We did it - Harrogate's Saint Michael's Hospice hits Leap Year Appeal target

Saint Michael’s Hospice chief executive Tony Collins has said a huge thank you to the people of Harrogate district after our Harrogate Advertiser Leap Year Appeal reached its incredible £15,500 target.

Thursday, 12th March 2020, 12:29 pm
Updated Thursday, 12th March 2020, 12:30 pm

Following a huge number of donations from people across the region, Saint Michael’s has now raised enough money to cover the extra day of care it provided on February 29.

The charity says it has been “overwhelmed” by all the support it has received.

74-year-old David Hordley and some of the care team at Saint Michaels Day Therapy.

Chief Executive Tony Collins said: “We cannot thank the people of Harrogate district enough for their remarkable generosity and support.

“Every single £1 donated will help us to provide care, comfort and support to local people and their families when they need us most.”

The Harrogate Advertiser helped to launch the Leap Year appeal last month as the Hospice revealed it needed to find an extra £15,500 to cover Leap Year day, February 29.

While the Hospice had initially hoped to raise the required funds over the course of 2020, thanks to the generosity of the Harrogate district, we have now reached our goal inside just one month.

The Hospice has helped so many people in their most desperate of hours, and so many have come forward in recent weeks to tell their stories in the Harrogate Advertiser.

David Hordley is living with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and visits the day therapy service at the Hospice.

He said: “Back in April last year I was under the care of Harrogate District Federation Trust’s respiratory nursing and they asked me how I felt about going to Saint Michael’s for some extra support.

“I thought ‘this is it for me,’ and I’m not ashamed to say I cried. I’ll be honest and say I couldn’t even get through the doors when I first got there.

“But it was a whole new world for me. Suddenly I was surrounded by care and attention. At the end of my first day at day therapy, I felt I would be lucky to be able to come here. The fear had gone.”

David says he will always be grateful to the Saint Michael’s team for helping him achieve his ultimate goal - making it through to the day of his daughter’s wedding.

He added: “At one point I just couldn’t face going but they got me there. I didn’t know how I would cope with having to have oxygen and have a wheelchair and so on, but everyone got behind me.

“The staff broke down the day into little segments to make it more manageable for me. They turned my mountains into molehills. Everyone contributed to getting me there and through the day.

“I call this place St Evostick because it’s the place that glues me together.

There are some things in life which are intangible and there is something in the air here at the Hospice which is just so special.”

He says the care provided is vital to ensuring his wife of 51 years, Maureen, can go out and enjoy quality time with their daughters without feeling guilty about leaving him alone.

He also believes going to therapy has made him more sociable and helped him regain his people skills.

He said: “Maureen sees the difference coming here makes to me. She says when I come home after day therapy I am more positive. I was losing the art of making conversation with people other than my wife. Coming here has helped rekindle that, I like to chat.”

David says he hopes that when the time comes he can live out his final day in the care of the hospice:

This place gives me courage to cry with people I don’t know, the world feels like a better place when I am here. It’s like a huge comfort blanket wrapped around me.”

There is still time to donate to the Saint Michael’s Leap Year Appeal, as the hospice is now running the campaign until the end of the year.

You can donate at www.justgiving.com/campaign/HarrogateAdvertiserLeapYearAppealOr call the Saint Michael’s team on 01423 878 628.

If you would like to find out about other ways to support Saint Michael’s – for example by volunteering, leaving a gift in a will or making a regular donation, visit www.saintmichaelshospice.org