RAISING MONEY (1920 X 480 Px)

A Night to Remember

How One ‘Party Family’ Kicked Up Their Heels to Raise Money for ellenor

RAISING MONEY (1920 X 480 Px)

A Night to Remember

How One ‘Party Family’ Kicked Up Their Heels to Raise Money for ellenor

The three women before me sit beside one another – all smiling and at ease

 It’s clear from the moment the interview begins how comfortable they are with each other; how close they are.


Mum Daphne, daughters Beverley and Julie, have always been close-knit and now they all share the grief of one big, recent loss. Richard – Daphne’s husband of 62 years, and Beverley and Julie’s father – who died after a battle with several complex health conditions.


ellenor cared for Richard, from his home in the Dartford community, in the days and weeks before he died, peacefully, at home – surrounded by family and friends.


“To me, the ellenor nurses who came to our house were really lovely”, says Daphne. “So understanding; so good with Richard. He was so grateful for the care he received. In fact, one of his last wishes was to thank ellenor for everything they’d done.”


So, the three women – who are no stranger to supporting charities, having also raised money for Cancer UK, 21 Together, Macmillan, and more – put their heads together. How could they raise money – and awareness – for ellenor, honour their father and husband’s legacy, and get the whole family together to remember him?

The answer was simple. Throw a party!


“We’ve always been a party family”, smiles Julie. “Mum and Dad were known for the parties they’d put on – and everyone loved them. So this felt like the right thing to do.”


From that spark of inspiration, the planning happened quickly. Soon, the venue – a local church hall – was secured. The raffle prizes – courtesy of the generosity of a well-known high street retailer, as well as the women’s knack for charity shopping – were procured.

The next step? Selling tickets.


“We didn’t advertise them aggressively – just through word of mouth,” says Julie. “To people who know my mum, who knew my dad; friends, neighbours, and extended family.”


“We had 80 to sell,” adds Beverley, “and selling them all was our biggest worry. But we needn’t have stressed – we could’ve sold it twice over!”


Demand was so great, in fact, that Beverley – noticing the hall contained 150 chairs – managed to negotiate an extra 20 tickets from the venue. The extra release sold instantly: and there was even a waiting list in case of dropouts on the night.

As for the evening’s entertainment, the trio didn’t have to look too far afield. Julie’s husband, Brian, plays the saxophone. The three women attended a jam session, where Brian introduced them to a double bass player, a guitarist, plus a pianist and singer.

Armed with a freshly assembled four-piece band – all on board with the night’s noble cause – the evening was beginning to come together.

And, on 25 March 2023, it did just that. The night was a roaring success, and raised over £1,700 for ellenor. Of course, there was one guest who wasn’t there in body.

Although he was certainly there in spirit.

“Richard would have absolutely loved it,” smiles Daphne. “I think he was looking down, tapping his feet.”


“It wasn’t a sad night at all,” adds Beverley. “We were determined it wouldn’t be. It wasn’t a memorial – it was a celebration of life. My dad would have been over the moon.”


But what made the night extra special was its purpose – the cause so close to each woman’s heart. And it isn’t the family’s first brush with ellenor, either.

Beverley has been in the NHS for 38 years – so she knows ellenor well. Beverley’s also been playing ellenor’s lottery for the last decade – although all three are aware of the vital role ellenor plays in the local community. In caring not only for patients – both from their own homes throughout Kent and Bexley, and from its Northfleet-based inpatient ward (IPW) – but for their families, too.


“It’s not just the mechanics of care for the person,” Beverley explains. “Some families might need other kinds of support – financial advice, for example – which ellenor can do.”


“It’s support not only for the person, but for the family; the friends,” Julie adds. 


Daphne agrees. “When ellenor’s nurses came to our house, it was clear how concerned they were about the effects of Richard’s condition on his family – on us. They always asked how we were doing, how we were feeling about things. I don’t know what we would’ve done without ellenor’s help. Without them, we wouldn’t have been able to cope.


As the band started up and hips started to move, the turnout on the night was more than the three ever expected. It was a testament to Richard’s popularity, and to his wide circle of friends; but also, the recognition of how crucial ellenor is to the local community.


“Everyone knows someone ellenor has helped,” says Beverley. “It’s that simple. And, compared to large, well-resourced national charities, local causes like ellenor have less funding; less public awareness around what they do. So it’s even more important to support them.”


“ellenor gives so much to the community,” Julie adds. “Being a local charity, there’s this sense of community spirit. They support local people – which is why I think it means more to support them than a big charity, where things can feel a bit more anonymous.”


All in all, the fundraising event was a night to remember – in more ways than one. 

To remember a kind, caring man who wanted nothing but the best for his family’s three generations of women – and who told his wife, every day, that he loved her.

To remember – and raise awareness of – a charity which supports patients and families facing the toughest periods in their lives.

And to remember that family comes first. 


“We’re very lucky that we’re such a close family,” says Julie. “And that dad helped make it that way. With us, it’s all for one – and one for all. And ellenor is a part of that!”