Family donates Gascoigne prize to St Catherine’s Summer Ball

Hospice supporter Margaret Calvert and daughter Laura donate signed Paul Gascoigne memorabilia for the auction at the St Catherines Summer Ball, to event organiser Lynne Whittaker

Hospice supporter Margaret Calvert and daughter Laura donate signed Paul Gascoigne memorabilia for the auction at the St Catherines Summer Ball, to event organiser Lynne Whittaker

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A family which unexpectedly won framed memorabilia of footballer Paul Gascoigne – including his England cap - at last year’s St Catherine’s Summer Ball is donating it back for this June’s auction to help raise even more funds for the hospice.

The Calverts are keen to support the Lostock Hall charity after their father Joseph was cared for at the hospice last year.

Joe’s daughter-in-law Margaret Calvert, from Samlesbury, said: “We booked a table at the Summer Ball last year and it was a really brilliant night.

“We bid for a signed photo of Paul Gascoigne which also had his England cap in the frame - just because we wanted to help raise more money - but we didn’t expect to actually win it! It’s massive and is a great prize, so we’ve decided to donate it back for fans to bid on again this year.”

The family and a group of friends have once again booked a full table for the occasion, which will be held in the garden marquee in the hospice grounds on Saturday, 11th June, featuring a drinks reception on the lawn, a delicious meal courtesy of The Mill Outside – the catering arm of the charity’s onsite café, The Mill - and fantastic entertainment from The Soul Convicts.

“We enjoyed every aspect of the evening last year,” Margaret added. “From the drinks outside to the food, live music and dancing the night away!

“It’s a really great way of supporting the hospice; getting everyone together for a great cause.”

Speaking about Joe, who was diagnosed with liver cancer, Margaret said: “My father-in-law chose to be at St Catherine’s in his last week, and we were fortunate that he was able to be there.

“When you see how hard the staff work caring for people, you really appreciate what the charity does for patients and their loved ones.

“They were very understanding and caring at what was an incredibly difficult time, and we are so grateful for the care Joe received, and the support we were given as a family.

“He would be really pleased to know that we’re continuing to support St Catherine’s.”

Lynne Whittaker, hospice fundraiser and the Summer Ball’s organiser, said: “It’s so thoughtful of the Calvert family to donate the prize back for this year’s event, helping us to raise important funds to continue our work at the hospice and in the Central Lancashire community, caring for people with life-shortening illnesses.

“We’re also excited about this year’s ball, which promises to be as glamorous and fabulous as ever. We’re looking forward to seeing people dressed in their finery to enjoy a night out in our gorgeous summer marquee in the beautiful grounds of St Catherine’s Park.”

Tickets for the Summer Ball, which starts at 7pm, are £55 each or £500 for a table of 10, available from www.stcatherines.co.uk, by calling 01772 629171, or from reception at the hospice in Lostock Lane.