From Martin Clunes to our Memory Tree – how our Summer Fete raised more than £20,000
16th September 2019< BACK TO NEWS
A huge thank you to everyone who attended the Weldmar Hospicecare Summer Fete on Saturday.
Beautiful weather and special guest Martin Clunes helped attract more than three thousand visitors to the meadow at our in-patient unit in Dorchester, which was full of stalls, games, food and drink, and entertainment.
Thanks to your generosity we have raised £20,683, all of which will go towards the end of life care Weldmar provides in Dorset, to patients in their own homes, at our in patient unit, and at Day Services sessions across the county.
Martin Clunes, star of Doc Martin and Men Behaving Badly, is a regular visitor to our fete, and posed for hundreds of selfies with visitors, volunteers, and staff around the Fete (including pictured above at our popular Nurses Stall), had a go at the Coconut Shy (and won a coconut!), and even held a bald eagle!
He said, “It is a special place, run by special people doing a special job, and it’s been another special day”. He also said he was delighted to come back to the event: “It’s what they do here, the atmosphere, and the fact they keep asking! It is one of Dorset’s treasures and we have to look after our treasures so if it makes people happy, it’s not too hard for me”.
Martin also spent time visiting patients currently being looked after at the hospice, including Margaret Palmer (pictured below) who also met his new dog, Bob Jackson.
With the Fete set to open at 11am, queues stretched from the gate back up to Herringston Road, and a Damory Coaches Park & Ride coach ferried visitors from Dorchester Town Football Club. Organiser Abi Shirley said, “I’m delighted! It’s my first time organising the fete – I’m so happy now that the doors are open and so many people are arriving. We’ve been so blessed with the weather!”.
For many family members, the Summer Fete is their first time returning to the hospice following the loss of a loved one, and something different at this year’s Summer Fete was our new Memory Trees.
Staff and volunteers from our Family Services team were on hand to chat, and visitors could remember a loved one on a colourful ribbon and hang it on our trees in the meadow.
Thank you to our army of brilliant volunteers, who manned stalls, served milkshakes, took Silent Auction bids, helped marshal the Park & Ride, and much more.
One of our volunteers even came all the way from Boston, Massachussetts, in the USA! Sophia Zupanc is on a year long study fellowship that is taking her around the world visiting hospices and similar organisations. After spending the day discovering more about the work of Weldmar, she manned the Coconut Shy, and even looked after Martin Clunes’ dog, while he had a go!
We look forward to seeing you at our Summer Fete in 2020!