Published on: Tuesday 29 Oct 2019 at 13:47
A local man from Epping Forest won our Summer Raffle on a very special day…
A man from Epping Forest has recently won the St Clare Hospice Summer Raffle, hitting the jackpot first prize of £3,000.
Alan Higgins, from Theydon Bois, received the call from our Lottery team on Friday 27th September – the same day that the Summer Raffle draw took place.
Randomly selecting the winning name from thousands of ticket entries, our Lottery Manager, Paula Fogg, made the call to a surprised Mr Higgins at around 12.30pm on the Friday.
“It’s always a pleasure to ring up our Lottery players and Raffle winners, to let them know that they have won a prize,” says Paula Fogg. “Their support for the Hospice means everything to us here at St Clare – so to be able to give our generous supporters this amazing news feels like such a privilege. People are always so surprised when they hear that they have won – they could be out shopping, sitting reading the newspaper, or having lunch with friends.
“Often, people say they really needed a little bit of good news, or that our call has made a difference to their day,” Paula explains. “When I spoke to Alan a few weeks ago, it was one of those moments that really stood out and touched our hearts here at the Hospice.”
When Alan received the news that he had won St Clare’s Summer Raffle, it was in the middle of a very difficult day for him…
Alan explains, “In August 2019, my wife, Heather, spent two weeks staying on the Inpatient Unit at St Clare. It was during her stay that I bought some tickets for the Summer Raffle.”
“Following that, Heather returned home under the support of the St Clare’s Hospice at Home team. Kathy, the Hospice at Home team leader, and her team, visited Heather daily until she sadly passed away.
“The support we received from St Clare Hospice, at one of the most difficult times in our lives, was transformative. I had no idea how much a hospice could do, or the breadth of support they would provide to us. Along with St Clare’s support to help control Heather’s symptoms, the information and support I received from both the nurses and doctors was excellent, and gave me confidence to cope with, and to help manage, the situation we were in.”
In early September 2019, Alan’s wife, Heather, died at home – where she had wished to be.
“On the day of her funeral, the 27th, something amazing happened which was in sharp contrast to the other events of the day,” Alan recalls. “I received a call from Paula, the Lottery Manager at St Clare, saying that I had won the first prize of £3,000 in the St Clare Summer Raffle!
“I couldn’t really take the news in until later that evening, when I was sitting with my family chatting through the events of the funeral day. As we all decided it was time to go to bed, I said ‘I’ve got a nice little story to finish the day with; you will not believe what happened earlier today…’ And I told them about the call from Paula. Receiving this news was such a welcome sparkle on what was otherwise such a profoundly sad day.”
Reflecting on his experience with St Clare, Alan says, “I am really so thankful to St Clare Hospice. At one of the most vulnerable times in your life, there is this incredible team of people who step forward to hold your hand and walk you through an extremely difficult journey. I so would not want to have done it without them!”
Alan has dedicated his prize winnings from St Clare’s Summer Raffle to fulfilling a life-long ambition – a trip to Israel.
“I am a Christian,” explains Alan, “and I have always wanted to visit the places where Jesus lived 2000 years ago, so it’s going to be very special to have the opportunity to do so.”
Paula adds, “Thank you so much to Alan and his daughter, Rosie, for coming in to meet us and for sharing their story. It is always an honour to hear people’s experiences with St Clare.
“Thank you also to all those who took part in this year’s Summer Raffle. Winning ticket or not, each and every raffle ticket that we sold helped us to raise vital funds for the Hospice. Your support allows us to continue to support local people and families, just like Alan, Heather and Rosie, in your local community. Thank you!”
Read Alan’s full story, here: stclarehospice.org.uk/stories/alans-story
Play the St Clare Lottery
The St Clare Hospice Lottery costs just £1 per weekly entry, and offers players the opportunity to win one of 24 weekly prizes – including first prize of £1,000 and a rollover that can reach up to £10,000.
In 2018-19, the Lottery raised around £400,000 for St Clare – providing vital income to help us provide our vital palliative and end of life care to local people.
Find out more and sign up online today, here: stclarehospice.org.uk/lottery