40 Faces of hospice care | John Davey, Supporter of St Barnabas

6th October 2023

A man, John Davey, who is a supporter of St Barnabas Hospice, photographed in black and white, against a black backdrop

John’s first steps in fundraising for St Barnabas saw him take on a sponsored walk, little did he know his next fundraising venture would be his legacy.

In 1992, John’s wife Anne was cared for by the Hospice in Lincoln for five weeks, John visited daily and was blown away by the kindness of everyone he met. When Anne passed on, John decided to give something back.

A conversation with a friend led to John planning a sponsored walk for the two of them. Word got around, and two people turned into 115! Walkers from eight to 80 years old took on the ten-mile route, raising a fantastic £4,500.

After two years, John replaced the walk with the now-infamous Wine & Wisdom quiz. Teams of six people battle it out to be crowned the winners, and leave with a prized bottle of wine each. While the losing team took home a Wisdom toothbrush! It’s a format that’s stood the test – except for the toothbrush after some losing teams were less than impressed.

John sold out the event year after year, with a hundred people packing into Waddington Village Hall. It wasn’t unusual to end up with three dozen raffle prizes on the night either, to add to their fundraising efforts. But perhaps the star of the show for as long as the event has been running is the money-can’t-buy London theatre tickets John managed to secure for lucky winners.

After ten years, enforced rest meant John couldn’t continue organising the event and the St Barnabas fundraising team took over the baton. To this day, it’s still going strong – a testament to John’s winning idea and hard work in those early years. John still takes part in the event whenever he can, only these days he can relax, knowing it’s not his fault if there’s a wrong answer among the questions!

John’s dedication to fundraising has inspired his son Adam to take on his own fundraising challenge and he participated in the Great North Run every year raising money for St Barnabas. Adam has taken part every year for the last 18 – he’s got a way to go to beat his dad’s fundraising run of almost 30 years, but, like father like son?!

In his own words… “I remember visiting my wife one evening, and as she slept, I nodded off. I woke with my feet on a stool and a cover around me. That’s the sort of thing they do for you at St Barnabas. Everyone is so kind. They guide you through it all in such a way you don’t realise they’re doing it.”

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