40 Faces of hospice care | Meet Keith Hebblewhite, supporter

3rd March 2023

A Man, Keith Hebblewhite, who is a supporter of St Barnabas Hospice, photographed in black and white, against a black backdrop

Keith has been fundraising for almost as long as St Barnabas has been around!

It was Keith’s passion for athletics that started his fundraising journey. After securing a place in the 1983 London Marathon, he decided to use the opportunity to help a local lady diagnosed with cancer raise money for a body scanner in Lincoln.

However, it was his other passion that led him to St Barnabas. As a keen and talented singer and member of Lincoln Male Voice Choir, Keith organised a group trip to see the Morriston Orpheus Choir perform at Derby Cathedral. Blown away by their performance, Keith knew he had to bring them to Lincoln Cathedral. And once again he spotted a fundraising opportunity – this time for the Hospice.

Despite it being a big task, the Morriston Orpheus Choir, based near Swansea in Wales, agreed to perform in Lincoln and Keith set about getting the Cathedral on side and St Barnabas on board. And he was successful! That year, Keith packed 1,100 people into Lincoln Cathedral, including almost 100 singers, and raised significant money for the Hospice. In fact, it was so successful that he brought them to Lincoln again in 2005 and 2016, and they’re performing again as part of the St Barnabas 40th year celebrations this year.

Keith helped us celebrate and fundraise on our 30th anniversary too, only this time he reverted to his love of athletics. He’s been all over the world supporting Team GB and his son-in-law Tom nominated Keith to carry the Olympic torch through Lincoln. To Keith’s surprise, he was chosen! The next few months saw Keith running around his estate in the dark of night carrying a rolling pin in preparation. It was only when he stood on the start line in Lincoln that he discovered he was to run twice the usual distance before he passed the torch to Olympian Jade Etherington!

With his fundraising hat on, Keith bought the torch and raised money taking it to schools, offices, shops and other places across Lincolnshire. After five months of fundraising, he raised an amazing £5,327 and still has his fundraising certificate displayed in his garage. These days the torch is kept at Lincoln Guildhall and Keith is able to withdraw it for his fundraising efforts, including taking it with him each year to take part in the St Barnabas Light up a Life Torchlight Procession.

In his own words…

“I enjoy every minute I spend fundraising for the Hospice. Donning the Olympic suit and taking the torch and memorabilia to St Barnabas events is especially fun. And working alongside the fundraising team to organise the choir events is really special. But at 85 years old, I’m yet to be persuaded to be the Torchlight Procession torch bearer!”


To see all 40 Faces and their stories, please visit: https://stbarnabashospice.co.uk/40faces

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