When the latest collection pot was dropped in to St Elizabeth Hospice, staff took a little more notice than usual.
The pot itself was blue, not the usual purple you’ll see out and about on shop till points or at street collections. The label was also very different. The plum hexagon nowhere to be seen but a red rose instead. Not many people would recognise it as a hospice collection pot.
But is it, and the reason for its strange look is that the collection pot is almost 30 years old, even pre-dating the opening of the hospice itself.
St Elizabeth Hospice opened its doors to patients in November 1989 and was officially opened by HRH The Princess Royal a few weeks later. Before then, vital funds were needed to raise the money to build the hospice before it could start helping local people with end of life care.
Jodie Whitham, community fundraising co-ordinator for St Elizabeth Hospice, said: “When it arrived, at first look, I was surprised it was one of our collection pots but on closer inspection, I realised the pot was from many years ago when the hospice first started raising money and dates back to July 1989.
“The pot was found in the house of a person who has recently passed away and the executor of the will dropped it in to us. It contained just under £70 and, apart from a few old £5 notes, the money was all current suggesting that it was still being used to pop the odd bit of loose change in every now and then.”
A few weeks later, a further collection pot was dropped in to the hospice dating back to 1992. Miss Whitham was born in the same year and said: “I hadn’t expected to receive something that had been handed out before I was born but we’re always grateful for any donations no matter how far back they date. It’s what I love about my job; you never really do know what’s going to come through the door!”