Specialist care for adults in Dorset with a life limiting illness

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Matt Smith and April Whitehead at the national charity awards ceremony

Weldmar Hospicecare recognised as winners in national charity awards

27th April 2023


Fundraising News

The charity, which provides specialist care for adults in Dorset with a life limiting illness and  support for their loved ones, was recently announced as finalists in the leading Smee and Ford Legacy Giving Awards 2023 in no less than 4 categories:

  • Outstanding Legacy Fundraising Achievement 2023
  • Most Innovative Legacy Campaign
  • Outstanding Achievement by a Legacy Fundraising Team
  • Excellence in Legacy Pledger Stewardship

Weldmar’s campaign encourages local people to leave an affordable gift in their will to Weldmar which was given a fresh new look in 2022, and focuses on real members of the nursing and care team at the charity. The strap-line of ‘To those who need end of life care in Dorset, I leave…’ is followed by the name of the staff member pictured. The campaign has been seen on social media and online, in local magazines, on buses, radio, and even on a localised Sky TV advert. It also formed the basis of Weldmar’s Make A Will Month in October 2022, where a number of local solicitors exchanged their time to write wills for local people for donations to the charity instead of their usual fee.

Judges were impressed that less than 4% of the income received in supporters’ gifts in wills for Weldmar is invested back into the advertising of the campaign, which therefore encourages more conversations and pledges about these vital and thoughtful gifts.

Weldmar picked up the coveted awards in two categories at the national charity awards; Most Innovative Legacy Campaign and Outstanding Achievement by a Legacy Fundraising Team winning against a number of charities including Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, WaterAid, Alzheimer’s Research UK, RSPB and Blind Veterans UK. The Dorset charity was also Highly Commended in the Excellence in Legacy Pledger Stewardship Award, missing out on winning by just one point.

The income received from people leaving a gift in their will for Weldmar Hospicecare funds the care of 1 out of every 3 patients supported by the charity, a total of over 420 people every single year. Without such thoughtful gifts, Weldmar’s services would look drastically different.

Matt Smith, Chief Operating Officer for Weldmar, who attended the ceremony with Fundraising Lead, April Whitehead, said “We are truly honoured and humbled for Weldmar to be recognised as leaders in this very important market. As a local independent charity, to be able to demonstrate the impact that this vital message can have on a small budget and with limited resources makes these awards even more special. Gifts in Wills are so crucial for Weldmar Hospicecare, and because we don’t receive the money now but in the future, it means that we can build and plan ahead to make sure we are there for future generations of families in Dorset. We are exceptionally grateful that the hard work of the team to increase awareness of this income has been recognised by industry experts and professionals.”

The judges praised Weldmar for their engaging and sensitively considered campaign which has been seen by thousands of local people, whilst also ensuring that expenditure was kept to a minimum. They were impressed by both their internal and external engagement about this important type of income for the charity and their well-considered and creative approach to engage in these conversations.

The national charity awards ceremony was hosted by celebrity stand-up comedian Hal Cruttenden who personally congratulated Weldmar Hospicecare on their two awards and highly commended accolade.


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