Margaret's elf

Margaret Kerr was 84 when she was diagnosed with vascular dementia. Her granddaughter, Dawn, revealed that under the strain of caring for her nan, tensions rose and her family began to bicker.

Margaret Kerr

When Margaret's GP suggested Saint Francis Hospice, Dawn and her family experienced a turn in fortune:


"The Hospice at Home nurses would stay for hours — day or night. The care and kindness they showed was incredible. Sometimes, after they'd helped Nan, they'd sit with us comforting the whole family."


In January 2020, Margaret became one of the 33.7% of our patients whose conditions are a non-cancer diagnosis.


On her way to us, Margaret clung to a soft elf that her family bought her from our Hornchurch charity retail store over Christmas. The elf had been comforting Margaret at home and keeping her hands occupied.


"I was petrified," Dawn confessed. "The word 'hospice' was so scary. I thought: 'This is going to be horrific.' When I arrived, I was in complete shock. I couldn't believe how lovely it was."


Moments after Margaret passed, our nurses cleansed her, dressed her in fresh pyjamas, and rested her elf in her arms.


"I now know there's nothing to be afraid of at Saint Francis Hospice," Dawn revealed.


This week marks Hospice Care Week and its theme of This Is What It Takes. 


For us to continue caring for people like Margaret, it takes £25,910 a day in voluntary income.

You can help reach that target by playing the Hospice's Lottery. 


Every week, someone will win £1,000.  


The rollover prize can reach a whopping £25,000.


If you'd like to be in with a chance of hitting the jackpot while doing something incredible for people living with life-limiting illnesses, you can sign up here — for less than £5 a month.