The daughter of a much-loved Wrexham man who died suddenly from lung cancer has thanked a local finance firm for raising £20,000 for the hospice which cared for him.
Ema Pennington met with Medwyn Edwards, Director of Hadlow Edwards Wealth Management, based on Regent Street in Wrexham town centre.
Over the years the company has raised thousands for Nightingale House Hospice via a client referral donation scheme and sponsoring some of the main events held in aid of the Wrexham-based hospice.
They are also keen supporters of Nicola’s Fund, which helps families coping with childhood cancer to enjoy a well-deserved paid-for holiday, and also raise money for Ty Gobaith/Hope House Children’s Hospices.
The hospice provides specialist palliative care services free of charge to patients and their families across Wrexham and the surrounding areas. It costs £2.8m a year to run the hospice and £7,700 a day.
On reaching the £20,000 milestone, Medwyn welcomed Ema, 37, a Deputy Headteacher at Rhosymedre Primary School, who has completed her own fundraising for the ‘precious’ place which helped her family ‘turn a really traumatic time into a more manageable situation’.
Medwyn has been President for the hospice’s Board of Trustees for the last five years which he gives his time to voluntarily. He said: “We are a growing and successful business at the heart of Wrexham and we feel strongly that it is important for us to give something back to local causes which we know are important to the community and our clients.
“We have had a number of clients who, both themselves and their families, have had cause to use the hospice and its services and so we know how valued it is to the region and we want to do our bit to support it.
“My own father, Robin, died from cancer aged 66 and unfortunately my family didn’t have access to hospice support. Having seen for myself what Nightingale House does for its patients and hearing from people like Ema, it makes you realise how important this support is at a time when you are facing the worst of situations.”
Ema’s father Bill Caldwell, 69, a former HGV driver of Wrexham and grandfather-of-four, passed away at Nightingale House on February 26, 2011, three days after he was admitted.
Ema described him as ‘quirky, kind, helpful and hard-working’ and said: “None of us, including my Dad, even had an inkling he was poorly. It was very sudden and came out of nowhere. In a matter of weeks he was gone and it was a huge shock for the whole family.
“The hospice stepped in and looked after him and us as a family. I remember when we first got there and my Dad was sitting in a chair and it was like a weight had been lifted from his shoulders. They immediately got to work managing his pain and looking after us all and it was a huge comfort.
“My Dad loved Calypso lollies and while we were at the hospice he didn’t really eat anything but he talked about wanting a Calypso. One of the nurses heard about this and went straight off to get him one. It is an example of how the team there will do everything in their power to make sure you all feel comforted and safe.
“I remember the Saturday night we spent there and Dad had been unconscious all day so the room had been very calm and silent. I was very mindful that it was Saturday night and lots of people would be getting ready to go out for the evening and all of a sudden, there was a commotion outside and I looked out in to the corridor and there was just this explosion of fuchsia pink fascinators and children sliding on their knees and sandwiches rolling past on a trolley. The lady in the next door room was getting married and the hospice staff had organised it all with 12 hours notice.
“It not only gave us something lovely to talk to Dad about, especially as we knew he would have really enjoyed it, but it reminded us that life, and happy life with special memories, was still happening. It felt like a shaft of light in what was such a dark moment and shows very well what the hospice can provide.
“Whatever it is that the patient needs at that moment, they will do all they can to make it happen.”
She added: “I am very thankful to businesses like Hadlow Edwards who give back to the community which supports them by helping to raise such a lot of money for the hospice.
“We are so fortunate to have it on our doorstep and if we don’t all do our bit to keep it running, then it won’t be there for other families either.”
Ema and her family have done their own personal fundraising for the hospice including a ‘Belles, Bridesmaids and Brides Ball’ last year which she will host for a second time on May 6th.
With a Las Vegas theme, the ladies only event offers guests the chance to wear their wedding dress, bridesmaid dress, prom dress or their other favourite glamorous clothing and enjoy a three course meal and an evening of entertainment at the The Ramada Plaza.
Ema also took it upon herself to transform the hospice’s Sunshine Room, used for its child bereavement service, turning it from a well-loved and well-used room into a state-of-the-art children’s therapy room complete with art station, sensory equipment, a mood lighting system and custom-made art work to adorn the walls.
Caroline Siddall, Income Generation Director for Nightingale House, said: “We have been fortunate enough to have had the support of Hadlow Edwards for a number of years and it is a great pleasure work alongside them.
“Through their referral scheme and other general donations they have contributed more than £8,000 to the hospice. They have also sponsored some of our major events such as concerts and a ball and this brings the total amount donated to around £20,000.”
For more information about Ema’s upcoming Las Vegas themed ‘Belles, Bridesmaids and Brides’ Ball email firstname.lastname@example.org