This Spring the Sam Beare Committee can celebrate 15 years of dedicated fundraising for Sam Beare Hospice in Weybridge. The group, which currently consists of nine members, has to date raised more than an estimated £ 100,000 to ensure that vital end-of-life and palliative care services have been available for local residents.
Jennifer Simpson, Chairman of the Sam Beare Committee, explains what has inspired them to keep fundraising for the Hospice in all those years; “The community nurses bring a ray of hope and lots of support into a home where someone is gravely ill. A sort of care not found anywhere else. Together we have made new and longstanding friends, who want to do something positive to help the Hospice, and at the same time have fun and enjoy ourselves. We also give those who attend our events an enjoyable time, as well as the opportunity for them to support such a good cause.”
Fundraising in order to secure local health care services is not a new thing and can in fact be traced back to 1889. Later it became part of the NHS, but by 2005 local palliative care services were no longer sustainable and a tender for a new provider was issued.
In 2006 Sam Beare Hospice became a charity under the management of Woking Hospice. It gave Weybridge residents renewed reason to start raising funds specifically for the hospice.
The Christ the Prince of Peace Catholic Church, just a short distance from the Hospice, decided to support the charity for the next few years. In February 2007 a fundraising group was started with congregation members and others from the community. The Church generously let the group organise many events using the church hall and its facilities.
The group was initially setup after a ‘founders evening’ which was attended by 45 people and soon after a small committee was established with others as supporters.
Over the forthcoming years many fundraising activities were organised, nearly all of them enjoyable social or educational events such as; Art lectures, Bridge and tea afternoons, open gardens, Quiz nights, Film nights, Line dancing, Fashion shows, Talks, Curry nights, monthly lunches and sponsored walks in Painshill Park.
After the Church support switched to other local charities, the group carried on fundraising as they had become a team who had fun together and enjoyed the generous support of many Weybridge residents. The committee always had the full backing of the Hospice’s management who were represented at their meetings.
Marian Imrie (CEO for Woking & Sam Beare Hospices) comments: “We cannot thank the Sam Beare Committee enough for supporting the Hospice for all these years and for ensuring that it has had such a high profile locally. Its hard work has ensured that local residents have been able to continue to access specialist end of life care and we hope that this will continue to be so for many years to come ”
In 2017, the local hospice beds were moved to a new hospice building in Goldsworth Park, Woking, but as over 80% of hospice care is delivered in patient homes, the Sam Beare Community Team, continues to deliver care locally 365 days of the year.