Hospice staff march with the jam jar army

Staff nurse Tracey Hindley at the jam jar army campaign launch
Staff nurse Tracey Hindley at the jam jar army campaign launch
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Willowbrook Hospice staff have throw their support behind the St Helens Reporter’s Jam Jar Army campaign.

Our campaign encourages generous readers to keep hold of their old jam jars and fill them with spare change before donating it to the local hospice.

Willowbrook staff nurse Gemma Sudworth and long-time trustee Gordon Spencer both backed the campaign, which aims to help pay for more nurses and more equipment – especially in light of ongoing building work which will see two new bedrooms created.

Gordon, a Willowbrook trustee for the last 20 years, said: “Funding is the fuel that drives the clinical excellence which benefits patients. That’s how I see it.

“Only around a third of our funding comes from the Government. The rest has to be raised via the community who, either directly or indirectly, benefit from the service.

“By 2020 one in two people will at some stage require the help of cancer services. If that doesn’t focus people’s minds - nothing will.”

He added: “We like to think of Willowbrook as a gold standard hospice which is both clinically-led and patient-focused.”

Willowbrook Hospice, a registered charity, currently costs around £3m a year to run and is helped out along the way by some 500-plus volunteers.

It currently operates just 10 beds - despite serving a community of 280,000 people but that figure is set to rise to 12 upon the completion of building work later this year.

Gemma said: “We definitely need more nurses - especially with the two new bedrooms that are being built. Patients can have complex needs too.

“Working at Willowbrook is hard but really rewarding. Palliative care is always something I’ve wanted to do and Willowbrook is a special place to work. Everybody who works here, whatever their job, is playing a vital role.”

Our bold campaign aims to raise £10,000 for the town’s hospice to pay the salary of an extra nurse.

That extra funding will make a massive difference - and doing your bit couldn’t be easier.

Get yourself a jam jar, enjoy the contents, cut out the logo on the side of this page, then start filling it with spare change or any cash you have lying about.

You can have as many jam jars as you like; perhaps one at home and one at work. Schools, homes, businesses and sports clubs are all welcome to take part.

And it couldn’t easier to get creative. Hold your own Jam Jar Army tea party, with the proceeds going straight into your jam jar; or give up that daily treat and stick the cash you’ve saved straight into the jar!

Once you’ve filled your Jam Jar, simply hand it in at the hospice’s fund-raising office in Claughton Street or any of the hospice’s 11 shops throughout the borough.