Letchworth charity stalwart retires from Garden House Hospice with legacy intact

Jo Wiffen

Jo Wiffen - Credit: Archant

A charity stalwart who has inspired hundreds of people to run, walk, cycle, bake and knit in aid of Garden House Hospice has retired after 13 years of service.

Staff and volunteers at the hospice – which offers support to people with a terminal diagnosis – have said a fond farewell to community fundraiser Jo Wiffen, who has helped raise thousands of pounds towards patient care over the years.

One of Jo’s fundraising babies is the Bridges of London walk, in which coachloads of committed striders take to the capital to march across a dozen bridges in the name of the Letchworth- based hospice – this year’s event takes place on Sunday, May 8.

Closer to home is the popular Starlight Walk, a September stroll around Letchworth which sees walkers taking part in more colourful gear by the year.

Jo, who lives in Letchworth, said: “It is difficult to choose highlights of my time at Garden House as there have been so many.

“The very first Starlight Walk in 2009 was amazing and the first time we took five coachloads of supporters to take part in the Bridges of London Walk was also a landmark.

“Both of these events are still going strong and have raised many thousands of pounds for the hospice.

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“However, without doubt the best part has been meeting the many people who have given up their time to organise their own fundraising events.

“Since I joined the hospice patient services have developed significantly and this would not have been possible without the support of each and every one of them.”

Hospice chief executive Sue Plummer said: “Jo has done a tremendous job fundraising for the hospice over many years.

“Her colleagues at the hospice will tell you she has a unique combination of skills – enthusiasm, passion but likewise she shows great empathy with patients and families who support the hospice.

“I wish Jo well in her retirement and a well-earned rest.”

For more information on the hospice – which celebrated its 25th anniversary last year – visit wwwghhospicecare.org.uk.