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On Saturday 7 March 14 couples rocked the dance floor at St. Vincent’s Hospice’s ninth annual Strictly Come Prancing event, raising more than £67,000 for the charity.

Based on the hit TV series, this year was the biggest in the organisations history with more than 500 people in attendance to witness the record setting evening. After a hard fought battle with contestants who have been training hard over the last several months to wow the judges, it was married couple Allan and Julie Greenlees who took home the trophy after a stunning Tango.

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Fundraising Manager for St. Vincent’s Hospice, Carol-Anne Lamont said: “What an absolutely fantastic night and an amazing show from every single one of our prancers! It was one incredible performance after another, and special congratulations to Allan and Julie, who went all the way to a tense dance off, before being crowned the Strictly 2020 Champions.

“This event was a complete sell out and was our biggest and most successful Strictly event to date and we owe a massive thank you to not only all of our dancers, but to all of our sponsors for making the evening possible, Ingliston Hotel and Country Club for going above and beyond to make the evening go off without a hitch, and to all of our staff and volunteers who gave us their time to help out on the night.”

One of this year’s winners, Allan, said: “To be part of Strictly Come Prancing again was such a great honour, as I know from the previous year how much money is raised from the night. The Hospice plays a vital role in the local community, for families in their time of need and it is amazing to play my part in the fundraising effort. I can’t thank all the team enough for not only letting me back in this year, but for all the effort they put in to making the night happen.

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His partner, Julie, said: “When Allan asked me to dance this year, I was a bit reluctant, however I’m so glad we did. Gordon and Rebecca did an amazing job teaching us our dance and did even better teaching it while we constantly argued about the steps! This was better than I ever imagined it would be and everyone taking part did brilliantly. To win was such a great feeling, although the standard was so high, we really were lucky! All 14 couples should be proud of what they achieved, and I can’t wait to watch again next year.”

St. Vincent’s Hospice is a specialist provider of palliative care, supporting individuals who are affected by a life-limiting condition.

Managing Director of Hillhouse Group, the Headline Sponsor of this year’s event, Robert McNaughton said: “Glad to hear that everyone, dancers and spectators had a great night. What an amazing amount of money raised and we would like to wish St. Vincent’s every success for the future.”

Event Host from the evening, Peter from Beautiful Events and Productions said: “This is the most successful Strictly in nearly 10 years of doing the event”

The Hospice is already looking forward to Strictly Come Prancing 2021 and welcome all applications from potential dancers and sponsors. For more information, please contact: Info@svh.co.uk.

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Victoria Hamilton from Kilmacolm has successfully raised more than £10,000 for St. Vincent’s Hospice after an intense year of fundraising, which concluded by completing the Loch Ness Marathon, in memory of her father who sadly died in 2018.

After being diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer, Victoria’s dad (Tom Maitland) was admitted to St. Vincent’s Hospice in October 2018, where he spent 27 days in their care before sadly passing away on the 14th of November.

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Victoria said: “My dad spent 27 days in the Hospice, quite a lengthy stay compared to some others. After he died, I estimated that to provide this care must have cost around £10,000 and I decided I was going to repay this. That was a very daunting figure at first, so I just set about breaking it down into smaller targets.

“I was able to work with my daughter, Olivia and her school, St. Colomba’s, were generous enough to support her contribution by holding a bake sale and movie night, which raise £800. The Old Ranfurly Golf Club, where Dad was a lifelong member, held a Texas Scramble event which raised £350, and my friend Alyson Scott held a coffee morning which raised another £825.”

Above and beyond the support of her friends, family, and various donors throughout the community, Victoria received incredible support from her former employer HSBC, which provided fund matching of more than £1,000, along with several members of staff from the John Lewis Financial Services Team who raised a further £1,000.

All of these efforts culminated with Victoria tackling her biggest challenge to date, the Loch Ness Marathon, in October 2019.

She added: “I had run the London Marathon before, so I knew what I was letting myself in for in terms of the training and gruelling runs. If I never see the cycle path between Kilacolm and Johnstone again it will be too soon! I also knew that it had added challenges or being across challenging terrain, and steep hills. But in spite of that I was able to complete the marathon in four hours and nine minutes.

“I am so grateful and really humbled by the support that everyone has shown. I really do view this as an example of what can be accomplished when a community comes together and gets behind something. Taking on this challenge really has helped my recovery following the loss of my dad and helped turn a negative into a positive.

“To have not only met the target but surpassed it by raising £10,350 is absolutely overwhelming and I cannot thank everyone enough for all their support.”

St. Vincent’s is a specialist provider of palliative care for people living in Renfrewshire who have been affected by life-limiting conditions, including cancer, heart failure and Motor Neuron Disease.

Chief Executive of St. Vincent’s Hospice, Kate Lennon, said: “For one individual, going through such a difficult time to find the energy and determination to undertake such an unbelievable challenge is truly incredible and we cannot express how thankful we are for everything that Victoria has done for our Hospice.

“To raise more than £10,000 will make an immeasurable difference to the lives of people in the local community who need it most, making sure that we are here not just for the patient, but their families and loved ones throughout their journey.

“On behalf of everyone at the Hospice and beyond, thank you Victoria!”

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Pioneering ‘Girls Group’ at St. Vincent’s Hospice supports young people who have lost a loved one.

After suffering the loss of a loved one, a group of young girls in Renfrewshire have said they feel “stronger”, “closer” and more “understood” thanks to a pioneering project from the Children and Young People’s Service at St. Vincent’s Hospice.

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The Hospice is one of the few organisations in the local community who are able to offer specialist support for people aged 2 – 18 following a diagnosis of life limiting illness or loss of someone close to them.

With the aim of providing a new outlet for peer support, St. Vincent’s recently launched their first “Girls Group”, bringing together a small group of pupils from high schools across Renfrewshire for a series of events and activities.

Children and Young People’s Bereavement Worker, Alison Provan, said: “I have been working with the girls on a one to one basis and they had all lost someone important to them. It was obvious they were each going through a hard time, particularly when it came to their friends.

“Much as friends will often try their best, it is often very hard to understand what someone who is bereaved is going through until you have experienced it for yourself. After a chat with one of the girls (Carly) we thought ‘what if we could find a way for girls going through the same thing to come together?’”

They reached out to Marion McConnell, Home Link Assistant, from St. Benedict’s High School, and decided this was a viable option to take forward in partnership. The group also received an extremely generous grant from Lisa’s Gift of £1,000, which allowed them to build a programme of fun activities.

Carly, 15 who attends St. Benedict’s and initially worked with Alison to develop the concept, said: “If you’re going through a bad day, your friends will try to be there for you, but they’ll say things like ‘it’ll be OK, you’ll get through it.’ But they don’t know what the feeling is like inside. But with the group, this is so much easier.

“I feel like I’ve gained friendships and become really close with everyone. It’s been great going out and doing things. Talking and having fun with people who understand, instead of being sad and just sitting in the house. I feel like I’ve gotten so much out of this!”

Rachel, 14 from Gryffe High, added: “I think a lot of people just can’t imagine losing someone like that. Sometimes you hear about things that are a ‘drama’ and think ‘you have no idea how bad things could be.’ But with this, with the group, you know they understand.”

The group met six times, focusing on fun bonding activities, including go carting, getting manicures, going for dinner and visiting the Christmas markets. The girls have also independently met up several times to volunteer on behalf of the Hospice.

Lauren, 15 from St. Benedict’s, said: “I feel better. I feel stronger. Before I joined the group, I felt weak. I was really shy and didn’t want to talk to people. Now, I believe in myself. I feel more confident and feel really comfortable talking to the girls, sharing my feelings. It’s been amazing!”

Alison added: “I’ve been so happy to see the difference this group has made to all the girls. Even though the group only ran for a short period of time, it has brought them all together in a way that you normally wouldn’t see happen in young people. More importantly, now that the group has come to an end, they are all staying in touch. They’ve built their own support network and I’m so proud of each of them.”

Following the success of the project, the Girls have decided to continue to support the Hospice and work together as the first group of Youth Ambassadors.
This is a brand new role for St. Vincent’s, which will not only help raise awareness and support for the charity, but will allow the four to develop vital skills and experience towards university and job applications in the future.

Morven, 15 from Johnston High, said: “A lot of people don’t know about the Hospice or how much it means to the community. For everything that they’ve done. For everything they’ve provided. For everything they have given us and our families, I feel it’s very important that we’re here for them and help make more people aware of what they do.”

For more information, please visit: www.svh.co.uk

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The team from Morrison’s in Johnstone have shown their Christmas spirit, by donating beautiful sets of toiletry hampers to St. Vincent’s Hospice for all of the people in their Inpatient Unit.

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The hampers, which included luxury soaps, shower gels, lotions and more, were donated by the team continuing their long history of supporting the Hospice, recently donating decorative baskets and tubs for their community garden. Not wanting to forget the staff and all their hard work, they also supplied bags of tea, coffee and biscuits to keep them fuelled through the festive season.

St. Vincent’s is a specialist provider of palliative care, supporting individuals and families in the community who have been affected by life-limiting conditions including Cancer, Motor Neuron Disease, Heart Failure and many others.

Senior Fundraiser for the Hospice, Louise Strachan, said: “We are so grateful to Morrison’s for these beautiful gifts this Christmas and all of their support over the years. As a local charity, at the heart of the community, it is only through acts of kindness and generosity just like this that so much of what we do is possible.

“On behalf of all of us at St. Vincent’s: thank you and a Merry Christmas.”

For more information on how you can support St. Vincent’s, visit: http://www.svh.co.uk/fundraising/community-fundraising

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St. Vincent’s Hospice are inviting you to celebrate the life of a loved one by making a donation and dedicating a light on their Christmas tree, before joining them for their annual Light Up a Life dedication service on Sunday 24 November at 4.30pm.

The annual campaign runs all through the holiday season, giving people the chance to come together, share stories, remember those who have been lost and give the gift of specialist, compassionate care to patients and families who need it most.

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Commenting on Light Up a Life Spiritual Care Co-ordinator for St. Vincent’s Hospice, Catherine McGrath said: “Christmas is a time of celebration and sharing, but we know it can also be difficult, especially if you have lost a loved one. Light Up a Life is a way to celebrate their life, by dedicating one of the hundreds of lights on our tree, before coming together at the Hospice for an evening of carols, readings, mince pies and hot drinks.

“This is an incredibly special event for so many people, for so many different reasons. For some, it brings a sense of peace and joy to be surrounded by others who understand what you are going through. For others, it provides an opportunity to take a moment to reflect on those they have lost. For all, it’s a great way to kick off the Christmas season and help a good cause!”

To make a dedication and donation to St. Vincent’s, you can visit their new Light Up a Life Website by visiting: https://events.svh.co.uk/e/18

This year, for the first time, a few moments after you have made your dedication, you will be able to view it and share it with your family and loved ones on our beautiful Night Sky dedication page.

You can view, and search all dedications made this year by visiting: https://events.svh.co.uk/dedications/18

Catherine added: “Our dedication event will begin at 4.30pm at the Corseford School, with a candlelit procession along our footpath, ending in the Hospice Courtyard. So wrap up warm and join us as hundreds of lights are lit to shine out this Christmas in memory of those being honoured.”

Please be aware, that due to the large numbers in attendance, only disabled parking is available at the Hospice. Additional parking will be available at Capability Scotland’s Corseford School, with a shuttle bus service available for those who may require it. For more information contact Events@svh.co.uk.

St. Vincent’s Hospice have raised more than £600 at the Johnstone Gala Day, thanks to the fantastic support of the community, Johnstone Community Council and an extremely generous donation of bikes from the KibbleWorks.

Fundraising Manager for St. Vincent’s Hospice, Carol-Anne Lamont, said: “Thank you so much to everyone who came along to or donated to our tea tent at the Johnstone Gala Day! It was a fantastic day out, and was great to meet so many kind hearted families from our local area.

“We also owe a massive thank you to KibbleWorks for their amazing donation of children’s and adult bikes, completely free of charge, which we were able to sell on the day. These made such a difference to our stall, and raised more than £300 through their sale alone, which goes directly towards our caring services!”

Mark Robertson, depute Head Teacher at KibbleWorks said: “We are delighted to work with St. Vincent Hospice to help a fantastic cause. Supporting charities such as these allows our young people to see the positive impact of their work, and gives them an opportunity to demonstrate the skills they have learned through the Kibble Bikes programme.”

St. Vincent’s Hospice is a specialist provider of care for people and families in Renfrewshire affected by life limiting conditions. Every year, they have to generate more than £1.5 million in voluntary donations and fundraising efforts from the community.

Carol-Anne added: “We are absolutely delighted with how well our partnership with the KibbleWorks has come together for this event, not only supporting people in the local community through our care, but by giving the opportunity for families and individuals to get more active and healthy with these good as new, affordable, bikes. Thank you again to everyone for all your support, and of course to Johnstone Community Council for organising the day and inviting us to be part of it!”

To find out more about St. Vincent’s Hospice and how you can get involved, visit: www.svh.co.uk.

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200 lucky people will see Britain’s Got Talent 2019 semi-finalist John Archer when he does his one night only comedy and magic show in Paisley.  Online tickets from Eventbrite, priced £10 (plus fee) are disappearing quickly for this stand up gig at 7.30pm, Friday 27 September in Elim Christian Fellowship, 20 Gordon Street, PA1 1XD.  Ticket sales will help fund local charities, Roar and St Vincent’s Hospice. 

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Elim Events Missional Community (MC) leaders Pete and Norma Murchie said: “Audiences loved watching John Archer’s act on TV.  Now people can see him perform live in Paisley.  John’s a very funny guy and his routine has plenty of magical surprises.  Tickets include a free cuppa and cake at the interval.  Not only will people enjoy a great evening out but part of their ticket money is going to support two very good causes.

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With less than one month to go until their Step Up sponsored walk event, St. Vincent’s Hospice are looking for as many people as possible to put their best foot forward to support their charity.

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Step Up for St. Vincent’s takes place on Sunday 1 September at 11am, the day has both 10k and 5k accessible routes available and is perfect for families (including the dog), taking in some of the gorgeous scenery of Lochwinnoch.

Fundraiser for St. Vincent’s Hospice, Laura McDade said: “As well as giving you the chance to squeeze a little bit more summer out of 2019 by taking part in our 3rd Step Up event, enjoying a walk through some breath taking scenery, this is a fantastic way to support our Hospice.

“Step Up isn’t just a clever pun, it’s what we want as many of you as possible to do: To step up and support our Hospice! Every year, more than 50% of all of our funding comes directly from the generosity, time and effort of so many people across the community. It is no exaggeration to say that without this support, we couldn’t offer the service and care we have for thousands of people across Renfrewshire over the last 30 years.”

The event costs just £10 for adults and £5 for under 16s to participate. While there is no minimum sponsorship, the Hospice are encouraging all adults to set themselves a target of raising £100, which will make a huge difference to the lives of patients and families who are affected by life-limiting conditions.

Laura added: “Our nursing staff walk an average of 5k every single day. By doing this just once, you will be doing something truly special for people all across the community who need our support. Please, sign up today and Step Up for St. Vincent’s!”

For more information, or to sign up, visit: https://www.totaltickets.org/e/99968/stepup or call 01505 705 635.

St. Vincent's Hospice Golf Day

St. Vincent’s Hospice is hosting their annual charity Golf Event at the beautiful Ralston Golf Club, Paisley on Friday 16 August 2019. 

Teams of four will be able to enjoy a breakfast roll with tea or coffee in the Club House before heading onto the course for a 9am shotgun start.

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There will be plenty of prizes to win on the day, including “Nearest the Pin” kindly sponsored by Gordon Leslie Group, Longest Drive, Straightest Drive, Nearest the Pin and many more.

After play, teams will enjoy lunch and catch up on the scores of other competitors to see who will take home the St Vincent’s Hospice Golf Trophy.

There are still a few team spaces available at £320 per team as well as sponsorship and advertising opportunities so, if you would like to be part of this exciting day and help support St. Vincent’s Hospice please get in touch with our fundraising team on 01505 705 635 or email info@svh.co.uk

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As part of Carers Week 2019, three local charities are coming together to celebrate the work of carers in Renfrewshire by hosting two free events for anyone who is looking after or supporting a loved one on Wednesday 12 June. These will take place from 10am until 2pm in:

– Linstone Housing Association Building, Linwood
– Methodist Church Halls, Paisley

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The event is jointly hosted by St. Vincent’s Hospice, Accord Hospice and the Carers Centre and will feature manned information stands highlighting the services which are available to carers throughout the community.

Discussing the event, Director of Care at St. Vincent’s Hospice, Brona McGee, said: “At St. Vincent’s, we know all too well the important role that carers play in so many lives, but also that this can be hard, and put a lot of pressure on both people and families.

Clinical Services Manager Brian Hunter from ACCORD Hospice reiterated this message by saying “It is a great opportunity to work together, three organisations with the same vision of supporting the people who look after people.”

This year, the theme of carer’s week is ‘Getting Carers Connected with their Community’ which is exactly what these three organisations are trying to do in partnership to bring this information into the community itself.

The day will include manned information stands about services which may be of help, as well as ‘Advice-works’ who will be offering a wide range of money and debt advice solutions. There will also be the opportunity for some complimentary therapy and advice on self-care.

Each year, Carers Week aims to highlight the challenges faced by unpaid carers and recognise the contribution they make to families across the UK.

This event is free to attend for any carer living in Renfrewshire, with refreshments provided. For more information call:

St. Vincent’s Hospice – 01505 705 635 or email Isobel.McWilliams@svh.co.uk.
ACCORD Hospice – 0141 5812000 or email brian.hunter@accord.org.uk
Carers Centre – 0141 8873643 or email Diane@renfrewshirecarers.org.uk