Joyce Smith, who has been supporting St Barnabas Hospice for over 30 years through fundraising and volunteering, was planning on taking on an incredible challenge to raise vital funds for the charity.
Joyce wanted to trek across the Great Wall of China, and raised £5,000 which she has donated to St Barnabas. The trip was originally booked for 2020, but due to Covid the adventure was postponed, and after multiple attempts at rescheduling the adventure has now sadly been cancelled by a third-party organiser.
Walking over the Great Wall of China had been on Joyce’s ‘bucket list’ and with help from her daughter Lyndsay she organised the trip for 2020. To raise as much as possible for St Barnabas, Joyce decided to ask family and friends to sponsor her.
In 2019, Joyce and her husband Paul celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary and rather than asking for gifts at their party, they asked for donations for the China trip instead.
On top of the contributions they received at the party, daughter Lyndsay’s best friend Clare Senior entered a competition at her workplace with the first prize being a cheque of £3,000 to donate to a charity of the winner’s choice. Clare won and donated the money to St Barnabas through Joyce, making the total raised for the challenge £5,000.
Joyce has been volunteering for St Barnabas Hospice since February 1993, visiting patients in their homes and keeping them company. From 2013, she started volunteering at the Inpatient Unit in Lincoln (IPU), which is currently closed for refurbishment, and made sure the patients had everything they need and were comfortable. With the reopening of the IPU planned for later this year, Joyce is currently working in The Warehouse charity shop, and thoroughly enjoys her time there.
Joyce says: “I am very passionate about the Hospice and am active in raising money as well as volunteering my time.
“I am really saddened that the company that helped me organise the Great Wall of China trek have cancelled this after several rescheduling attempts. It’s a shame, and I hope I will eventually be able to make the trip. However, I am very proud of the money we have raised, and I am glad this donation will help the Hospice further.
“The idea to take on the Great Wall came about after I took on various fundraising challenges for the Hospice through the years, including going on midnight walks, braving the Fire Walk, running the London Marathon 3 times and many other activities.
“On top of this donation, I hold a tournament annually with the Lincoln Ladies Netball League, of which I am a founder member, and we always support St Barnabas with this event. We have held this tournament every year since 1998 and so far we have raised £24,000.”
“I also really enjoy volunteering, which I have been doing for decades now. The staff at The Warehouse charity shop in Lincoln are very nice and make me feel so welcome, and it’s great being able to help the Hospice in this way. Once the Inpatient Unit reopens, I will certainly go back but also stay as a volunteer at The Warehouse, as I’m a real people-person!”
Thanks to volunteers and fundraisers like Joyce, St Barnabas can deliver its care and wellbeing services to over 10,500 people every year.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, click here to find out more and register your interest.
Are you feeling inspired to take up a challenge to help raise vital funds for St Barnabas Hospice? Take a look here for ideas on how to fundraise, whether it be a big adventure like Joyce’s, or a smaller scale challenge.
For every pound raised for St Barnabas, 77p goes straight towards delivering, and improving the care and support the charity offers to over 12,000 people every year. The other 23p goes towards generating future income.
Pictured at the top are Joyce and Deborah Yarwood, St Barnabas Hospice Fundraising Officer