A woman has donated her wedding dress to a Lancashire hospice in gratitude of the care her late mother received.
Louise Burr, 38, who grew up in Chorley and is a hotel manager, has donated the beautiful gown which features an ivory and gold brocade bodice with a full skirt, to St Catherine’s Hospice donation centre in Lostock Hall, near Preston.
Her bridal dress was the last gift she received from her mum Dora Christian before she died at St Catherine’s Hospice on July 1 2000, at the age of just 48.
This was the date Louise had originally planned for her wedding - but when in March Dora was given the news her cancer had returned and was now incurable, Louise decided to bring the nuptials forward to April.
It meant Dora was able to share in daughter and then-husband Stephen’s special day and see Louise tie the knot in the bespoke gown she had bought for her.
As well as the wedding dress, Louise donated five bridesmaids dresses bought for her big day.
The dresses have all been delivered to the dedicated bridal department of St Catherine’s Lune Street shop in Preston.
Louise, who has since separated from Stephen, decided it was time to do something useful with the dress rather than leaving it languishing at the top of the wardrobe.
She said: “I’d had it dry-cleaned after the wedding and boxed it up properly in all its wrapping. But it ended being stuck at the back of a cupboard for years.
“It seemed like such a waste when St Catherine’s, which relies so much on fund-raising and donations, could really benefit from it.
“The hospice was the perfect place to donate the dress as a thank you for the amazing way they looked after my mum and as a tribute to her because it was the part of the wedding day that was her gift to me. This way, another bride also gets to enjoy the dress which is great.”
Louise is full of praise for how St Catherine’s cared for her “one in a million” mum.
She said: “Mum was a special woman. She would do anything for anyone and would always put others first.”
“The staff at St Catherine’s looked after every little thing, right to the very end.
“They cared for us a family too through a very difficult time.
“I’m so glad mum got to share in the wedding day and see me in the dress.
“Now I want to use it to do something positive and worthwhile in her memory.”
Rachel Hewitt, head of trading at St Catherine’s Hospice, said: “We are so grateful for the wonderful donation of such a personal and treasured item to St Catherine’s.
“We know there is a bride-to-be out there who will be thrilled to walk down the aisle wearing it and the money raised will be a huge boost to our work.”
• For more information about the St Catherine’s Hospice charity shops across Preston, Leyland and Chorley, visit: www.stcatherines.co.uk.
Supporters can also drop-off pre-loved items at the donation Centre within the hospice grounds.