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Mid Devon man plans to pull off incredible fundraising feat

Roger Matthews is supporting our SOS emergency appeal in a very unusual way

A Tiverton resident is braving a hair-raising challenge in January to raise vital funds for our local hospice charity.

Roger Matthews, 68, will pull off an incredible fundraising feat by waxing his legs, back and chest to raise money for our SOS emergency appeal.

Hospiscare suffered a significant income loss during the pandemic with our charity shops closed and many of our fundraising events cancelled. Despite taking steps to recover our finances, we were forced to launch an emergency ‘Save Our Services’ Appeal in November to raise an additional £1 million by March 2022.

After hearing about Hospiscare’s SOS Appeal, Roger was determined to help and explains, “I heard about the trouble Hospiscare was in and I knew I had to do something. I have arthritis so I didn’t want to attempt a walking or running challenge and I thought, what can I do that would be difficult and painful enough to raise some money? A body wax is what I came up with!

“I decided to put up £1,000 myself and then ask my friends and family for donations on the basis that they’d love to see me in some pain!”

Roger is planning for the hair-raising feat to take place in the first week of January and hopes to raise over £2,000 to support Hospiscare’s emergency appeal. Our charity needs to reach its £1 million target by the end of March or we will be forced to make drastic cuts to our services, including reducing the number of beds on our specialist ward in Exeter and reducing our weekend services in patients’ homes.

Roger experienced Hospiscare’s services first-hand when his wife, Andrea, was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in 2019. Roger explains, “Towards the end, the hospital doctors weren’t able to do anything more for Andrea and we didn’t want her to be in a noisy hospital environment. An ambulance took us across to Hospiscare’s specialist end-of-life care ward and we were there for two nights. We managed to get the family there and Andrea’s best friend. They had a girls’ night and ordered in pizza and there were beds for some of us to stay with her.

A woman holding a young boy

Andrea with her grandson, Ralfe

“It made such a difference being on the ward at the hospice. Everything was so calm. We were able to wheel Andrea’s bed out into the sunshine – she was always a child of nature – so that she could enjoy the trees and the birds in their beautiful garden.

“The hospice made such a difference in those 48 hours. They made all the difference to us, and to Andrea as well.”

A woman in a holiday resort holding a drink

Katie Chantler, Director of Fundraising and Marketing at Hospiscare, says, “On behalf of all of us at Hospiscare, I would like to thank everyone in the local community who has responded to our SOS Appeal. We have raised over £230,000 of the £1 million needed and we have been overwhelmed by the help that we have received so far. We are grateful to Roger and to all of our supporters who are helping to ensure the future of our vital services. With just 18% of our funding coming from the NHS, we are reliant on the generosity of our community to keep going.”

With just months left to raise the vital funds needed to keep Hospiscare’s services running, all fundraising and donations will have a significant impact on our charity’s future and our ability to care for patients like Andrea. Those who are able to make a donation to help secure the hospice’s services can do so by clicking here or by calling 01392 688020.

To help Hospiscare remain in the community for the years to come, supporters can also choose to leave a regular monthly gift to the hospice or remember the charity in their Will.

To make a donation to Roger’s fundraiser in memory of Andrea, click here.