Brian's Story

Brian explains his work with Overgate

My Mum, Annie was admitted to Overgate in August 1982 and died there in February 1983. At that time there were just 8 beds in use (she was in the room upstairs with the round window). Mum was paralysed from her neck down and was totally dependent on the lovely nurses for all the help and care she needed, and without question, she certainly received that in abundance.

On our first visit we didn’t know what to expect; was it going to be a dark, sombre place? Our fears were soon swept aside as we were greeted by very friendly nurses and doctors who put us at ease and made it feel a very happy place with a very positive atmosphere. All the staff were wonderful, and we got to know them really well. Our eldest son Richard, who was 10 years old at the time, won a rag doll made by Liz, the Sister at the Hospice, as part of a fundraiser and still has it to this day.

During my Mum’s time at the Hospice I was asked if I would be interested in helping to set up a fundraising group and that’s how the first ‘Friends of Overgate’ group came about. Our first meeting was arranged and between us we organised lots of events including Sunday lunches, flag days, jumble sales, garden fetes and more. Another of the very early things we did was a Membership and Fundraising Drive, with membership starting at £1.50. We dropped leaflets in letterboxes across Calderdale and the campaign not only raised money but also made people aware of the Hospice and their need for local support. The Elland Friends Group still fundraises for the Hospice to this day, as do several other friends groups across Calderdale, and it is great to have played a part in this legacy. 

We have always said that as a way of repaying the wonderful, loving care my Mum had and the support our family received at such a difficult time we would do everything we could to support the future of Overgate so that others can receive the same care. As a family, Overgate is such a special place to us and even though we have now moved away from the area we still endeavour to do all we can to offer our support.

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