvasses, I would love to get them exhibited once the remaining two are completed.”

Efrosini’s first canvas is titled Magnificent In Flight – Soaring Starwards.

Hare & Hounds play around for charity - 16 July 2019

A popular local pub has raised £1,740 for Princess Alice Hospice - from just one event of a number organised this year

Landlord Nick Stafford of the Hare and Hounds, Claygate, handed over a cheque at the village centre pub, proceeds of The Big Golf Day held at Surbiton Golf Club.

More than 60 players turned out for the golf, which started with coffee and bacon sandwiches and ended with drinks, games and a raffle at the pub. Many of them have connections to the Hospice, where family members and friends have been cared for.

The pub, well known for its live music, has a great community feel which is reflected in the regular events – most of which raise funds for charities.

The Hospice will benefit for the third year running, from the Battle Of The Bands planned for early January.

Gearing up for another golf day in September, Nick said: “Our events are all a great team effort – with support from the local football and cricket clubs, musicians and regulars willing to do their bit to make things a success – most particularly Gary Bownes, David Smith and Tony Shearman.”

Hospice Partnerships Fundraiser Beth Sadler said: “The Hare and Hounds reflects the real heart of the community – and we’re so pleased they have thought of the Hospice at times of fun and celebration.

“Without this kind of freely-given support, the Hospice would not be able to continue providing outstanding services for so many people.”

Photo: Our picture shows landlord Nick Stafford and assistant manager Jo Kozak with the cheque

Stars come out for Hospice supporters - 12 July 2019

Guests were treated to a trip round numerous galaxies and an array of mind-boggling statistics about space, at a special event staged by Princess Alice Hospice

The night sky was brought down to Earth, courtesy of astrophysicist Dr Mark Galloway and his remarkable inflatable planetarium.

The event was put on to raise awareness of the Hospice’s Care Through The Night campaign which supports the Night Nurse service.

The prestigious venue for the planetarium was the Founders Dining Hall at Royal Holloway University, Egham – who generously gave the space for the evening and recruited Physics student ambassadors Catriona and Lizzie to assist.

Dr Galloway started with showing familiar constellations projected on the inside of the black dome, then moved on to share amazing facts and figures about the universe, current astrophysics research – and some ancient myths and legends related to the stars. A lively Q&A followed the presentation.

The audience also heard about the personal experiences of Hospice nurses Camilla and Sallyann – both from the Night Nursing team. They spoke movingly of their vocation as well as the touching, sad and sometimes uplifting moments they share with patients and their families in the hours of darkness.

From left, Nigel Seymour, Hospice Director of Fundraising, Marketing & Communication; Alison Adams, Hospice Partnerships Lead; Dr Mark Galloway; Nicki Shaw, Princess Alice Hospice Chief Executive and Fiona Ross, Chair of the Trustees at Princess Alice Hospice

“The setting could not have been better,” said one guest, while another commented: “The real stars of the night were Camilla and Sallyann.”

Hospice Partnerships Lead Alison Adams said: “I was very pleased to have the opportunity to meet some of our supporters who feel particularly passionate about the care and support our Hospice provides through the night.

“Many of our guests support our Hospice in memory of a loved one; we rely more and more on the community’s support to ensure we are here for more people, when and where they need us most.

“This star-gazing event was a fabulous opportunity to say thank you and raise awareness of the difference their support can, and does make.”

From the 1930s–60s, Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, was Chair of the Council (governing body) of Royal Holloway College

Triathletes’ tribute benefits Hospice funds - 10 July 2019

What started as a family tribute to a much-loved sister turned into a memorable event for neighbours, friends and colleagues - and raised more than £11,000 for Princess Alice Hospice

Rachel Smith was 44 when she died of cancer in November last year, leaving behind her husband, Graham, and three children under 12. She died in the Hospice after several years living with the condition.

Her sister Helen Marsh, pictured above, said: “The care she – and we all – received in the weeks she spent at the Hospice was exceptional.

“It was a heartbreaking and tragic thing to lose her, but was so much easier to bear because of the kindness and support shown to us by the Hospice.”

Always an active member of the community where her family lived near Oxford, and subsequently in New Malden, Rachel lived life to the full according to Helen.

So it was a fitting tribute for her loved ones to take on the challenge of the Blenheim Triathlon, which Rachel herself had conquered several times – even while suffering the effects of cancer and chemo treatment.

Rachel Smith


When Helen, a lawyer, announced earlier this year she was aiming to enter the Blenheim event, friends and family stepped forward to join her – including a few who had limited experience of the swimming, cycling and running involved.

Participants included fellow parents at Christchurch School, neighbours and friends made up a group of 20 or so entrants. Their training took over their lives from January until the event in June.

With two levels of competition, everyone found something they could aim for.

Among them, family friend and Christchurch French teacher Victoria Robinson and Helen’s neighbour Lucy Bond – another Christchurch teacher – supported each other throughout – finishing together on the day.

With everyone having enjoyed the atmosphere and camaraderie of the experience, which was followed by a picnic organised by Rachel and Helen’s mum Catherine, places for the 2020 triathlon are already booked.

Making Memories that last - 4 July 2019

A family run business that creates lasting memories in the form of plaster casts of hands, is supporting Princess Alice Hospice by donating 20% of their fees to the charity


Memory Makers create bespoke casts of families holding hands to use as wall decorations. Examples of several casts are on display in the Hospice reception in Esher and have proved to be popular with visitors and patients who are looking to create special memories of being together with loved ones.

One such family are Tracey and Kevin Clout who have just received their finished cast. Tracey said, “I’d like to say a huge thank you for making the cast for us. We both absolutely love it! The detail is amazing and so life-like! I shall treasure it forever! 

Thank you for making a donation to the Hospice. Every penny helps a very worthwhile place.”

With over 20 years experience in making keepsakes, Memory Makers gently capture every detail of the hands in soft alginate. It is then handmade in their workshop before being sent back to the family to treasure.

Corporate Partnership Fundraiser, Tim Iredale said, “We’re extremely grateful to Memory Makers for donating a portion of their fees. We love the casts, they’re beautiful. We hope more people will have their hands cast. It’s a lovely idea.”

Charity cyclists’ sizzling success - 4 July 2019

Nearly three dozen cyclists from an Ashford club battled through the hottest day ever in France en route for Paris - and raised around £14,000 for Princess Alice Hospice

Members of the Ocean Cycling club left the UK on Thursday last week, ending up in Paris Saturday afternoon – travelling during a record-breaking heatwave with temperatures hitting the 40s centigrade.

What started in 2015 as a small group of friends cycling to Paris for charity has mushroomed into the club’s biggest annual event – 303 miles from Esher to Paris in three days.

Ocean Cycling – set up by four dads keen on competing in various sports – now has many more members, 34 of whom saddled up for the trip to French capital.

One of the founder members, Matt Pegg, said he and the other original members – Gary Biddle, Mick Doig and Kevin Taylor – met when their children were at school and they started doing triathlons after a light-hearted challenge was thrown down.

The training and competing in triathlons became too time-consuming so the friends decided to concentrate on cycling. The inspiration to fundraise for the Hospice came via Matt’s wife Kathryn, who works there as a clinical administrator. Her mum Mary Gray had been cared for by the Hospice before she died 20 years ago.

More recently, Gary’s Dad Ronnie was cared for by the Hospice – and Gary rides with his Dad’s name on his cycling top.

This year’s endeavour saw the team accompanied by a back-up operation including motorcycle outrider and support vehicles taking care of medical and mechanical needs as well as refreshments.

“We also had the whole event filmed, to use for promotion as well as a memento for those taking part,” said Matt.

Fundraising this time round looks set to break the £60,000 target over the five years. The team’s Justgiving page shows how each member had fared with their individual appeals.

Hearing of the team’s triumph this week, Princess Alice Hospice, Community Partnerships and Events lead Claire Woodward said: “This has become a much-anticipated annual event here at the Hospice; it was really inspiring and exciting to see the Ocean team set off.

“Their tenacity and sheer hard work to finish the challenge is astonishing. We really appreciate their unwavering support and immense generosity.

“Their contributions to our fundraising appeals each year go a long way towards enabling us to deliver outstanding care across the community as well as here at Esher.”

Pictured is the team at the Arc de Triomphe, on their Facebook page


Skydive at 60 – a birthday breeze for Ray - 3 July 2019

Jumping from a plane at about 10,000 feet is an unusual birthday treat

For Ray Murphy, a business coach, it turned out to be one of the best things he’s ever done – now he’s keen to do more.

When his daughter Bee asked him to join a group of family and friends doing the skydive, he grabbed the chance – despite having previously had two heart attacks and a couple of operations.

The fundraising skydive for Princess Alice Hospice was inspired by the Esher-based Hospice’s outstanding end of life care for close family members and friends – notably Ray’s mother-in-law Dorothy Marola, known as Nanny Dot.

Bee said: “Princess Alice has been close to Dad’s heart and our entire family for many years.  Nanny Dot was a mother, grandmother, great grandmother, aunty and the best friend you could wish for.

“She had Alzheimer’s which led on to Parkinson’s and a stroke which left her in a vegetative state. During this time we got a hospital bed, carers coming four times a day and constant general help from Princess Alice Hospice – who were absolutely fantastic!

“My mum Joanna was her carer for many years and the support she received from Princess Alice was like no other.

“Nanny Dot sadly passed away nine years ago after two years of struggling after the stroke. There are so many other close family relatives and friends who have unfortunately been very unwell but been so fortunate to have Princess Alice by their side throughout the hardest times for them and their family.

“After all of this my mum Joanna is now a senior health care assistant at Princess Alice Hospice.”

Joanna went along to watch her husband, daughter and son Alex do the skydive in the group with Bee’s fiancé Peter Piskov and friend Jana Pidimova.

“She was worried about us but still came along,” said Ray, who lives in Wallington.

Once back on terra firma, Ray said he’d not been too anxious about the tandem jump as he put his trust in his co-jumper – and he’d definitely recommend the experience to others.

And having raised £1,465 from his birthday treat, he’s now happy to look for further charity challenges.

Curious object sparks antiques expert’s interest - 12 June 2019

A battered stringed instrument handed in to a charity shop caught the eye of an Antiques Roadshow expert – and was snapped up by a collector of ethnic art

The wooden zither, embellished with a bird’s head and tail, turned up at the Princess Alice Hospice shop in Raynes Park, where manager Maureen Creely took a shine to it.

The instrument had been donated by a woman who was moving house.

“I thought it might be of value and decided to take it along to the BBC Antiques Roadshow when it came to Morden Hall Park,” she said.

“I was directed towards Lars Tharp, who looked at it and said ‘Wow!’ – and people started crowding round,” she said.

Lars declared it to be a tribal zither, made for export but of unknown origin.

“He plucked the strings and it made a lovely sound – like the signature tune from Tales Of The Unexpected!” said Maureen.

Although the zither was not chosen to feature on the BBC TV show, Maureen took it back to the shop and placed it on sale with an £85 price tag based on Lars’s valuation.

“I popped out from the shop for a few minutes and when I returned, it was gone!” said Maureen.

The staff said the zither had been snapped up by one of the shop’s regular customers, Brian Watson, who is an avid collector of ethnic art.

Brian was delighted with his purchase, which he identified as probably Burmese, around 200 years old.

“It has a lovely sound,” he said. “I originally spotted it a while ago and realised it was a zither – and this time I visited the shop I decided to buy it.”

He has added it to his extensive collection, accrued over the years as a result of his global travels.

Our picture shows Brian Watson with the zither, along with Hospice shop manager Maureen Creely

Fun in the sun at summer fete - 12 June 2019

Well over 1,000 people and scores of dogs enjoyed a host of activities and entertainment at Sunday’s fete at Princess Alice Hospice

The sun stayed bright throughout the annual event, which raised well over £12,500 for the charity.

Stallholders reported boosted figures over previous years – with attractions including giant Whack-a-Mole, novelty dog show, Pimms and gin stalls, arts and crafts, bottle tombola, children’s driving track – all accompanied by live music throughout the afternoon.

Displays by Morris Men, circus skills and martial arts entertained the families, with the highlight being a Princess Parade featuring princesses of various kinds competing in various categories.

“Everyone had a brilliant time – we were so lucky with the weather, it gave the whole day a really summery feel,” said fete organiser Kerry Brown, one of the Hospice’s Partnerships Fundraisers.

“The huge success of the day was down to everyone who contributed – from sponsors who gave money and prizes, to the stallholders, staff, Friends and volunteers who worked together to get everything up and running – and of course the fantastic visitors from miles around, who turned out in record numbers to support us.

“Without their generous donations the Hospice could not continue to deliver its outstanding care services across the community.”

Care home walkers step out for Hospice funds - 11 June 2019

A small band of walkers staged their own charity event when they couldn’t take part in the popular annual Towpath Trundle for Princess Alice Hospice

As it was impractical to make the trip to Walton, a dozen or so family members and staff from Ashton Lodge Nursing Home in Sunbury donned their trainers and set off on a 4.75-mile circular walk of their own – from the nursing home, taking in a section of the Thames riverside at Lower Sunbury.

Between them they raised an impressive £1,200 – which was presented to the Esher-based Hospice by staff members when they called by.

“We did the walk on the day of the Towpath Trundle – May 19,” said Ashton Lodge Activities Co-ordinator Jacqui Rivers. “There weren’t many of us, but people donated really generously – including one family who raised £450 between them.”

Hospice Partnerships Fundraiser Beth Sadler said: “We were touched to hear that Ashton Lodge marked the Towpath Trundle with their own event – it’s a novel way of taking part!

“They did amazingly well to raise so much – which will go towards maintaining our outstanding services both at the Hospice an across our care area.”

Ashton Lodge, in Spelthorne Grove, Sunbury, cares for around 100 residents.

Anyone wishing to organise their own fundraising event for Princess Alice Hospice can get advice from our supporter care team on 01372 461808 or by emailing

Our photo shows from left, Ashton Lodge Clinical Lead Sharon Izzard; Hospice Partnerships Fundraiser Beth Sadler and Ashton Lodge Activity Co-ordinator Jacqui Rivers with the donation

Pupils’ PJ Push piles on the pounds for Hospice - 11 June 2019

Hundreds of charitable children turned up at school in their pyjamas – and were greeted by the head teacher and staff wearing theirs as well!


Pupils at St Martin’s Primary, Dorking, joined the PJ Push for Princess Alice Hospice – with their teachers joining the fun on a lovely sunny day.

Organised by the School Council in support of the Hospice’s Care Through The Night appeal, the event raised a fantastic £334 by charging everyone £1 to wear their PJs all day.

St Martin’s head teacher Jane Gorecka said: “What a fabulous way of raising awareness for such a great charity!

“The children had a wonderful day and loved being in their pyjamas.”

The PJ Push raises money to go towards the Hospice’s night nursing team who provide end of life care in people’s homes. They operate a sitting service and 24-hour emergency response. Wearing pyjamas and donating £1 is a way of recognising this invaluable service and the dedication of the people who undertake the work every night of the year.

Angela Grimes, Deputy Director of Fundraising at the Hospice, said: “The children’s wonderful effort and very welcome donation came as a lovely surprise – they organised it themselves, and it shows how a fun idea can turn into something really valuable once people all join in.

“Our thanks go to everyone at the school for taking part with enthusiasm – it means a great deal to Princess Alice Hospice that the community values our services and will do something positive to support us.”

Anyone wishing to organise a PJ Push or other event can get advice from our supporter care team on 01372 461808 or by emailing

Hospice summer fete set to be a scorcher! - 28 May 2019

With highlights including live music, novelty dog show, martial arts, fun sideshows and tempting food and drink, the Princess Alice Hospice Summer Fete on Sunday 9 June is the place to be

New this year is a Princess Parade like no other – where entrants of all shapes and sizes will be invited to dress up as their favourite princess, be they real or fantasy, prim or powerful – think Snow White through to Princess Leia. We welcome Princesses of all genders and ages.

The annual fete is a wonderful way to spend a summer Sunday.
Held in the beautiful landscaped grounds of the Hospice on West End Lane, Esher, the fete is a family occasion with something for everyone.

A relaxed and friendly atmosphere prevails and the fete helps to raise vital funds for the Hospice. The day is always popular with the wider local community, so come along and see for yourself!
It runs from 11am to 4pm – plenty of time to enjoy lunch and teatime in the beautiful garden
Musicians, bands and performers will provide entertainment throughout the afternoon – along with Morris dancing, facepainting, food stalls, amazing raffle, a gin and prosecco bar and Pimms, circus skills, and a hilarious giant whack-a-mole alongside plant sale and lots of other assorted stalls including – clothes, art, gifts, books, cards and fun games stalls.

Women challenge themselves to support Hospice - 28 May 2019

Two women a world apart are challenging themselves with the same aim – to support the Princess Alice Hospice which cared for a loved one in their final days.

One is a GP whose path to endurance events started with a wish to “do something brave”; the other a counsellor who is returning to her birthplace to fulfil a personal challenge.
Rachel Edwards, 30, hails from Staines but is now living in New Zealand, where alongside her role as a doctor, she is immersed in training for the World Half Iron Man championships this autumn.

Meanwhile Amanda Sives is a Wirral-based mum of one who feels an overwhelming urge to return to her childhood home in the Hebrides for a half-Marathon to mark her 50th birthday.

Rachel is competing in memory of her beloved dad, while Amanda is running in memory of her cousin’s wife.
Each woman has a different view of what has motivated them, and how they find their journey.
Rachel says: “If something seems like it’s going to be difficult or near impossible, it probably is, but all the more reason to have a go at tackling it.” She has raised more than £8,000 for the Hospice to date.
Amanda reflects: “The trivial worries of everyday life are robbed of their power over me by the peace I feel in the silence and stillness of the natural landscape.”
Both are inviting sponsorship of their efforts – and you can read their inspiring stories on the Princess Alice Hospice Fundraiser web page:
Amanda’s story:
Rachel’s story:
Over the past three years, in excess of 15,000 miles has been run by 4,000 people, to raise funds for the Hospice.

Fair’s fares for Hospice funds - 17 May 2019

Hundreds of people enjoyed some traditional springtime fun over the Easter break – and gave a local charity a boost at the same time

A special charity day at Hampton Court Green funfair raised a whopping £2,000 for Princess Alice Hospice – the profits from a rides discount wristband scheme.
Funfair boss George Irvin, who has regularly supported the Hospice for the past few years, said he was a keen supporter of local charities wherever the funfairs visit – with the Hospice being a cause close to his heart, and one he admires.
This week, the donation was handed over at the Hospice, where Partnerships Fundraiser Beth Sadler said: “The funfair charity day is a really good idea – people can have fun and donate at the same time – and it means traditional entertainment like the bank holiday fair, is supported by families in our area.
“Generous donations like this mean the Hospice continue to provide outstanding care to our patients in the Hospice and out in the community.”

Photo shows – Shane Clark from Irvin Leisure hands over the cheque to Hospice Partnerships Fundraiser Beth Sadler

Penguins p-p-p-pass on the pounds - 16 May 2019

A group of fundraisers with the shared aim of combatting cancer, have made a £5,000 grant to Princess Alice Hospice – raised through a variety of activities

Penguins Against Cancer is a charity whose founders were drawn from Guy’s Hospital Penguins – the oldest team in the oldest rugby club in the world. Nowadays its members come from a wide range of professions and backgrounds – but with the common aim of raising awareness of cancer and supporting cancer research, cancer treatment and hospices.
“We’re aiming to raise £1m in order to make a significant contribution to the fight against cancer,” said Penguins Against Cancer founder member and trustee Geraint Thomason, who works in IT and is a guest player of the Penguins rugby team which comprises mainly doctors and dentists connected to Guy’s Hospital.
The Penguins decided to make a grant to Princess Alice Hospice thanks to Geraint’s wife, Sian, who works at the Hospice as a bereavement support volunteer. She was previously an oncology nurse who trained at Guy’s – which is where she and Geraint met.
The Penguins’ grants are provided via nominations by members, many of whom have had loved ones who’ve suffered with cancer.
Geraint said: “This approach enables support to be targeted to particular individuals and organisations and makes the process of staging events to raise money personal, vivid and special.
“The events are designed to be both altruistic and fun – celebrating achievements rather than mourning loss, so rugby, cricket and golf feature frequently,” he said “The fixtures are followed by fundraising dinners with auctions, entertainment and raffles.”
100% of the money raised is passed on as grants; all Penguins’ representatives are unpaid volunteers with any expenses being paid from their own pockets.

Nigel Seymour, Director of Fundraising, Marketing and Communication at Princess Alice Hospice, said: “The determination of Penguins Against Cancer to reach their £1m goal is quite inspirational, and we are both pleased and honoured to be a recipient of their wonderful fundraising efforts.
“We rely very heavily on voluntary contributions to continue providing outstanding care in the Hospice and across the community – so the Penguins’ grant will be put to good use immediately, helping patients and families at a very difficult time in their lives.”

Photo shows: From left, Sian Thomason, Hospice Bereavement Support Volunteer; Geraint Thomason; Hospice Deputy Director of Fundraising Angela Grimes

Dying Matters Week 2019: Recommended Ted Talks, podcasts and short films - 14 May 2019

As part of Dying Matters Week 2019, our librarian Celia has reviewed the support materials that are available for people dealing with death and dying, and has come up with her Top 5 lists.

5 TED talks

Dr. Leslie Blackhall: Living, Dying and the Problem with Hope

Dr. Leslie Blackhall, head of Palliative Care at the University of Virginia, believes that accepting dying as a part of life allows us to achieve a fuller and richer life with the days that we live.

Ken Hillman: We’re Doing Dying All Wrong

As a world leader in managing the care of very sick people, Ken Hillman’s breakthrough methods of treating critically ill patients have become the gold standard in Australia, the U.S. and Europe. His job is about keeping people alive, but he asks us to question whether that’s always a good thing.

Judy MacDonald Johnston: Prepare for a good end of life

Thinking about death is frightening, but planning ahead is practical and leaves more room for peace of mind in our final days. In a solemn, thoughtful talk, Judy MacDonald Johnston shares five practices for planning for a good end of life.

Rochelle Martin: Let’s Talk About Death

There is a ‘Momentum’ going on with all of us, with every breath, we are moving closer to our end.

Mark Taubert: TED Talk: Why Language Matters When You Know You’re Dying

Four topics about the end of life with Mark Taubert, a hospice doctor.


5 podcasts

BBC: You, me and the big C: Putting the can in cancer

“The coolest club you never want to be a part of…”

A candid look at cancer, with Rachael Bland, Deborah James and Lauren Mahon.

BBC: We need to talk about death

Joan Bakewell and her panel discuss death and dying, exploring the choices open to us and confronting the questions we fear the most.

St Mary’s University: The art of dying well

These monthly programmes aim to make death and dying something you can talk about openly without discomfort or fear. A guest is interviewed each month on a key topic.

Dying Matters Podcast

Relevant to people that are bereaved, have a family member who’s approaching the end of life, want to support a friend, or just want to know how to start the conversation around death and dying.


Jeremie, Brian, and Taylor have an unapologetic, unpolished and unfiltered discussion about what it’s like to live life with a life-threatening disease.


5 short films

How easy do people find it to talk about dying? (Dying Matters)

Dying Matters took to the streets to discover just how comfortable members of the public are with discussing dying and death, and whether they want a national conversation about death and dying.

Let’s talk about death and dying (Age UK)

It’s difficult to talk about death and dying but we need to talk to make informed choices.

Kathryn Mannix : What is death like? (The Art of Dying Well)

Dr Kathryn Mannix, palliative care consultant and author of ‘With The End in Mind’ talks to journalist Nicola Meyrick about what death is like.

I Didn’t Want That (Dying Matters)

A carefully crafted short film which highlights the importance of making your end of life wishes clear: from deciding whether you wish to be resuscitated to planning your funeral.

How to Live and Die Well (University of Edinburgh)

This short video is for everyone. It’s for people who are well just now, but may get a serious illness or life-threatening condition in the future. For people who are currently living with progressive illness and for family members and carers of those who are ill or may become ill.



Dying Matters; Are we ready? - 10 May 2019

Princess Alice Hospice is championing an annual national awareness campaign which aims to open up the conversation about dying, death and bereavement

The theme of this year’s Dying Matters Week – from 13 to 19 May – is “Are we ready?”, focussing on whether we have thought about our own death or that of a loved one.
All are welcome at the week’s events and activities being organised by the Hospice and partners, who include Kingston Hospital and Poppy’s Funerals.
Zoe Byrne, Deputy Director, Community Engagement at the Hospice, said: “By empowering our communities to talk to their families and friends openly about their wishes at the end of life – practically and emotionally – we hope to reduce the anxiety and heartache that many people are often faced with when a loved one dies, or when they are approaching the end of their lives.”
Dying Matters week events at the Hospice include a talk by Victoria Mellor from Poppy’s Funerals – Busting The Myths About Funerals, 2-3pm, Monday 13 May. All are welcome.

Tea and cakes are on offer for visitors to the Death Café in Kingston Hospital (Lecture theatre 2, Education centre) on Thursday 16 May, 10.30 – 11.45am. Come along and chat about the last taboo. The objective of a death café is to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives. Everyone is welcome – RSVP to Paula Lyons at
The evening of 16 May sees a “Dead Or Alive” quiz night at the Barley Mow, Hersham, starting 7.30pm. The quiz master will be asking 40 “deadly” questions, which will include a music and picture round. Teams should ideally be of six people, £2 per person to join in. Prizes to be won – including £50 bar tab voucher! For further information, contact Helen Sergeant on 01372 468811 ext 836 or just turn up on the night.

The Hospice’s “Before I Die I Want To………” board will be at several venues during the week, including Chestnut Sunday (12 May) in Bushy Park; Kingston Hospital reception (15 May); Epsom Hospital outside Costa Coffee (16 May); Kingston Hospital canteen (17 May), Towpath Trundle at Sadlers Ride, West Molesey (19 May). Members of the public are invited to fill in a card expressing wishes and dreams they would like to fulfil before they die.

These events are free and will provide a unique opportunity to share ideas, experiences, hopes and fears.

For details of the national week – visit

Garden centre gifts help Hospice plot get growing - 7 May 2019

Generous bosses at Longacres Nursery gave a springtime boost to the new community allotment set up by Princess Alice Hospice

Sets of forks and spades, handtools, gloves and seeds were handed over – along with a nifty tool-shed to store everything.

The allotment, opposite The Clumps in Ashford, is a project launched by Princess Alice Hospice, aimed at those living with life limiting illness, their carers or recently bereaved and is designed to bring those people together to work on the land and benefit from the healthy produce grown there. The allotment is open to those who would just like some fresh air, a cup of tea and a well-deserved chat.

Hospice Compassionate Communities Lead, Mia Patterson, said: ’We all know that being outside has many health benefits and we hope that the allotment will bring these people together, those who might not otherwise get many visitors, and give them the chance to do some digging or get some air, or maybe both.”
There’s a weekly drop-in session, 10am to noon on Saturdays, for anyone wishing to visit the allotment, where they can help maintain the plot, grow fruit and veg and share a cuppa with the other allotmenteers. Additional midweek sessions are planned.

Accepting the donation from Longacres at Bagshot, Mia Patterson said: “We’re extremely grateful to Longacres for responding to our plea for allotment tools and equipment in such a generous way.

“The work is coming on very well, with beds and troughs for raising vegetables already planted up by the enthusiastic volunteers and visitors. The project is making such a difference by enabling people to spend time in the open air, with a purpose and, if they wish, good company.”

Nigel Long, Managing Director from Longacres Garden Centres said “We are proud to support our community and donating products for worthy causes such as Princess Alice Hospice allotment is one way for us to continue to do so and make a positive difference in our community.
“We hope the products donated to the allotment bring joy and we are looking forward to seeing the produce grown.”

Our photo shows Jade and Jack from Longacres Nursery helping Mia Patterson load up the donated gardening equipment.

Walk veteran Betsy steps out for Hospice – again - 7 May 2019

A keen fundraising youngster who has taken part in a Princess Alice Hospice family fun event every year since she was born, is once again stepping out surrounded by relatives

Betsy Stewart – who will reach the grand age of five two days before this year’s Towpath Trundle on 19 May – has joined the walk every year alongside a group of relatives and friends – dubbed Huckerby’s Heroes – which has on one occasion numbered 184 walkers.
Her proud nana, Sylvia Lepperd, explained that their family have been keen participants in the annual event since 1997 and Betsy’s arrival at 10am on the morning of the 2014 walk was only just enough to deter her mum, Diane, from taking part.
Betsy said she loves playing with her cousins and going for walks on sunny days – until her feet get a bit hot, which she doesn’t like. Her nana likes walking along the river and talking to people, she said.
Sylvia explained that the traditional family turnout to raise funds for the Hospice was inspired by the care and compassion shown to her sister Maureen Huckerby, who lived in Ashford and was cared for over a number of years by the Hospice before she died there in 2004.
Sylvia said: “Maureen was such a well-loved person – a mum, sister, auntie and friend to so many people. When she was ill she attended the day services at Princess Alice Hospice, had regular respite care there over the years, until being admitted for the last period of her life.”
Their brother John died the following year at Teddington Memorial Hospital, under the Hospice outreach care service.
“The outstanding nursing care, and compassion shown to Maureen – and to us as her family – meant so much. We decided to give back whatever we can to the Hospice to enable others to benefit when they, too face really difficult times like we did.”
Each year the Towpath Trundle sees siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews, older and younger generations of the family come together from all over the country to walk the Thames Path and enjoy a get-together at Hurst Park.
They all walk the four miles from Walton Bridge to Hurst Park, take a break for picnics and games, then set off again along the way they came. This year up to 60 people are expected to sign up.
“For a few years after Maureen’s death we attended the annual winter Light Up A Life ceremony at the Hospice itself, but have since moved our family commemoration to Whitton,” said Sylvia. “It’s another family reunion, where we light candles and have a meal together in memory of loved ones.

Hospice all decked out with new furniture gift - 1 May 2019

Hospice patients and their visitors can relax in comfort in the sunshine this summer, thanks to the generosity of a local contractor

A donation of £6,400 from the Outdoor Deck Company Ltd has enabled Princess Alice Hospice in Esher to buy furniture for the new decking area created around the Hospice waterside.
The Outdoor Deck Company had been commissioned to remove the existing decking structure that surrounds the Hospice and replace it with a new eco-friendly decked area with glass balustrades.
The new deck provides an attractive and tranquil safe outdoor space for a number of patient rooms, providing beautiful views of the gardens and koi pond.
Mike Wilderink, Managing Director of the Outdoor Deck Company Ltd of Teddington, said: “I recognise and have experienced first-hand the important work the Hospice does in the local community and I’m pleased to support the specialist care and work it provides in caring for patients and their families.”
Martin Osborn, Hospice Facilities Manager, said: “We were already pleased and impressed with the new decking, which provides our patients and visitors in the front and west-facing rooms with a relaxing and peaceful outdoor space.
“Mike’s generous donation has been used to buy new comfortable Rattan outdoor furniture, which is both attractive and weatherproof – it’s ideal.”
Our photo shows Hospice Partnership Fundraiser Beth Sadler trying out the new furniture in the sunshine

Tough guy Tim takes on triathlons for Hospice funds - 1 May 2019

Inspired by the generosity of friends and family sponsoring his efforts, one Princess Alice Hospice fundraiser has plunged into a programme of running, swimming and cycling – as well as endurance events which test participants to extremes of physical and mental effort

Tim Alexander says he is determined to continue, inspired by the care his dad received at the Hospice and at home, before he died in June 2017.
“I’m also doing this as encouragement to others,” he said. “I can’t speak highly enough of the fantastic treatment my dad Chris received at what was a very, very difficult time.”
Tim lives in Hertford where he trains a couple of times a week for the triathlons and Tough Guy events, which have so far seen him fundraise via triathlons in Windsor and Woburn – with four more lined up this summer.
“The Tough Guy event in Wolverhampton in January was by far the toughest I’ve ever completed; I learned more about myself in three hours than in the 47 years I’ve been on this planet!” he said.

With dad Chris being a keen runner in his time, Tim and his brother Giles enjoy keeping fit and taking part in competitive events. Tim even took part in the Hospice Santa Fun Run in full Santa costume – and has joined a Parkrun in between times.
His JustGiving page shows he has beaten his £1,000 target – so he has extended the deadline for another month, such is his wish to raise as much as possible for the Hospice.
He said: “You want to do the best for your parents, and Princess Alice Hospice enabled Dad to be cared for at home for three months as well as at the Hospice itself.
“They enabled the end of his life to be dignified and peaceful, for which we are so grateful.”

It’s the fund of the fair! - 17 April 2019

Enjoy all the thrills and spills of a traditional Bank Holiday funfair and help boost donations for Princess Alice Hospice

The Hampton Court Funfair will hold its special Charity Tuesday next week (23 April) – when visitors pay £2 for a discount wristband that enables them to enjoy the rides for £1.
The wristbands profits – around £2,000 each year – go direct to Princess Alice Hospice, to enable us to continue providing outstanding care to patients in the Hospice and in the community.
Fair owner George Irvin is a great supporter of the Hospice and has run the special charity day for several years.
This week he welcomed Hospice community nursing staff Nina Kale and Heather Syddall to see the fair setting up on Hampton Court Green.
The fair opens Good Friday and runs until Tuesday – noon til 11pm each day.
Our picture shows from left, George Irvin, Nina Kale, Hospice partnerships fundraiser Beth Sadler and fairground staff

Small change, big difference - 12 April 2019

A simple fundraising challenge for young and old alike is being launched by Princess Alice Hospice – and it only takes pennies to take part

Join the Jam Jar Challenge and raise much-needed funds to enable the Hospice to continue providing outstanding care to hundreds of people every year.
With the help of your spare change we are hoping to raise £20,000 –– so we can employ a full-time nurse to care for patients and their families at a time when they need our support most.
“If everyone in the Hospice care area gave just 2p, we would hit that target in one go,” said Angela Grimes, Deputy Director of Fundraising. “It just goes to show how the pennies add up – and the Hospice pledges to use all of these funds for frontline care across the community and in our in-patient unit.”
All you do is
• find an empty jar with a lid – needn’t be jam, could be marmalade, or mayonnaise – or even pickled onions!
• If you wish to, decorate it with stickers, glass paint, paper and glue, glitter – but it’s not necessary to decorate your jar to take part
• Visit to print off your special label and start collecting!
• Fill the jar with coins of all sizes – encourage everyone to give their small change. Grown-ups often empty their pockets of loose change when changing out of work clothes; children can ask for a few coppers every day – and the jar will soon be full. Or put a jar by the watercooler at work, where people will see it.
• When the jar’s full, empty it out, count the cash and pay it in to the Jam Jar Challenge account – see page
• Start again with a new jar – or have a family or office challenge with a jar each.
If you don’t have a printer contact with your name and address and we can post you some labels.
You can tweet your jam jar pictures to @PAHospice #jamjarchallenge – best decorated jar will win a prize!
STOP PRESS: If you have no spare jam jars – pop in to the Princess Alice Hospice summer fete on Sunday June 9 – where there will be a Jazzy Jam Jar stall where you can decorate a jar and take it home with you.
Photo: Children at St Charles Borromeo School, Weybridge, with their decorated jars. From left, Conrad, Gabi, Izzy, Oscar and Lauren-Rose

Great-grandma Tam, 89, to tackle tower abseil challenge - 5 April 2019

A daredevil great-grandma is gearing up to abseil down the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth – to raise funds for Princess Alice Hospice alongside her daughter and granddaughter

Tam Thompson – who has three children, seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren – will be the oldest person ever to do the abseil for the Hospice. She turns 90 just after the event on 20 April.

Tam, whose daily routine includes tai chi, pilates, aerobics and walking her Alsatian dog near her home in Tunbridge Wells, decided to hit the heights after the death of her husband of 66 years, Michael, in January.

Her daughter, Maxine Thompson of Shepperton, said her mum was not always so adventurous but has developed a taste for numerous activities and adventures in later life.

“Mum and Dad met when they were 13,” said Maxine, “and up until her 60s she was quite a typical Mum – looking after the family and content to stay at home,” said Maxine. “Then, she suddenly took off on an Outward Bound expedition to the Lake District and hasn’t looked back since!”

The two women are aiming to do the abseil on April 20 at the iconic tower in Portsmouth, accompanied by Maxine’s niece Megan Stapely, 31, who has previously undertaken bungee jumps for charity.

Maxine had originally planned to do an abseil for the Hospice after her husband, Mark, died in 2014. He had been diagnosed with cancer in 2009 and was cared for by the Hospice. The couple married just before he died.

Maxine has undertaken other fundraising activities since – including a 5k run, music gig and various cake sales.

The trio have a Just Giving page on which they dub themselves The Generation Girls – and are aiming for a target of £750 between them.

Maxine said: “We are excited and nervous to do this abseil challenge but are keen to do something memorable to raise money for the hospice, to make a
difference and take home some incredible memories!”

Our photo shows Maxine, left, and Tam Thompson all set for the abseil

Penny raises pounds on PJ Push for Hospice - 5 April 2019

An entire day spent wearing pyjamas paid dividends for Princess Alice Hospice – thanks to the dedication of fundraiser Penny Roche

Penny, of Englefield Green, took up the Hospice’s PJ Push challenge in support of the night nursing team who provide end of life care in people’s homes across Surrey.

A former nurse herself, Penny donned her jimjams and went about her usual activities – including doing a bit of paperwork at All Saints Church, Dedworth; attending a French class in Windsor; taking her granddaughter (also called Penny) to a swimming lesson at Windsor; filling up the car with petrol and doing the shopping. She collected donations along the way and three-year-old Penny also joined her grandma for a while.

Penny was motivated to raise funds for the Hospice Care Through The Night campaign when she heard about the PJ Push at a meeting of Egham Nightingirls Women’s Institute (WI).

Kathy Croft of Paws Boarding Cattery, Stanwell Moor, kicked off her fellow WI members’ interest the previous month, when she featured in the Hospice publicity campaign. At their recent meeting most of the 40 members present wore their pyjamas – bringing the total raised to £101.

Penny said: “I’ve been a nurse all my working life, as has my cousin – and between us we have been able to nurse our senior family members at home, at the end of their lives.

“We know first-hand how difficult it is to care for someone at night in these circumstances – it’s the longest, hardest – and saddest – time.

“Having someone there to ease the burden is immensely helpful – and that’s why I support the Hospice Care Through The Night campaign.”

To find out more about how the funding supports the work of the night nurse service, visit

Our photo shows Penny, right, with fellow WI member Kathy Croft, left

Get set for family fun on the Towpath Trundle! - 3 April 2019

Smurfs, stormtroopers, Peppa Pig and numerous Wallies are just a few of the characters who have stepped out in a good cause on the annual Towpath Trundle for Princess Alice Hospice

This year’s walk – along the Thames between Hurst Park, Molesey and Walton Bridge, offers families and friends a fun day out as well as the chance to raise vital funds to enable the Hospice to continue providing outstanding care.

The Towpath Trundle was launched in 1992, a year which saw plans for Heathrow’s terminal 5 first unveiled and the Queen celebrated her Ruby Jubilee.

Setting off from 11am on Sunday May 19, trundlers have the option of a picturesque four-mile or eight-mile level route, rounded off with refreshments and entertainment at the main start/finish area.

Fancy dress for everyone is definitely encouraged – including dogs, who are especially welcome on the trundle. There will be prizes for team sizes and fundraising efforts – and everyone gets a medal for taking part.

At Hurst Park there will be plenty of entertainment and things to see and do, until the event winds up around 4pm. Bring a picnic or treat yourself to something on the food stalls.

There’s an Early Bird entry offer of £7.50 for adults – up to Wednesday 17 April, then £10 thereafter or on the day. Under-fives are free, and under-16s must be accompanied by an adult.

“We are really looking forward to this – our 27th – Towpath Trundle; it promises to be great fun for everyone,” said Hospice Partnership Fundraiser Beth Sadler. “As a way of fundraising for such a good cause, it’s also a chance for families and friends of all ages to take on a joint challenge.”

A new feature for this year is a bespoke JustGiving landing page which will include details of the event. It means supporters have the option to choose whether they wish to fundraise or donate as part of their sign-up process. Visit

  • Anyone wishing to run their own stall – be it food, facepainting, arts and crafts, jewellery, sideshows, antique and bric-a-brac – is welcome to apply for a pitch. Contact Beth Sadler on 01372 461869
  • If you would like to volunteer at the Towpath trundle – registration and marshalling – contact

Allotting time to care - 25 March 2019

Isolated residents in Ashford will soon have the opportunity to grow vegetables as well as friendships, harvest fruit or simply sit in the spring sunshine due to a new allotment scheme.

The scheme, launched by Princess Alice Hospice, is aimed at those living with life limiting illness, are carers or are recently bereaved and is designed to bring those people together to work on the land and benefit from the healthy produce grown there.

The allotment will also be open to those who would just like some fresh air, a cup of tea and a well deserved chat.

Community Engagement Officer at the Hospice Mia Patterson said: ’We all know that being outside has many health benefits and we hope that the allotment will bring these people together, those who might not otherwise get many visitors, and give them the chance to do some digging or get some air, or maybe both’

The launch takes place on Saturday 30th March at 10am to 12pm at The Clumps Ashford, Feltham Road, TW15 1AT and will continue to run every Saturday at the same time.

Anyone who can spare some time and expertise, and who would like to volunteer to support the scheme and your local Hospice, should contact Mia Patterson on or 01372 461958.

Specialist skills give rise to tempting treats - 22 March 2019

Skill, science and creative energy have been combined to produce an amazing range of foods to tempt patients who cannot eat everyday meals – in an industry-leading initiative at Princess Alice Hospice

The importance of serving nutritious food to poorly patients is acknowledged as one of the foundations of holistic healthcare; acknowledging the value of food and drink in maintaining health and wellbeing.

But when you have swallowing difficulties – which is a common symptom of many serious illnesses – food served up as puree has until recently done little to encourage patients to eat due to its unappetising appearance.

At Princess Alice Hospice, a multi-disciplinary nutrition team including chefs, nurses, ward catering team, a speech and language therapist and dietitian, has worked tirelessly to introduce a range of options for patients with compromised eating and drinking abilities (dysphagia).

The results are truly astonishing – savoury and sweet dishes created from pureed ingredients in a variety of realistic-looking meals which taste as good as they look.

The chefs’ skills were showcased this week as part of the Global Tea Party celebrations, during Nutrition & Hydration Week.

Hospice speech and language therapist Juliet Lawson said: “Eating and drinking is central to our lives and can be an emotive subject, especially when a loved one is very ill. It can be distressing to feel they are not eating or drinking as they should.

“The team’s research, hard work and training has not been just to make meals more attractive to patients – it’s also in response to The International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative (IDDSI, which has published international definitions for food that has been modified for people with swallowing difficulties.

“Princess Alice Hospice can proudly say we are now IDDSI compliant, which is a fantastic achievement for the team.”

This milestone has been reached well in advance of the requirement for compliance which is 1 April 2019.

Princess Alice Hospice leads the field in having a multidisciplinary nutrition and hydration team team including its own in house catering operation. Preparing all meals from scratch, the team can adapt to patients’ needs and wishes, whereas other hospices mainly rely on commercially-produced products.

Historic trust funds modern medical solution for Hospice - 11 March 2019

A generous donation from a historic trust will enable more Princess Alice Hospice patients to be treated in a modern, efficient way

The grant of £8,360 from the Hospital Saturday Fund, will fund eight syringe-drivers for patients in the Hospice itself and others receiving palliative end-of-life care at home.

Chairman of the Hospital Saturday Fund Trustees, John Greenwood, handed over the donation when he visited the Esher-based Hospice this week.

The fund, established in 1873 during the Victorian era of workhouses and poor public health, distributes the profits from a trading company – HSF Healthplan – four times a year to medical charities.

“The best part of my role is visiting places such as Princess Alice Hospice and being able to contribute to the continuing outstanding care provided to so many people,” said Mr Greenwood, who lives in West Molesey.

Accepting the grant on behalf of the Hospice, In-Patient Unit manager Keetje Gull said: “This generous gift will go straight towards purchasing syringe-drivers, which enable patients to receive controlled doses of their medication in a comfortable way. They’re small, portable and versatile – just perfect for many patients’ benefit.”

Rachel Fryatt, Trusts and Foundations Manager, who worked on the application for the grant said: “We’re extremely grateful to Mr Greenwood and the other trustees for looking favourably on our application.”

Photo:  John Greenwood, left, hands the Hospital Saturday Fund donation to Keetje Gull

Hospice film reaches national awards final - 8 March 2019

Princess Alice Hospice has been announced as one of the finalists for the 2019 Charity Film Awards – and is now relying on attracting the most public votes to be declared the People’s Choice winner

Our moving film – Family Time –  tells the true story of one family and how the Hospice offered comfort and advice at every stage of their loved one, Sarah’s, illness and death.

The film shows how creating memories and sharing special moments with the family is vital to a patient’s wellbeing and how children need and want to be involved.

The Charity Film Awards celebrates the effective use of video by the charity sector to change mindsets, raise awareness for the charity or fundraise.

The finalists have been through two stages of judging. Some 50,000 people took part in the public voting stage to determine the shortlist. Then the Charity Film Awards panel of expert judges selected the finalists. Family Time is one of seven in its category – ranged according to charity size.

“Having got this far, we’d be absolutely delighted to see our touching and powerful film reach the top spot,” said Hospice Head of Communications Julia Russell.

“We now need everyone’s vote to ensure we’re top of People’s Choice – it would mean a huge amount to all of us here at the Hospice as well as our patients, their families and carers.”

To see Family Time and cast your vote, visit this link or

Family Time was created for the Hospice by award-winning animation studio Plastic Milk, based in Kingston.

Duncan Raitt, Head of Animation at Plastic Milk said: “Such an emotional story works really well as an animation, as it allows us to tell it in a way live action wouldn’t. We put a great deal of time and effort into making the film, as we not only wanted to do justice to the family’s story but also to capture the warmth and joyfulness of the Hospice and staff.”

Simon Burton, Co-Founder of the Charity Film Awards said: ‘In the digital age, charities’ use of video is fundamental to engage the hearts and minds of their communities. The Finalists are the very best examples of that in action.

The winners of the Charity Film Awards 2019 will be announced on 26 April at a gala ceremony in central London.

John, 83, joins abseil challenge - 25 February 2019

Always active throughout his life, 83-year-old John Edwards has taken up the challenge to abseil down the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth in aid of Princess Alice Hospice

For many years a keen rugby player at the Effingham club, nowadays he admits he’s not up to a 5k run but is looking forward to undertaking the 100m descent from the top of the quayside building in Portsmouth on 20 April.

John, who’s lived in the same Epsom Downs house for 50 years, is originally from Northallerton, North Yorkshire but moved south where he worked at the BP Research site at Epsom for 9 years on plastics and chemicals before transferring to Head Office.

He retired in 1992 and has been a keen charity supporter alongside his wife, Kathy, who died a couple of years ago.

“I felt I wanted to get out and do something while I still could,” he said, “and years ago I did a couple of abseil sessions in the Lake District on management training courses.”

His aim is to raise at least £1,200 in memory of his sister-in-law Mary Hall, who was cared for at Princess Alice Hospice until her death in 2001. His nephew Graham Blunden was also cared for by the Hospice.

His fan base includes his niece and her family in Northumberland along with his nephew and family closer to home in Haslemere – as well as “a very special friend who has been a source of inspiration since my late wife died two years ago,” he said. “Without that friend I would have been lost.”

Pictured with John when he called by the Hospice, partnerships fundraiser Kerry Brown said: “John’s a real inspiration to others – he’s got such a positive attitude and a joy for giving. We’ll be cheering him all the way for his abseil.”

To sponsor John, visit and to join the abseil challenge visit

Oliver asks for more – for Princess Alice Hospice - 19 February 2019

Theatregoers enjoying an evening out this weekend will be asked to spare a thought for the nurses setting out on shifts across the region for the night ahead.

By giving donations as they leave to go home, the audiences at Epsom Playhouse will be supporting the night nurse service provided by Princess Alice Hospice in Surrey.

The British Theatre Academy is bringing one of the best-loved British musicals of all time – Oliver! – to Epsom Playhouse this week – and supporting the Hospice’s Care Through The Night appeal at a selection of performances.

From Thursday 21 February to Saturday 23 February, the Lionel Bart classic will have six shows including a matinee, early evening and evening performances.

The lead role of the workhouse orphan who falls in with a bad crowd is shared between Alfie Turnbull of Epsom, Wilf Cooper of Virginia Water and Joseph Jones of Wallington.

The Princess Alice Hospice Care Through The Night campaign is asking everyone to think of those who set off night after night to give palliative end of life care to people in their own homes.

The nurses operate via bookings and emergency call-out. They visit people’s homes to administer medicines, offer comfort and company to those who need it.

A Hospice spokesman said: “We made 1,398 visits last year but we want to be able to reach more and can’t do this without more support. We know that most people want to be in their own homes but we can only do it with your support to help us achieve this.

“Just £35 covers an hour of care and £385 covers a whole night.”

The service also means unnecessary admissions to hospital can be avoided – some 900 last year alone.

To find out more about how the funding supports the work of the night nurse service, visit

To book tickets for Oliver! Visit

Our picture shows, from left, Alfie, Wilf and Joseph in character

Jamie-Leigh jumps at ways to raise funds - 11 February 2019

Not content with jumping from a plane at 10,000ft, Jamie-Leigh Findlay is taking over her local pub for a charity fun day as well

She’s taking to the skies on March 23 to raise money for Princess Alice Hospice, and holding a family fun event at the Hungry Horse in Ashford a month before on Sunday 24 February.

Her efforts are in memory of her husband Jamie’s grandfather, Peter Belshaw, who was cared for at the Hospice before his death in November last year.

For the Sunday 24 February family fun event, starting 1pm at the pub, Jamie-Leigh, 19, has an impressive list of raffle prizes donated by local businesses including Squires, Stanwell Hotel, Tesco and Birt Belle Treats.

“We’re also having a quiz and face painting – the aim is to have a lot of fun while raising funds,” said Jamie-Leigh, who will be joined by husband Jamie and 17-month-old son Frederick.

Having won a Muddy Run at Windsor last year, Jamie-Leigh says a skydive is a challenge she feels compelled to do. Her Just Giving page says: “I am going to make a leap of faith and try to be as brave as Peter was; I am going to need everyone’s help.”

Jamie-Leigh is pictured in the Hungry Horse pub with General Manager Ollie Roberts

Sponsors are invited to back her via

Care Through The Night campaign launches - 8 February 2019

A fundraising campaign to maintain a vital night nurse service has been launched – coinciding with some of the darkest, coldest times of the year

The Princess Alice Hospice Care Through The Night campaign is asking everyone to think of those who set off night after night to give palliative end of life care to people in their own homes.

The nurses – who operate via bookings and emergency call-out – visit people’s homes to administer medicines, offer comfort and company to those who need it.

All the Hospice’s in-patient and Hospice At Home services are free – the £9.9m needed each year to keep going is mainly supported by donations and legacies. Just one quarter is funded by the NHS.

“My job is intense, demanding – but very rewarding,” said night nurse Becca, a mum of two whose story features in the new campaign.

“But we provide much more than medical care. In many cases, we’re granting a patient’s dearest wish – to spend their final hours in the comforting, familiar surroundings of their home.”

She added: “Of course, we can’t prevent people dying, but we can and do make death a little easier to bear.”

A Hospice spokesman said: “We made 1,398 visits last year but we want to be able to reach more and can’t do this without more support. We know that most people want to be in their own homes but we can only do it with your support to help us achieve this.

“Just £35 covers an hour of care and £385 covers a whole night.”

The service also means unnecessary admissions to hospital can be avoided – some 900 last year alone.

To read Becca’s story and find out more about how the funding supports the work of the night nurse service, visit

  • The Princess Alice Hospice PJ Push – a fun way to raise funds for the night nurse service by wearing your pyjamas for a day – is part of the Care Through The Night campaign

Hear 100 voices raised in showtune concert for Hospice appeal - 6 February 2019

One of London’s leading concert venues is hosting a one-off choir concert showcasing the talents of the Princess Alice Hospice Community Choir and the Strawberry Hill Singers on 31 March

Cadogan Hall in the heart of Chelsea will resound to the sound of showtunes from Broadway classics by Rodgers & Hammerstein including a choral selection from My Fair Lady, to Schonberg and Kretzmer’s Les Miserables, in a special fundraising evening for the Esher-based Hospice.

Backed by the 100 Voices Showband conducted by Michael McLaughlin, the choirs will be joined by guest star Nadim Naaman – Phantom Of The Opera (Royal Albert Hall) and Madagascar 3.

Tickets for the concert, which starts at 6.30pm, cost £15, £25 and £30.

To book, visit

The Princess Alice Community Choir was established in July 2014. The aim of the choir is to bring together a community of singers who could be patients, family members, staff, volunteers, bereaved relatives and members of the local community.

The Strawberry Hill Singers is a 65-strong community choir that meets in the magnificent Gallery at Horace Walpole’s 18th Century Gothic Revival mansion

Claire goes with the flow for Hospice funds bid - 5 February 2019

Celebrating 10 years of fundraising for Princess Alice Hospice, mum Claire Chapman is taking on her biggest ever challenge – the Quicksilver Hampton Court Half-Marathon on 17 February

The Chessington-based Mum has previously thrown herself into fun runs, 10k events, baked cakes, run stalls at the Hospice summer fairs and generally kept busy by her efforts.

Her inspiration has been the Esher-based Hospice’s bereavement support for her daughter Katie Braithwaite – whose Dad Wayne died 10 years ago on Fathers’ Day. Close friends have been cared for by the Hospice as well.

Katie, now 19, said the fantastic support from the team at the Hospice has helped her over the years and she’s stayed in touch with some of them.

Claire said the family was immensely grateful for the support given to Katie – who is now studying on a soccer scholarship at an American college in California.

Visiting Princess Alice Hospice on a chilly February day, the women acknowledged they had come through some difficult times. “Now we just go with the flow,” said Claire. “I cannot afford to repay the Hospice’s kindness except by raising sponsorship and giving my time, which I’m very happy to continue doing.”

Claire works in caring roles to support Katie’s soccer ambitions on the course in kinesiology and sociology at Lassen College. She herself has her sights set on studying for a degree related to caring.

Anyone wishing to sponsor Claire can visit

Seasonal shoppers dig deep for Princess Alice Hospice - 31 January 2019

Award-winning garden centre and farm shop Garsons of Esher has raised an amazing £6,000 for Princess Alice Hospice, their charity of the year for 2018

The Christmas period alone brought in nearly £4,500 of that figure as generous shoppers placed donations in charity boxes at the tills and collection buckets at the garden centre’s popular late-night festive shopping events.

The annual appearance of two live reindeer in the run-up to Christmas helped to further boost funds. Visitors were able to visit them for free but encouraged to drop any spare change into collection buckets by the reindeer enclosure.

For the first time, Garsons hosted one of the Hospice’s Memory Trees alongside the reindeer, enabling customers to remember loved ones by placing a dove decoration on a lit-up Christmas tree. By the end of the festive period, the tree was covered with around 1,000 memory doves, each inscribed with personal and moving messages and accompanied by a donation to the charity.

Princess Alice Hospice senior partnership fundraiser Claire Woodward said: “We have been truly amazed by the generosity of Garsons customers towards the hospice over the festive season, and extremely grateful for the garden centre’s support us this year.

“Garsons is renowned for its magnificent Christmas displays – the amazing West End stage theme this year was stunning – and we are indebted to them for offering their customers the chance to remember loved ones by hosting one of the Hospice’s Memory Trees.”

Director of Garsons, Ben Thompson said: “We have a close relationship with the Princess Alice Hospice and greatly admire the amazing care that they give families,” said. “It has been a privilege to support them through the past year and we would like to thank our customers for being so generous and helping us achieve this fantastic total.”

Our picture shows Claire Woodward, Senior Partnership Fundraiser for the Hospice, with Ian Richardson, MD of Garsons

FA Cup round winners support PJ Push - 28 January 2019

It just goes to show that training night and day pays off – as AFC Wimbledon demonstrated when they turned out in their pyjamas in the run-up to Saturday’s FA Cup fourth round match against West Ham

The squad took part in a fun session on Friday in their PJs in support of their chosen charity of the year – Princess Alice Hospice in Esher, Surrey – before going on to knock out the Premier Division team 4-2.

Manager Wally Downes joined the fun alongside the players, to help promote the charity’s upcoming PJ Push – where everyone is being urged to wear their pyjamas to their offices, schools, clubs, pubs and so on – to raise vital funds for the Hospice which provides free end of life care for those who need it.

The campaign highlights the night nurse service which provides care in people’s homes across SW London, Surrey and parts of Middlesex.

Wearing a motley selection of pyjamas, onesies and charity teeshirts, the team also recruited several Wombles and Louie the gorilla – the Hospice’s designated Cuddler, who usually lives in the children’s playroom at the Hospice.

“Wally and the squad are fantastic supporters of the Hospice and we had an immense amount of fun and laughter at the training ground,” said Claire Woodward, Senior Partnership Fundraiser at Princess Alice Hospice – herself a long-term Dons fan for 37 years.

“They could not have done more to throw themselves into the campaign – except perhaps bring back the FA Cup when they once again triumph at Wembley!”

To join the Princess Alice Hospice PJ Push – choose your date between February 11 and 25 –  visit or phone 01372 461808 or see the Hopspice Facebook page.

Palace gardeners grow funds for Hospice - 28 January 2019

The team that tends the gardens at Hampton Court Palace has cultivated a pot of donations for Princess Alice Hospice – and handed over £4,515

The 40-strong team who are out in all weathers ensuring the grounds of Henry VIII’s palace look tiptop all year round, held cake sales, a big Christmas raffle, barbecue, did sponsored runs and walks – and sold around 100 hanging baskets to fellow staff at the palace.

A number of the team who turned out for the cheque handover said they had a connection to the Hospice, through friends and relatives being cared for as inpatients or by the Hospice At Home service.

Hospice Senior Partnership Fundraiser Claire Woodward, who collected the cheque, said: “The gardening team’s camaraderie and friendliness shines through – it’s clear they have enjoyed the various fundraising activities they employed to raise this fantastic amount.

“The Hospice has an ongoing need for funds – the vast majority of which we rely on via donations from the community. This will go towards helping provide free end of live care to those who need it.”

Join the Princess Alice PJ Push - 22 January 2019

Throw off the winter blues and put the fun into fundraising!

Pop on your pyjamas and join the Princess Alice Hospice PJ Push for funds.

Everyone’s being urged to hold a PJ Push event at their school, pub, club or workplace in support of our fantastic night nurses – who offer care for patients at home throughout the area while the rest of the world is asleep.

By pledging to wear your pyjamas while doing your own daily activities, you can show your support for these dedicated nurses. A donation of £1 per PJ participant will raise vital funds to enable our nurses to continue to provide specialist care. £35 pays for 1 hour of care from a Princess Alice Hospice night nurse; £385 pays for a full night’s care.

Many people don’t realise that 80% of Princess Alice Hospice care is delivered across a wide geographical area rather than in the Hospice itself in Esher. Last year, our specialist Princess Alice nurses made 14,461 visits to 2,785 patients in their homes.

Our night nurses play a crucial role in helping patients to stay in their own home and prevent unnecessary and unwanted hospital admissions, as well as providing support to the whole family. This results in more patients dying in their place of choice, which is often at home.

How you can help: Joining the fun is easy – just pick any date between February 11 and 25, get your best pyjamas out – and encourage your family, friends and colleagues to do the same.

Why not make it an extra-special event – add some fun activities to raise more money at the same time? Cake sales, quizzes, draws, raffles, challenges and forfeits can all be used to swell the total.

If you are planning a PJ Push, email us details so we can give you a mention to boost numbers joining in – and it would be great to see photos of your PJ Day, to share on social media.

If you’re planning a quiz as part of your PJ Push, we have a special, fun, sleep-related quiz you can use – just email to ask for a copy.

Contact us at

Read about our Care Through The Night campaign – including how you can organise your PJ Push:

National award for Hospice festive campaign - 18 January 2019

A campaign featuring eye-catching artwork coupled with an appealing story and live updates scooped a prestigious national award for Princess Alice Hospice

The  charity beat 170 challengers to be proclaimed winner of the JustGiving 2018 Christmas Campaign award.

The judges were impressed by the way the Santa Fun Run campaign created a sense of community around the event.

Hospice Marketing Officer Cengiz Mehmet, who led on the Santa Fun Run campaign, said:  “I think the real power of the campaign came alive when people on their fundraising pages talked about why they were taking part in the fun run and who they were running in memory of; it created a sense of community around the run.

“We also used the JustGiving campaign page on social media and email, to encourage people to continue fundraising during and after the campaign.”

A number of the 1,300 or so runners used JustGiving to handle their sponsorship, with 1,464 supporters pledging money via the page. The top fundraiser was pledged £2815, while the most impressive target-busting was by one runner who raised nearly 20 times their original target.

Keith Williams, General Manager, UK & Ireland at JustGiving, said: “We are thrilled to announce Princess Alice Hospice as winners of the JustGiving Christmas 2018 Campaign.  We were impressed by their ability to foster a sense of community amongst the supporters and participants of the Santa Run, and the stunning campaign imagery used to showcase and celebrate their cause.”

The prize includes a £4,000 bespoke landing page for a future campaign, plus a one-off £500 donation to the charity.

The JustGiving pages helped raise £36,783 towards the overall target of £60,000 – with other runners giving via direct donations and their own sponsorship arrangements.

Donations are still being collected for the Santa Fun Run – visit

Match makes memory live on for popular player - 11 January 2019

Turning out on a chilly Boxing Day to play football in memory of a former club member and former veteran player of the club, two teams from Molesey FC made up of veteran players, club members and their families, raised £450 for Princess Alice Hospice

The mixed teams faced each other at the club’s Walton Road, West Molesey, ground in memory of Andrew Corteil – affectionately known as “Radar”, who died in September 2016.

He was supported by the Hospice after his diagnosis of cancer, and spent time as a patient at the Esher facility.

Handing over the donation to the Hospice, Marisa Billett – wife of MFC board member Mark Billett –  said: “Apart from the match – which was won by the whites by 8-3 on the day, a raffle was also held to boost the total.”

The match was the third played for the Jewson cup in Radar’s memory, which is up for challenge annually.

Marisa said that one of Radar’s friends worked for Jewsons, who agreed to donate the cup for the annual charity match in honour of Radar, and to help raise vital funds for the Hospice

Marisa is a volunteer for the Hospice, as a carer’s companion – supporting a carer during their loved one’s final days and afterwards for as long as they’re needed.

Accepting the donation, Clare Petrie of Supporter Care said: “It’s lovely to hear that this gentleman will be remembered with affection by way of the annual match each Christmas.

“The funds raised will go direct towards helping us provide our care services across a wide area as well as here at Esher – for which we are grateful.”

Care home fair profits boost Hospice - 10 January 2019

An Esher care home’s residents, their families and friends enjoyed a lively festive fair which raised money for Princess Alice Hospice

The Hospice was chosen by residents to benefit from the event at Arbrook House, a 42-bed home in Copsem Lane, one Saturday before Christmas.

A total of £243 was raised by the fair, which featured the traditional cake sale, tombola and raffle along with live entertainment and refreshments. The donation was matched with a further £243 by Bupa, which operates the home.

Home manager Jonathan May called in to the Hospice in West End Lane, to hand over a cheque for the proceeds.

“We work regularly in collaboration with Princess Alice Hospice – the excellent service supports the work we do at Arbrook House and we are pleased to help fund the invaluable work done by the Hospice,” he said.

“It was far and away the popular choice to receive this year’s donation from the fair.”

Our picture shows Jonathan May handing over the cheque to Hospice senior social worker Sarah Dowd.

“I’d like to add how grateful we are to receive this gift; we depend on donations for the majority of our income – so this helps us maintain vital services across our care area,” said Sarah.

It’s a walkover! Teams raise Hospice funds - 3 January 2019

Walton Walking Football Club – the second biggest in the country – has raised more than £530 for Princess Alice Hospice

The club, based at the Xcel Leisure Complex, Walton, has around 250 members – men and women – who take part in this growing sport in sessions held throughout the week.

Both Chelsea FC Foundation and Fulham FC Foundation support the walking football club by taking sessions each week.

Members’ ages range from 50 to 84; they not only enjoy the camaraderie and challenges of training and games – but make the most of the social events as well. There’s a packed programme of matches and tournaments at local and regional level – with a trip to Devon planned for March 2019.

Keith Harris, who helps run the club, said: “We raised £533.55 for the Hospice at our annual Christmas party last month.

“Players and families come from all over the Princess Alice Hospice care area – and a number have personal experience of the work done both at the Hospice and within the community.”

For those club members whose lives are affected by dementia, there are weekly reminiscence sessions followed by a game of walking football – an initiative supported by Fulham FC Foundation.

Clare Petrie, from the Hospice Supporter Care team, said: “The support of such a popular and growing local organisation is particularly good news for the Hospice; it helps spread the word about our commitment to excellent end of life care both here and in people’s homes.

“We’re very pleased to accept the donation and wish the teams even more success in the future.”

Hospice receives double donation from sporting colleagues - 21 December 2018

A football tournament and golf day were among the activities enjoyed by colleagues at Hersham-based software firm Qualco – to benefit Princess Alice Hospice in Esher

Qualco, a leading software and service provider in debt portfolio management systems, raised £1,463 by their sporting efforts, handed over to the Hospice just before Christmas.

The football was held at Walton Casuals Football Club and the golf at St. George’s Hill Golf Club on Friday 2 November and 23 November respectively

Qualco head of sales, Jan-Michael Lacey, said: “All at Qualco agree that supporting a local charity is very important. The Princess Alice Hospice is situated very close to our office and delivers a service we feel is so important, to so many people, in our community. It was an obvious choice and we are extremely proud to help.

Jo De Buriatte, who delivered the cheque, was given a whistle-stop tour of the Hospice in West End Lane, by Senior Partnership Fundraiser Claire Woodward.

Jo said: “The friendly and caring atmosphere, that I sensed during my tour, encourages people to spend the time they have together in a positive and supportive environment. All of this is delivered with the backing of consummate, compassionate medical professionals.

“I found my visit to the hospice both up-lifting and thought-provoking and I came away feeling that the charity makes a genuine difference to its patients and the community. I feel proud that Qualco is supporting the Princess Alice Hospice.”

Accepting the cheque, Claire Woodward said: “Qualco’s commitment to a local cause like the Hospice is extremely welcome and most appreciated.

“We rely very heavily on donations to continue providing first class end of life care throughout the year.”

Photo: Our picture shows Jo de Buriatte, right, handing the giant cheque to Claire Woodward beside the Hospice Memory Tree covered in dove dedications

Hospice visitor returns after 25 years - 21 December 2018

Memories of visiting Princess Alice Hospice as a boy stayed with David Hammon over the years, and were reawakened when he visited this week - 25 years later

David, who now lives in Staines, was only 12 when his Nan Joan Hammon was cared for at the Esher-based Hospice. His abiding memories are of the kindness of the staff and volunteers whenever he and his family visited Joan.

Now 37 and working for the General Merchandise, Central Merchandising Team of retail giant Tesco, he didn’t forget that kindness when his turn came to nominate a recipient for £500 from the company’s staff charity sales.

“With some charities – the big national ones – you don’t always see what the money goes towards – but giving to the Hospice is different,” said David.

“My Nan died in the afternoon; the older ladies doing the teas and coffees had taken me under their wing. They only had a small area to work in – no bigger than a cupboard, really,” he said. “I’ll never forget how kind they were to me while my parents and relatives were in with my Nan.

“They invited me to help out with the teas – I have very fond memories,” he said.

His grandmother had been living in Twickenham, while David’s family lived in Ealing at the time. Now he commutes daily to Welwyn Garden City and it was during a shopping trip to Garsons Farm in Esher that David spotted the Hospice and the memories came flowing back.

David was shown round the refurbished coffee shop – a huge change to when he last saw it – and found his Nan’s name inscribed in the Hospice’s Book of Remembrance.

Clare Petrie of the Hospice’s Supporter Care team, said: “We were very touched to hear of David’s childhood memories of the kindness shown to him at The Hospice.

“His return with a gift has brought it round full circle; we always welcome people who have been part of the Princess Alice story.”

Photo: David Hammon hands the Tesco donation to Clare Petrie beside the Hospice Memory Dove

Arthur Smith stands up for carers - 10 December 2018

Renowned stand-up comedian Arthur Smith brought an evening of laughs, songs and stories to a packed Riverside Barn – in a special gig organised for patients, carers and their families

Arthur’s brand of observational wit, peppered with poetry, songs and jokes of dubious nature, went down a treat with the 100 or so guests of Princess Alice Hospice at the Walton venue.

The internationally famous, semi-professional comedian (his words) did a set comprising jokes old and new, illustrated anecdotes and poetry.

The audience was captivated by the South London-born star’s memoir of his father Syd’s life, sharing tales of life in the Army, as a PoW and latterly as a Metropolitan Police officer.

He also shared personal observations about his own grief after his father died – and his ongoing experience of his mother’s being in residential care.

The free gig was a spot of seasonal cheer for some of the families using Princess Alice Hospice services.

“I haven’t laughed as much in ages,” said Zoe Byrne, Hospice Deputy Director, Community Engagement. “Arthur did a brilliant gig and we’re immensely grateful he came down to entertain us so well.

“The audience left in high spirits – we had fantastic feedback about how much people had enjoyed Arthur’s set.

“It’s lovely for us to be able to give so many people a chance to have an evening out together, enjoying a load of laughs.”

Among those who had a great time were Nigel and Janet Horsfield, who said: “This was our first live comedy event and Arthur provided an enjoyable, humorous evening.”

Hospice Man Shed volunteer session leader Andy Wilson, who went along to the gig with fellow Shedders and friends, said it was “a lovely social event”.

  • Arthur’s gig was made possible by the generosity of Walton Charity, to whom the Hospice extends its grateful thanks.

It’s ‘on with the old’ for Hospice fun run - 4 December 2018

A group of five friends who love nothing more than a fun run, dusted off their Santa outfits for the tenth time on Saturday

Cathy Hough, Sue Holley, Teresa Robbins, Pauline Bolt and Paula Bell, who meet regularly for runs in Nonsuch Park, made the trip to Richmond Park for the annual Princess Alice Hospice Santa Fun Run.

The women have carefully preserved their Santa outfits from their very first outing for the Hospice – with the jackets faring better than the trousers over the years.

Cathy Hough said: “It was a very easy course – good fun; although where we would have run it in the past, nowadays we take it a bit easier.

“The Santa outfits have been tucked away in various attics over the years and there was a slight panic this year when we thought we had lost them, but they turned up in time.”

The women regularly participate in fundraising runs and walks including Moonwalks, fun runs and on one occasions, a 10km event.

Claire Woodward, Princess Alice Hospice Senior Partnership Fundraiser said: “We love welcoming back people to the Santa Fun Runs each year – and these friends have done amazingly well to keep the same outfits year after year.

“It is thanks to the dedication and good spirit of our fun runners that we are able to raise vital funds through these events. The uplift in income enables us to continue to deliver outstanding care – free – to those who need it during the festive season.”

There are still two Santa Fun Runs to go, both in Bushy Park. Visit

  • Re-use and recycle: Santa suits returned in good condition after the fun runs, are offered to groups of carol singers to bring extra festive cheer.


Photo: From left: Paula Bell, Sue Holley, Pauline Bolt, Cathy Hough and Teresa Robbins

Girls’ teddy trade is a money-spinner for Hospice - 4 December 2018

Two enterprising girls have raised funds for Princess Alice Hospice by holding a teddy and book sale at their school

From initial ideas through poster design, publicity and a batch baking session, Jemima Dunn and Jess Quinton, both 10, masterminded the entire operation.

They began planning a few weeks before the sale at Weston Green Preparatory School and after getting the Head’s permission, set about collecting donated items and publicising the event via an assembly and posters.

Jess, who lives in Thames Ditton, said: “My Mum’s friend works at the Hospice – and my nan is a keen charity shop customer – we especially like going to the Molesey shop where a man sometimes plays the piano.”

The girls set up shop in the school playground during breaktime – selling homemade cakes and traybakes as well as teddies and books, to their schoolmates.

Jemima said: “We were surprised by the success of the sale – with keenest customers being years 2, 3 and 4.”

They brought their takings – £54.15 – to the Hospice, where each was presented with a certificate to mark their donation.

The school continues to support Princess Alice Hospice as one of four charities chosen this year.

Picture shows: Jemima, left, and Jess with their certificates in the Hospice children’s playroom

Pub’s right Royal result for Hospice - 3 December 2018

Warm-hearted regulars at a popular Hersham pub - The Royal George - have been pushing the boat out to raise funds for Princess Alice Hospice, to the tune of £17,700

They’ve done everything from quiz nights to rounders games, football matches to a casino night and personal challenges. Most notable was a skydive by Royal George stalwart Micky “Mac” McMahon, whose airborne adventure raised more than £3,500 in May.

The run-up to Hallowe’en saw a fancy dress pub quiz enjoyed by the regulars and guests at the Hersham Road pub; to top off the evening they produced a giant cheque made up to represent the amount raised during the year.

“All our events specifically raise money for The Princess Alice Hospice,” said landlady Sandra Fitschen. “Most of us have some connection to the Hospice – it’s so local to us and has cared for many people’s family members and friends over the years.”

There are plans for a Casino Night to raise even more before long.

The pub’s community spirit and money-spinning efforts have won it the Ram Pub Company Fundraiser of the Year award for 2018.

“This wonderful sustained effort by such a great bunch of people as the Royal George customers and staff goes to show that time spent in the pub is definitely worthwhile!” said Tim Iredale, Senior Partnerships Fundraiser for Princess Alice Hospice. “Without local support, the Hospice would not be able to provide the outstanding level of care it does. We’re very grateful for their continuing generosity.”

Santa’s elfie tackles 5k with a smile - 29 November 2018

This cheerful and charming young elf – Molly by name – took a well-earned rest after the 5km Santa Fun Run for Princess Alice Hospice, on Sunday

It was the first ever charity event which Molly, six, has taken part in – and mum Katie Kean said she did the two laps of the lake “without a single grumble – this was 100 per cent down to the lovely marshals and the positive atmosphere along the route”.

Molly, a Year 1 pupil at Guildford High School, was so keen to help raise vital funds for the Hospice that she also organised her own “Homemade arts and crafts sale”, inviting neighbours to buy her handmade origami figures and hama bead coasters, which raised £26.50.

Molly, who lives in Walton, really wants to do the fun run again next year. The run was held for the first time at Painshill Park, the stunning 18th Century landscape garden in Cobham.

Katie said: “I’ve already mentioned it to her classmates’ mums, so hopefully we’ll get a crowd of little elves at Painshill next time.”

  • There are four more Santa Fun Runs for Princess Alice Hospice this festive season – two in Richmond park and two in Bushy Park.

To find out more and sign up visit

Young runners dash for charity cash - 29 November 2018

A group of school friends inspired to raise funds for Princess Alice Hospice turned out to tackle a 5km Santa Fun Run on Sunday

The St Charles Borromeo pupils were joined by former pupils of the Weybridge school, at the event held for the first time in the beautiful surroundings of Painshill Park, Cobham.

Finishing in third place overall – behind two adult runners – was Conrad McLaren, nine, shortly followed by Oliver Middleton.  Both boys were still raring to do another lap of the lake. Our picture shows Conrad, right, and Oliver.

Fellow pupil Emily McGurk also ran, alongside ex pupils Katherine McGurk, Toby Punton and Joseph Kefford.

The youngsters’ head teacher, Stephen Holt, said: “I am so proud that some of our pupils were involved in such an important cause. The Princess Alice Hospice will always be close to our hearts and as a local charity we are so grateful for the support our local community.”

Hospice Senior Partnership Fundraiser Claire Woodward said: “Growing numbers of young people like these are finding that they can have a great time and help a good cause at the same time.

“At our Santa Fun Runs the focus is on fun – with the added bonus of much-needed donations for Princess Alice Hospice.

“It would be great if other schools fielded teams – a bit of friendly competition would add to the occasion.”

  • There are four more Santa Fun Runs for Princess Alice Hospice this festive season – two in Richmond Park and two in Bushy Park.
  • To find out more and sign up visit

Santa Fun Run 2018 – Painshill Park 25 November:

First over the line: Jonathan Cocks

First woman: Suzanne Cocks (Jonathan’s Mum)

First under-16: Conrad McLaren, 9

Mum’s marathon for Hospice funds - 27 November 2018

A mum who only rediscovered her passion for running a couple of years ago, has vowed to raise money for Princess Alice Hospice for as long as she is active

Nina McNeill had always been sporty but only took up running seriously once her young daughter had started school.

“After 18 years of marriage and having four children, I started running and it rekindled my passion,” she said

Staring with short runs and 5k challenges, within three years Nina has completed 35 half-marathons and six full marathons – including the recent Snowdonia event, in which she raised £1,233.28 for the Hospice.

What’s more, she ran with torn knee ligaments and bruised ribs – having fallen badly during her favourite outdoor pursuit – obstacle racing.

Nina chose to support Princess Alice Hospice as a result of the care and support given to her beloved Aunty Marilyn, who died at the Hospice in May this year, surrounded by her family.

Nina visited the Hospice every day from her home in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, juggling childcare, a fulltime job and part-time job in a pub.

She was extremely impressed by the Hospice and everyone she encountered during her aunt’s time here.

“The care my aunt received here was amazing, second to none” said Nina.

Nina recalled the weekend her aunt died as a time of joy as well as sadness; it was the Royal Wedding celebrations and she said the atmosphere at the Hospice was brilliant. “We joined the celebrations, watched TV, had cake – it was lovely,” she said.

When she learned how heavily the Hospice relies on donations and shops to fund its £9.9m annual care bill, she promised to do as much as she could to help.

The pub where she works part-time – the Alfred Arms – has also got behind Nina’s efforts and raised £600 towards her Snowdonia total by a fundraising night.

Nina brought two of her children to the Hospice to see the Giving Dove feather sponsored in her aunt’s name – Marilyn Andrews.

Nina’s sights are now set on the 2019 Brighton Marathon – with the London event being her ambition in 2020.

“I’m proud to be able to help the Hospice by my running,” she said.

Photo: Nina crosses the line in the Snowdonia Marathon

Stanley’s growing interest pays off for Hospice - 27 November 2018

A kind-hearted schoolboy’s wish to raise funds for those less fortunate has become a great success

Stanley Parrott turned an interest in gardening into a profitable veg and flower business over the summer and raised money for two causes close to his heart.

Eight-year-old Stanley decided to earn funds for a young friend with cerebral palsy, then added Princess Alice Hospice to his cause after the death of a much-loved family friend.

He asked his Mum Nikki and Dad Barry for a vegetable trough for his seventh birthday, then set to growing a variety of vegetables and flowers for sale to neighbours and friends.

He called into Princess Alice Hospice with his donation of £121.06, accompanied by his family.

His family’s longterm and close friend Nobby Wadmore, had been cared for both at home and at the Hospice until he died in January this year.

His wife Jackie, who accompanied Stanley and his Mum, brother and sister on their visit, said the care Nobby had received could not have been better.

“He used to go along to the Day Services while he was at home, and also spent a couple of weeks at a time at the Hospice – it was brilliant,” said Jackie. “Everyone was so kind and caring.”

It was during the Christmas season last year that Nobby was admitted, and he died in mid-January surrounded by his family.

Stanley’s project saw him raise carrots, beetroots, tomatoes, radishes, sunflowers and more. He named the enterprise Curly Roots Produce and made publicity posters and leaflets to deliver round the area, with the help of his brother Alfie and friend and neighbour Imogen.

Not resting on his laurels, he already has winter vegetables on the go – with plans to continue to grow his business.

Photo: Young businessman Stanley Parrott has a plot to succeed

Gerald’s on the run at 88 - 26 November 2018

There’s a first time for everything, they say – so after 23 years of retirement, 88-year-old Gerald has decided to join a Princess Alice Hospice Santa Fun Run

Former machine shop foreman Gerald, who hails from Whitton, has been walking regularly in Richmond Park and Bushy Park for the best part of a year, having joined the Princess Alice Hospice Walk and Talk group after the death of his wife Margaret.

They both worked at the Wilson and Kyle factory in Brentford; Margaret starting at 14 and Gerald at 17.

They married in 1958 and moved to a house in Whitton they day they were married, where they raised a family and where Gerald still lives.

He was inspired to join the fun run by a new friend he made while on the regular Princess Alice Hospice Walk and Talk strolls in Bushy Park.

“I got to know Barry, who has been on the walks for a couple of years – and who did the fun run last year,” said Gerald. “I thought ‘why not?’ so I’ve put my name down.”

He said he could not believe how wonderful the care was that Margaret received from the Princess Alice Hospice Community Team towards the end of her life in a local care home.

“It was six-star service – if there is such a thing!” he said.

Gerald – who was not a great runner but enjoyed running, reckons he will be taking the fun run at a leisurely pace – hopefully a fast walk.

If you would like to join Gerald and our other Santas in one of our upcoming fun runs in Richmond Park and Bushy Park, sign up at or call 01372 461808

Quality party wear without breaking the bank - 26 November 2018

With the party season well under way, the shops are full of sparkles, glitz and glamour.









Dresses can be an expensive purchase at an already costly time of year.

Did you know our Princess Alice Hospice shop in Shepperton has a dedicated floor of party and bridal wear? Labels such as Asos, Phase Eight, Pretty Little Thing and Monsoon are up for sale from as little as £20 each, cheap enough to buy two!

Linda Kemp, Manager of the Shepperton shop said: ”The quality of the dresses being donated is fabulous. A lot of them are brand new or have only been worn once. We’re very grateful for them and they are extremely popular.”

As well as a glamorous party dress, you can also find shoes, handbags and all the accessories you might need for your festive outfit.

The Hospice Shepperton shop is open seven days a week, Monday to Saturday 9am – 4.30pm and Sunday 10am – 4pm pop along and check out the party dresses.


Elvis spotted in Princess Alice Hospice shop - 24 November 2018

It’s Now Or Never for fans of the King of Rock ‘n Roll hoping to get their hands on some vintage vinyl

Scores of original Elvis Presley albums spanning his recording career have been donated to the Princess Alice Hospice shop on Feltham High Street – handed in by a mystery donor.

The morning after we tweeted we were All Shook Up by the gift, the manager arrived at the shop to find an eager customer waiting.

“He spent around £100 in one go – a fantastic find for him and a great result for us,” said manager Debbie Fewster.

“We have never had such an unusual donation. We hope there’s a lot of interest in these great albums – there’s still a lot available.”

Debbie and her volunteer assistant, Sylvia Allen, have been working their way through the treasure trove, pricing the dozens of albums for display.

The Feltham shop is not unfamiliar with rock royalty – just up the High Street is the Queen star Freddie Mercury’s “Walk of Fame” memorial set in the pavement.

Photo: Sylvia, left and Debbie with a couple of the albums in the Feltham shop.

Hospice Man Shed claims UK top spot - 23 November 2018

The highest accolade in the land was awarded to the Princess Alice Hospice Man Shed at a national competition at the weekend

The judges admitted they were “blown away” by what they learned about what goes on at the Man Shed in the Esher-based Hospice grounds.

The organisers, UK Men’s Sheds Association, said: “We were truly blown away by your application which gave insight into all that the Princess Alice Hospice Man Shed is providing to patients, carers and bereaved relatives. It really is truly wonderful to read and hear.”

The Man Shed of the Year 2018 prize was accepted by volunteer session leader Ken Snowdon at the annual ShedFest event at Worcester, in front of 250 fellow shedders from across the country.

In making the award the Chairman, UKMSA – Nathan Sarea – said: “We are delighted that this year to be able to give this award to Princess Alice Hospice Man Shed. They have done amazing work in bringing together the patients, staff and community to create this unique Shed.

“Loneliness is a serious issue which affects people of all ages and backgrounds and is often a particular problem at difficult times in our lives. This Shed has shown how we can help people stay positive and feel valued throughout such times.”

Hospice Community Engagement officer Helen Sergeant said afterwards: “We are so proud to have won Shed of the Year 2018; the therapeutic benefits of the Man Shed – for session leaders and shedders – are enormous and we are extremely proud of it.

“It truly changes lives, it gives people happiness, it gives them confidence and comfort and helps them move on with their lives.”

Photo: Man Shed volunteer session leader Ken Snowdon with the award at ShedFest.


Decking cheque checks in - 21 November 2018

A compassionate contractor went beyond providing professional services when they made a £6,400 donation to Princess Alice Hospice

Mike Wilderink, Managing Director of the Outdoor Deck Company of Teddington, presented the cheque on the fantastic new decking area installed by his company at the Esher-based Hopsice this summer.

Mike said: “I recognise and have experienced first-hand the important work the Hospice does in the local community and I’m pleased to support the specialist care and work it provides in caring for patients and their families.”

The Outdoor Deck Company were commissioned to remove the existing deck that surrounds the Hospice and replace it with a new composite decked area with glass balustrades.

The new deck provides an attractive and tranquil safe outdoor space for a number of patient rooms, providing beautiful views of the gardens and koi pond.

Martin Osborn, Hospice Facilities Manager, who accepted the donation, said: “We are delighted with the new deck, which provides our patients and visitors in the front and west-facing rooms with a relaxing and peaceful outdoor space.

“Mike’s generous donation will be used to buy new comfortable Rattan outdoor furniture, with any surplus being used for much-needed patient care.”

Photo – Cheque on deck: Outdoor Deck Company MD Mike Wilderink, left, holds the cheque with Hospice facilities manager Martin Osborn

Floral fundraiser £500 for Hospice - 15 November 2018

A group of creative students called into Princess Alice Hospice with a welcome gift – cash they had earned from a college enterprise activity.

The 14 Supported Learning students at Kingston College spend time each week creating stylish, colourful desktop floral arrangements for staff.

At £1.50 each, these pretty reminders of the work of the Hospice not only enable the young people to learn and perfect skills, they offer a chance to help others through their donation.

“Alongside the improvement of fine motor skills, the enterprise helps students to realise they can make a small difference to the lives of others through their effort,” said their tutor.

“They are so proud when they deliver the cheques to the Hospice each year.”

One of the students involved – who are all aged between 19 and 22 – commented: “The project is good because it raises money to help people.”

The full-time Supported Learning course is tailored for young people with learning difficulties or disabilities.

It equips them with skills for work, skills for independence and personal progress; subjects include English, maths, ICT, cookery, art/craft, home management and sport.

Claire Woodward, Senior Partnerships Fundraiser at the Hospice, said: “It was great to meet the group when they brought along the £500 donation; their fundraising effort is very much appreciated and enables us to continue our work in the Hospice and across the community.

“What’s more – they also gave us a lovely impromptu performance of a song from Mary Poppins, the musical they had recently performed.”

First Facebook fundraiser for Hospice - 15 November 2018

Quick off the mark – and the first to sign up as a Facebook Fundraiser for Princess Alice Hospice – is a Teddington-based supporter raising funds in memory of his Dad

Andrew Dubey-James celebrated his 46th birthday by forgoing presents in favour of collecting online donations for the Hospice, which provided home-based care for his father, Charlie, before he died.

“I was talking to my Mum, Pat, about the ‘Hospice at Home’ nurse (also called Andrew) who had given us such tremendous support. By coincidence, I spotted the appeal for Facebook Fundraisers”.

“There were no two ways about it, so I signed up and set a target of £200,” he said.

“The help my Mum and Dad (Charlie) received was tremendous; it was entirely through the ‘Hospice at Home’ service that Dad could stay with his loved ones. The carers who came around were absolutely amazing. They took care of everything he needed to be happy and comfortable.

“Mum was given emotional support which enabled her to spend quality time with Dad during his final days.”

Andrew’s appeal message to friends and family on Facebook reads: “For my birthday this year, I’m asking for donations to Princess Alice Hospice.

“I’ve chosen this charity because of the help and support they gave my family and especially my Dad during his last few weeks, so their mission means a lot to me, and I hope that you’ll consider contributing as a way of saying thank you.”

The response from those who saw his message quickly broke through his target and reached £270 as the deadline arrived.

Andrew, an Army Staff Sergeant based at DMRC Headley Court, Epsom, spent his birthday literally plastered; he recently tripped at work and broke both wrists. It didn’t prevent him raising a glass on his big day with thanks to all those who donated in his dad’s memory.

>>>>   Facebook Fundraisers show their giving side by inviting donations in lieu of gifts – be it for a birthday, anniversary, wedding or other celebration.

Visit our website at and on the Fundraisers section at the top, click on Create and follow the instructions.

Photo: Consoled by cards: Andrew Dubey-James who gave up his gifts for charity


Ready, get set . . . for winter - 5 November 2018

There’s no getting away from it – with warnings of plummeting temperatures and darker evenings upon us, winter is finally becoming reality.

The promised blast of Artic weather has materialised – bringing snow, sleet and hail in parts of the UK as the mercury heads towards freezing; councils have posted online pictures of gritters on standby.

So why not tackle the frosty season head-on and make the most of it? Banish the winter blues, and fight off the extra festive pounds by signing up now to one of the Princess Alice Hospice Santa Fun Runs.


Here are some ideas to inspire you:

  • To keep “winter tiredness” at bay, get outdoors in natural daylight as much as possible, advises the NHS;
  • Counteract stress with meditation – which can be done on the move with a walking app;
  • Listen to uplifting tracks as you exercise – what better than the new Shatner Claus Christmas album featuring William “Captain Kirk” Shatner’s take on festive songs – joined by the likes of Iggy Pop, Rick Wakeman, and ZZ Top?
  • Arrive home to a warming bowl of winter veggie soup – carrots, parsnips, swede, turnips;
  • Sneak a treat from your novelty Advent calendar – varieties this year include Christmas gins, marshmallows, gemstones, green teas, biscuits – even pork scratchings!;
  • Make the most of winter breakfasts – starchy cereals combined with fruit, milk and yoghurt to boost your immune system
  • Call into your local Princess Alice Hospice shop to pick up some winter warmer bargains – we have boots, coats, skiwear, knitwear, winter hats, gloves and scarves at very reasonable prices

For details of the Santa Fun Runs, visit

Rocky’s golf bonus for Hospice - 1 November 2018

Take one stuntman, a boxer, a handful of snooker players, footballers and actors - and challenge them to a game of golf . . .

Result: a cash bonus for the one good cause they all support – Princess Alice Hospice.

Stuntman Rocky Taylor – the Cobham-based veteran of scores of movies – hosted a day of golf followed by dinner and entertainment at Burhill Golf Club.

The day was enjoyed by former world champion boxer John Conteh, snooker stars Steve Davis, John Virgo and Ireland’s Patsy Fagan, as well as former England and West Ham footballer Trevor Brooking; QPR and Arsenal footballer Terry Mancini and A Touch Of Frost actor John Lyons.

During the evening fundraising dinner, at which comedian Kev Orkian brought the house down, an auction helped top up the funds – with items including a golfing voucher for four from Irish pro golfer John O’Leary and a signed album by actor/singer Jess Conrad.

Rocky called by the Hospice with John Virgo (former professional snooker player, co-host of BBC’s Big Break, and commentator for BBC snooker coverage) to hand over the £3,615 raised by the event held in August.

The golf and dinner is now in its third very successful year. To date Rocky and his fellow golfers have raised around £12,000 for the Hospice.

Tim Iredale, Princess Alice Senior Partnerships Fundraiser said: “It’s absolutely fantastic that Rocky and Burhill Golf Club chose to support the Hospice with this marvellous golf day for a third year in a row.  It’s wonderful that all involved can have a brilliant day out on the course in the knowledge that they are also helping to support such a worthy cause.

“This funding is vital for us to be able to provide palliative end of life care and bereavement support across such a wide area.”

Rocky was especially grateful to Farrants of Cobham for supplying the 80 goodie bags for the players on the day; with extra thanks to organisers Paul and Anita Jones.

Next year Rocky will be auctioning signed copies of his upcoming autobiography Jump, Rocky, Jump at the event pencilled in for 16 August.

Pictured – Cue for thanks: From left, snooker pundit John Virgo, Hospice Senior Partnerships Fundraiser Tim Iredale, and Rocky Taylor

DHL Express deliver for Princess Alice Hospice - 22 October 2018

A motley team of football-fan cyclists has raised a bumper sum for Princess Alice Hospice

A team of 20 set off from DHL Express’ Colnbrook HQ, bound for Belgium where the firm’s European divisions compete in an annual football tournament.

Among them was Fleet Services Manager Jason Free, whose personal goal has been to stay trim and fit after losing an amazing 12 stones in weight. He took up cycling to help manage his weight and enjoyed it so much he has remained a regular rider.

His colleagues included keen competitive cyclists as well as occasional riders, and people like him who enjoy the sport for their health. They did the 300-mile trip in three days, with Chief Executive Ian Wilson riding alongside as well.

“The trip to Lommel, where the tournament was held, was a joy for me,” he said, adding that the DHL Express UK team’s win on penalties against Germany was an undoubted bonus.

The 20 riders donated money themselves and raised £2,850, which Jason presented to Prince Alice Hospice.

Accepting the giant cheque on behalf of the Hospice, senior partnership fundraiser Claire Woodward said: “Donations from kind-hearted people like the DHL Express colleagues make it possible for us to continue our vital work in the Hospice and in the community. We rely heavily on donations and are always impressed with the effort people put in to helping us.”

Swapping wheels for trainers, Jason’s next challenge is the 2020 London Marathon.

Our photo shows: DHL Express Fleet Services Manager Jason Free, left, with Princess Alice Hospice senior partnership fundraiser Claire Woodward and DHL Express Head of Health Safety & Environment Keith Sturge

BP gift makes quick work of garden tasks - 22 October 2018

A crisp sunny autumn day saw the arrival of a crowd of keen volunteers at Princes Alice Hospice, donating a new leaf-blower to help tidy up the grounds

The group from BP Sunbury’s HR department were put to work to help the Hospice volunteer gardeners during their weekly tasks.

As well as collecting the hundreds of fallen leaves which cover the garden each year, they raked, dug, planted shrubs and weeded throughout the morning.

They were kept fuelled by tea, coffee and cake – and a lunch enjoyed at the end of the session.

Hospice Facilities Manager Martin Osborn said: “It’s always a pleasure to welcome the BP teams on their volunteering visits. They really get involved and work hard to help our garden volunteers maintain our lovely grounds.

“They are great ambassadors for their company and tell us they appreciate the opportunity for team-building and giving something back by volunteering.”

BP staff are regular visitors to the Hospice’s Esher base, where they use their volunteering time for team-building and networking across the company.

Teams of volunteers will soon be seen around the Hospice care area, publicising the upcoming annual Santa Fun Run – wearing distinctive Santa suits!

Our picture shows BP’s Nigel Caufield with garden volunteer John and the new leaf blower

Gym girls’ display raises funds - 22 October 2018

Nine nimble gymnasts staged their own display to raise funds for Princess Alice Hospice – and popped in to the Dorking shop to share the proceeds

They handed over a magnificent £240, raised at a Sunday morning display in the playground of Surrey Hills School, Westcott, in the summer term.

The gymnasts had decided to raise money for a good cause and, as one of the girls’ grandmas was cared for at the Hospice, they chose the charity to benefit.

With the head teacher’s permission to use the playground on a weekend, they performed a display for families and friends and raised funds via a collection on the day.

The girls’ parents provided drinks, while the girls themselves made cakes which brought in further donations from the 50-strong audience.

The girls, all aged nine or 10, usually practise at a club in Leatherhead but decided to create and perform their show close to home.

Cherie Noy, Princess Alice Hospice Deputy Director Retail Operations, said: “We were so impressed with the girls’ initiative in organising the entire thing from start to finish – and the proceeds from the show are most welcome.

“It’s heartwarming to see young people getting involved in fundraising for a cause close to their hearts. I hope they continue to support the Hospice in future!”

Handover, from left: Emily, Eloise, Flo, Millie, Pip, Lucy. Abbie standing behind. Not pictured, River and Eden.

Clothes, for what they’re worth - 18 October 2018

If you think your wardrobe is costing you the earth - you are probably right!

Almost everyone is aware of the devastating effects on the environment, of discarded plastic and the pollutants generated by its production.

Only recently is the spotlight being turned on the globally-damaging effects of clothing manufacture and our obsession with buying clothes.

Recent TV documentary Fashion’s Dirty Secret (BBC3) triggered headlines in the nationals – “Shoppers vow to ditch fast fashion” . . . after the show revealed an entire sea has been drained to desert by cotton production in Uzbekistan – just one example of the devastation wrought by clothes production globally.

An investigation is currently under way by the Commons Environmental Audit Committee, into ways in which the clothes industry – worth £28bn a year to the UK economy – can be made more sustainable.

Our almost insatiable appetite for new clothes – worn a few times and then discarded, can add to landfill if they are just binned. Add to this pollution, the release of toxic chemicals throughout the manufacturing process and the scourge of microscopic man-made fibres flushed into the water system when we wash our clothes.

Among the solutions which can help slow down the process of environmental damage, is to make the most of Princess Alice Hospice shops –  for both donations of usable clothing, and for picking up items that have plenty of wear left in them.

People frequently donate top quality, hardly-worn items which can be picked up for a fraction of their original price.

We visited our Esher outlet to pick out a few outfits to show the way you can look nifty and be thrifty – and help the planet at the same time.

We also looked into how much those charity purchases could buy in terms of services provided by Princess Alice Hospice.

Cherie Noy, Deputy Director Retail Operations, said: “Canny clothes shoppers are realising the fantastic bargains to be had at Princess Alice Hospice shops.

“Thanks to our generous donors we can stock fabulous designer wear and accessories – and we price them keenly to appeal to people who love to look good without breaking the bank.

“Not only does the Hospice benefit – but ultimately the environment as well.”

Ø  Don’t forget to Gift Aid your donation if you can – this tax break means an extra 25p for every pound in the till.

Our ensembles comprised:

Pictured: Outdoor practical: Pink bobble hat: £5; White Hawke jacket: £15; Pink M&S sweater: £6; River Island jeans: £6.95; Leopard print Zara wellies: £9.  £41.95 (£155 new) This would pay for just under two hours of care at home by an Enhanced Support Service Nurse

Chic and cheerful: Green sequinned LK Bennett dress: £59; Grey Carvela shoes: £10; Rodo clutch bag: £35; Stella & Dot necklace: £23.95; bangles from £3.  £136.95 (£920 new)

This would pay for a visit to a patient at home by a Rapid Response Nurse; a session of physiotherapy at the Day Services and two family bereavement support sessions

Casual class: Black Lipsy jacket: £12; Short leather studded boots: £9; Mustard blouse: £8; black trousers: £7; black Zara bag: £9.   £45 (£270 new)

This would pay for two bereavement support group sessions for a child, plus a year’s worth of art materials.


Money-spinning discs boost Hospice shop takings - 18 October 2018

Scores of vinyl records collected over several decades, have hit the shelves of a Weybridge charity shop.

The 33s and 45s – ranging from Mario Lanza and James Last to Queen – were donated to boost the takings in an “Apprentice” style challenge.

Teams of volunteers from DHL Express were recruited for a day at the Princess Alice Hospice shops in Weybridge and Shepperton. The challenge was to increase takings and beat the other team’s efforts.

The boxes of rock, pop, classic and easy listening records were donated by DHL Express Reward and Recognition Advisor Harry Tugwood. They had been collected over several decades by his Grandma. “She lived next door to a record shop and built up a huge collection,” said Harry. He and his dad collected all the records together after she died and decided to use them to benefit the local Hospice.

Customers at the shop were also tempted by a raffle to win a signed Harlequins rugby shirt donated by DHL Express.

Over at the Shepperton shop, the DHL Express team were also set to work, sorting donations, preparing clothes for sale and pricing goods.

The team offered face painting to raise further funds.

Thirteen staff from the global logistics firm’s Colnbrook HQ took part in the challenge. Winners will be announced once the takings have been added up and compared with the same period last year.

“Everyone had a fantastic day – it was hard work but lots of fun and we’re so pleased to help the Hospice via this event,” said DHL Express’ Keith Sturge. “As a team-building opportunity this is excellent and our staff gain a great deal from the experience,” he added.

Hospice Retail Operations Deputy Director Cherie Noy said: “Income from our 47 shops is incredibly important to Princess Alice Hospice; without the generosity of customers and volunteers, maintaining our services would be impossible. We’re deeply grateful to DHL Express for choosing to support the Hospice in so many ways – and with such enthusiasm!”

Our picture shows Ollie Kirkman, left, and Harry Tugwood sorting through and pricing the record collection

Be like Santa – Challenge yourself to 5k - 12 October 2018

There’s still time to help a good cause and do yourself a whole lot of good before Christmas – by taking the Couch to 5k Challenge

The NHS-designed programme will help you gradually work up towards running 5K in just 9 weeks – enough time to get fit for the last of the Santa Fun Runs in aid of Princess Alice Hospice.

 There’s a choice of dates spread over four weekends in good time for Christmas, with the final one on 16 December.

 First run this year – 25 November – sees a magnificent addition to the choice of 5k runs – Painshill Park in Cobham, the award-winning 18th century landscape garden with beautiful vistas, trees, water features and follies.

We’ve also added a second date to the Bushy Park schedule. This brings to four the number of Royal Park runs – two each in Richmond Park and Bushy Park. 

An “Early Bird” discount is on offer for anyone signing up before 31 October. 

All routes are 5km – you can run, jog, walk or just stroll – alongside the hundreds of fellow Santas expected to turn out to raise much-needed funds for your local Hospice.

 For dates, details and to book, visit

 Details of NHS Couch to 5k:

Santa sets the pace for fun runs! - 4 October 2018

Santa’s cover was blown this week, when he was spotted out and about in pursuit of a great new fun run venue for Princess Alice Hospice in Esher.

The red-suited one was pictured on a recce in the spectacular setting of Painshill Park, Cobham – where he traced the 5km route that’s been designed to delight everyone who signs up.

Sweeping vistas, magnificent follies and pretty waterside paths make this what must be the most picturesque fun run route of all, to kick off the 2018 season.

We’ve also added a second date to the Bushy Park schedule. This brings to four the number of Royal Park runs – two each in Richmond Park and Bushy Park.

There’s a choice of dates spread over four weekends in good time for Christmas.

All routes are 5km – you can run, jog, walk or just stroll – alongside the hundreds of fellow Santas expected to turn out to raise much-needed funds for your local Hospice.

Runs are scheduled on Saturday 25th November at Painshill Park; 1st December at Richmond Park and the 9th and 16th December at Bushy Park. Runners can be big or little, on four legs as well as two(!), in teams, or singles and family groups.

Entry is £18 for 16s and over, which includes a free Santa Suit; £8 for five- to 15-year-olds which includes a free elf hat. Under-5s are free. Book by 31st October for a 20% discount.

“Our festive fundraisers always raise lots of smiles as well as vital funds – it’s inspiring to see the turnout at these popular events,” said Nigel Seymour, Director of Fundraising at the hospice which serves a population of around 1 million in Surrey, SW London and Middlesex.

“We rely on fundraising and our community support to generate the £9.9 million we need every year to provide Hospice care free of charge. We are so grateful to each and every fundraiser, as the money raised really does make an enormous difference to the care we can provide at Christmas.”

For details and to book, visit

Everybody needs good neighbours - 25 September 2018

More than 160 crazy golfers of all ages turned out for a day of family fun and fundraising, in aid of Princess Alice Hospice.

Just over £1300 was raised by the event held at Sandown Park Golf Centre, Esher.

Organiser David Smith, owner of the Wishing Well card shop in Great Bookham, masterminded the day; his store is next door to the Princess Alice Hospice outlet in the High Street and over the years the two shops’ staff have formed a warm friendship.

David wanted to arrange an event which would appeal to families and friends; raising money for the Hospice was a natural choice.

Hospice shop manager Val Woodward said: “This was all down to David – it was a fantastic day and we’re very grateful.”

David said: “It was perfect – a great family day was what we were aiming for and it came together thanks to the efforts of so many kind people: The golf centre offered the venue free; we had great prize donations including wine from William Reed of Crawley, and Surrey Hills Community Radio helped with publicity.”

Shop staff and volunteers pitched in with sourcing tombola and raffle prizes; selling tickets and helping out on the day.

Val also had a special “thank you” to Leatherhead store manager, Anita Latham, who gave her time to help at the event.

Dove from Above - 19 September 2018

A flash-mob of volunteers, supporters and staff formed themselves into a giant living, colourful version of the Hospice’s iconic dove symbol – to mark the launch of its Compassionate Communities campaign.

The 85-strong crowd gathered on the Event Field at Garson’s Farm, Esher, where the bird’s eye view was captured by a drone – which also produced stunning footage of the logo taking shape as it flew over the scene.

The innovative campaign’s aim is to encourage people to come together to make a difference – highlighting how everyone can support and help others in their local community. That might be volunteering in one of the Hospice’s 47 shops, becoming a compassionate neighbour, volunteering at our new allotment or becoming part of our wider support network.

Zoe Byrne, Deputy Director of Community Engagement, extended her thanks to everyone who had contributed to the “Dove-mob”.

“The event was a lot of fun – but also showed what can be achieved if everyone does their bit; Compassionate Communities is about coming together to offer support and have a positive effect on the lives of people around you.”

Among those taking part were corporate volunteers from global logistics company DHL’s team at Slough and East Midlands, along with customers and staff of Garson’s, who have chosen Princess Alice Hospice as their nominated charity for the year.

Are you ready to Rock the golf course? - 5 September 2018

On Friday 17th August 2018, Stuntman Rocky Taylor hosted an amazing day of Golf followed by dinner and entertainment at Burhill Golf Club in aid of Princess Alice Hospice.

Tee off was at 11am with 20 teams taking part. John Virgo (former professional snooker player, co-host of BBC’s Big Break, and commentator for BBC snooker coverage), Steve Davis OBE (6 times snooker world champion, winner of 28 ranking titles, BBC snooker pundit) and Stephen Hendry MBE (7 times snooker world champion, winner of 36 ranking titles and commentator for the BBC and ITV) were just three of the famous faces attending.

They were joined on the green by Sir Trevor Brooking, John Conteh, Dave Jones, Luther Blissett, Kenny Lynch, Jason Burrill, Paul Jones and Paul Walsh.

The event is now in its third very successful year. To date Rocky and his fellow golfers have raised almost £9,000 for the Hospice.

Evening entertainment was provided by Raymond and Mr Timpkins.

Tim Iredale, Princess Alice Senior Partnerships Fundraiser said: “It’s absolutely fantastic that Rocky and Burhill Golf Club chose to support the Hospice with this marvellous golf day for a third year in a row.  It’s wonderful that all involved had a brilliant day out on the course in the knowledge that they are also helping to support such a worthy cause.  And I’m personally very excited that my snookering hero, Steve Davis, was there!”

Rocky Taylor added: “We wanted the day to be a real success and raise as much money as possible for this worthwhile, local charity.”