Mum’s charity night for hospice that supported daughter in cancer battle

Ann Girdlestone, middle, with daughters Melissa Jones, right, and Susanna. Picture: Girdlestone fami

Ann Girdlestone, middle, with daughters Melissa Jones, right, and Susanna. Picture: Girdlestone family - Credit: Archant

A mum whose daughter lost her battle against a rare cancer is holding a fundraiser for the hospice that supported her during her fight.

Melissa Jones, second from right, with friends Maxine, Linda and Mandy. Picture: Ann Girdlestone

Melissa Jones, second from right, with friends Maxine, Linda and Mandy. Picture: Ann Girdlestone - Credit: Archant

Ann Girdlestone’s daughter Melissa Jones died last year after being cared for at Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice, in Moggerhanger.

Now Ann is putting on a charity dinner, auction, raffle and music night in aid of St John’s.

Ann said: “Melissa had a very rare nerve cancer which gave her horrendous pain.

“She was at St John’s seven times to get her pain under control.


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“My daughter trusted the doctors and other staff at St John’s who listened to everything she said.

“They helped her through a very difficult time with calmness and love.”

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As well as the top-class care the St John’s team gave to Melissa, Ann said the support provided to her and the rest of the family had been crucial at an extremely difficult time.

“I personally would not have coped if it had not been for everyone at the hospice,” she said.

“They looked after and cared for all the family and are still doing this. We cannot thank them enough for the work they do, and would do anything to support them.”

The family’s Red Robin Charity Fundraiser is being held at the Shambrook Hotel in Bedford on Saturday, May 5.

The evening will include drinks on arrival, a buffet and a hog roast. Entertainment will include award-winning magician Lewis Joss and singer Lisa Collier, as well as as a silent auction – with funds raised going to the 15-bed hospice.

St John’s is there for people aged 18 and over who are living with conditions like cancer, heart failure and lung disease.

It costs £3.2m per year to run the hospice, which has to raise £1.8m to continue to provide care this year – relying on income from the charity’s shops, fundraisers and public donations.

As well as inpatient care at its Moggerhanger base, St John’s supports day and community services across Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire.

Tickets to the Red Robin Charity Fundraiser cost £35 – get them from Ann on 07856 636290 or Linda on 07843 197812.

To find out more about St John’s, call the hospice on 01767 642410, email contact.stjohns@suerydercare.org or see sueryder.org.

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