This is the story of Mrs Frances Bunn who very generously left the hospice a gift in her Will, as written by her great-niece Jenny Hambling.
“When my great auntie Frances told me that she would be leaving a gift in her will to St Elizabeth Hospice, it came as no surprise. Frances had been fundraising for the hospice for over three decades and she remained a dedicated supporter right up until she died at the age of 96 last year.
“A few years before the hospice was opened, Frances’s husband Ken was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour. Fortunately, with the help of the district nurses, Frances was able to care for him in their own home, ensuring he had quality of life, but she knew that this wasn’t possible for everyone. The experience made Frances realise the importance of having a hospice in the local area and after Ken died, she began fundraising towards the building of St Elizabeth Hospice.
“She never stopped; if she wasn’t baking cakes to sell, she would be holding raffles, doing tin collections and sponsoring bricks. But that was my auntie Frances all over, she was so kind and caring, she wouldn’t think twice about helping anyone in need. As a family we joined in with the fundraising too; we all took part in the very first Thorpeness Heritage Walk, and we would all donate any loose change that we had to the hospice.
“When the hospice was finally built in 1989, Frances was overjoyed and she received a letter and a poem thanking her for all of her support. And over the following years, the hospice was there for our family when sadly Frances’s brother and, years later, my mum Margaret, were both also diagnosed with brain tumours.
“I remember my mum loved going to the day care sessions at the hospice and Frances would often pop in to see her and make a donation. During her final months mum received palliative care from the incredible hospice community team and we were so grateful that she was able to remain in the comfort of her own home.
“Frances led a very busy and active life. She loved working at Ipswich hospital where she would make fresh rolls and cups of tea and coffee, but she always made time for a chat. Frances always felt a sit down with a cuppa helped to get patients talking with their loved ones.
“I think it’s very fitting that auntie Frances’s legacy is helping St Elizabeth Hospice to continue to support those with terminal and progressive illnesses as it is an organisation that was so close to her heart.”