ST CATHERINE’S GIVE A GIFT APPEAL: How your firm can give time to help in milestone year

Staff from Birchall Blackburn Law on their visit to St Catherine's Hospice.

Staff from Birchall Blackburn Law on their visit to St Catherine's Hospice.

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This year marks 30 years since St Catherine’s ­Hospice opened. To celebrate its birthday year, the Lancashire Evening Post is backing the much-loved hospice’s Give a Gift appeal.

A law firm which raised more than £5,500 for St Catherine’s Hospice last year has pledged their ongoing support to the charity, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2015.

St Catherine's Hospice Give a Gift Appeal 2015

St Catherine's Hospice Give a Gift Appeal 2015

Laura Wild finds out about how support from businesses makes a difference and how you can win £3,000 in the anniversary superdraw.

It is hoped Birchall Blackburn Law will inspire other local businesses to give their backing to the Give A Gift campaign, which has been launched with the Lancashire Evening Post to celebrate the hospice’s milestone year.

The campaign covers 30 ‘gifts’ the charity is working to achieve during 2015 – including one which asks for 30 companies to give their support over the next 12 months by raising funds or volunteering.

Birchall Blackburn Law backed the hospice’s annual Wills Week last November – waiving their will-writing fee in return for a donation to St Catherine’s.

We have personal experience, going back many years, of the invaluable service that they provide to those with terminal illnesses and their families in the local area

Cathy MacCracken - Partner at Birchall Blackburn

In total, their solicitors raised an amazing £5,675 through the initiative, which was also generously supported by other firms including Ellen Fay, Forbes, Harrison Drury, Marsden Rawsthorn, Vincents and Walker Smith Way.

They recently visited St Catherine’s to see first-hand the work that goes on there, and also held a team meeting in one of the conference rooms at The Mill – the café and community hub within St Catherine’s Park which opened in November last year.

Now the company has pledged to continue supporting the hospice throughout 2015. A group of staff will be taking part in the Moonlight and Memories Walk on June 6 and they will once again give their time and skills to support this year’s Wills Week.

Cathy MacCracken, partner at Birchall Blackburn, said: “We are delighted to support St Catherine’s, particularly in this, their 30th anniversary year.

The promotions team, from left, Carol Poole, Vinny Haworth and Sheila Kennard, launch their 30th Anniversary Superdraw.

The promotions team, from left, Carol Poole, Vinny Haworth and Sheila Kennard, launch their 30th Anniversary Superdraw.

“We have personal experience, going back many years, of the invaluable service that they provide to those with terminal illnesses and their families in the local area.

“Many of our clients and even some of our family members have been there and have received amazing care and compassion from the St Catherine’s team of professionals and volunteers.

“We are very lucky to have a resource like this in our local area and, as a firm with local roots, we are committed to do all we can to help them reach their annual fundraising target.”

Lynne Whittaker, senior fundraiser at St Catherine’s and Wills Week organiser, thanked the company for their wonderful support.

“We were delighted with the success of this year’s Wills Week, which raised nearly £21,000 for the hospice last year at the same time as raising awareness of the importance of having an up-to-date will in place,” she said.

“We simply could not run such an important campaign without the expertise of the solicitors involved, who give their time so generously raise funds. We’re very happy to be continuing our relationship with Birchall Blackburn Law during 2015, an extremely exciting year for the hospice.

“St Catherine’s relies on the support of local businesses to be able to generate the £5m we need to run the hospice each year, which is why one of the gifts on our 30th birthday list asks for 30 companies to get on board with us in 2015.

“We’ll be with firms every step of the way helping with tips, advice and support to make the experience as fun and rewarding as possible, however they choose to get involved.”