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Friday the 13th - lucky for some!
Friday the 13th was a day of happy surprises for two local ladies when they both won big on a local lottery.
Michelle Jones from Doddinghurst near Brentwood and Joyce Cook from Dagenham won £7,500 and £1,000 respectively on the weekly Saint Francis Hospice lottery draw made on Friday 13th November.
45-year-old Michelle was signed up to play the lottery in 2011 by hospice ambassador Sue Etheridge who was on hand again to present her with her prize cheque at the hospice based in Havering-atte-Bower. (Pictured: Michelle on the left).
"I was shocked when I got the news," recalled Michelle. "It's a great time to win and it's so lovely that I don't have to put Christmas on my credit card!" Married mum of two boys Michelle works as a community midwife for BHRUT covering the Dagenham area. When she was a student nurse she completed a work placement at Saint Francis Hospice.
"I also had a friend whose mum worked at the hospice and was later cared for by the hospice so I know what good work they do," added Michelle.
Joyce Cook works as lollipop lady in Porters Avenue in Dagenham and as a lunchtime playground assistant at the William Bellamy Primary School in Frizlands Lane, Dagenham. 57-year-old Joyce also recently organised a Halloween party at home to raise money for the local Saint Francis Hospice.
"We had around 40 people in the house and raised around £175. I've been doing the lottery for a couple of years because I wanted to support a local charity," said Joyce. "Now I've won I'm going to put the money towards a trip to Australia next year to meet our family over there," she added.
David Holmes, Head of Individual Giving at Saint Francis Hospice said: "It is thanks to our regular players like Michelle and Joyce that the lottery raises hundreds of thousands of pounds to help fund our nurses and doctors.
Each number in the weekly Saint Francis Hospice lottery costs £1 and you can have up to 20 numbers. In addition to the guaranteed weekly first prize of £1,000, 10 lucky winners each get £10 and there is a rollover second prize that grows by £500 each week that it is not won.
You can sign up to the hospice lottery by visiting www.sfh.org.uk/lottery or call 01708 771433."