In 1993, I was handed a flyer advertising a meeting to discuss the formation of a Sowerby Bridge Support Group for the Calderdale Society for Continuing Care (the previous name for Overgate Hospice). At the time I was a shopkeeper in Sowerby Bridge and very keen to support my local community. I had also lost my dad to cancer so I knew the Hospice to be an extremely good cause.

I decided to attend the meeting and was immediately compelled to get involved. Soon after I became the Chair of the group which became known as the Sowerby Bridge Friends of Overgate. We held our first street collection in 1993 and raised £361.41 for the Hospice. I have now been Chair of the group for 28 years and I have loved every minute of it. We have done everything from flag days and cake stalls to supermarket collections and open gardens.

I have supported the Hospice in other ways too. I used to work in the shop every Saturday morning and I was in charge of the book room – the perfect job for me! After retiring from my own shop, this was an ideal way for me to keep in touch with the familiar faces in my local town.

Fundraising was difficult during the pandemic but we continued to do the little bits we could and we have been delighted to get back to our normal fundraising this year. Speaking to the people we meet and hearing their experiences of Overgate remind me of why we do what we do. The care is second to none and the staff are the epitome of kind and caring – the Hospice truly is a special place and I’m proud to be a part of the Overgate family.

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