David Gold opened his home in Caterham last week (Wednesday 9 October) to host an exclusive event for local philanthropists and supporters of St Catherine's Hospice.
David has been opening his garden for St Catherine's open gardens scheme for a number of years, raising almost £25,000. On hearing about the local charity's appeal to build a brand new, state-of-the-art hospice in Pease Pottage, David and his fiancée Lesley were moved to show their support and kindly agreed to help the hospice by hosting this event.
David Gold said: "As a local resident, I have always had a place in my heart for St Catherine's hospice, supporting them every year at my garden open day to which we invite the public. When I heard that they are working to build a new, bigger hospice, because currently they can only be there for 1 in 3 local people that need them, Lesley and I knew we wanted to help. My own mother died without hospice support, which is something I will never forget. Hosting the hospice's event in our home and updating people on the progress of the fundraising for the new hospice was a pleasure. It was amazing to see the support from the local community and we saw once again just how crucial it is that we have a bigger hospice. Families should not have to struggle with life limiting illnesses alone; everyone should be able to get the wonderful support of St Catherine's."
Following drinks and canapés on arrival, guests heard speeches from David Gold and Nick Bell, Capital Appeal Director at St Catherine's, before the key speaker, Patrick McIntosh, shared his story. Patrick is a local philanthropist and extreme fundraiser who has been raising funds for the new hospice by cycling from Twickenham to Tokyo.
He said: "It's been an honour to support St Catherine's as part of my big adventure. As a cancer survivor I know the importance of their vital care. And I want more people to be able to have hospice care in the future so I'm raising money for St Catherine's new, larger hospice."
After 35 years of delivering outstanding care at their current site, the local hospice now needs to raise additional funds to build their new hospice, which will provide better facilities including more beds on their Inpatient Unit, a larger day hospice and space to facilitate the expansion of their community services.
To date, £12.25 million has been raised towards a total of £16 million, with £1.7 million in gifts and pledges thanks to the generosity of the local community, including many people at the event. The hospice is so grateful to have had gifts of all shapes and sizes, including £200 from the 7th Crawley Beavers and half a million pounds from a local trust based near East Grinstead.
While the hospice is thrilled with this, they still have just over £3 million to raise, so they need the continuing support of their local community to get them there. St Catherine's hopes to begin construction on their new site in Pease Pottage in February 2020, with the first patients being welcomed to the hospice early in 2022.
For further information on St Catherine's New Hospice Appeal, please visit: www.stch.org.uk/newhospice