A WORCESTERSHIRE family has raised a staggering £6,100 for a local hospice in memory of their much loved mum and nana, who spent her last days in its care.

The family from Strencham, near Upton upon Severn, organised a charity Masquerade Ball at The Hilton Puckrup Hall, near Tewskesbury, to raise funds for the hospice and show their appreciation for the care and support it provided.

The event was in the memory of 86-year-old Joan Smith, from the Forest of Dean, who was treated at Worcestershire Royal Hospital and then went to St Richard’s Hospice in Worcester where she died in 2015.

Her granddaughter Vanessa Davenport, who now lives in Cheltenham, ran the event and said: “As a thank-you we wanted to organise an event to help raise money for St Richard’s. We wanted to show our appreciation to all of those who cared for my nana and our family. We hope the money will help ensure they continue their valuable work.”

Mrs Smith’s family became concerned about her when she began to show signs of confusion, becoming increasingly unsteady on her feet and permanently tired. Within weeks she was admitted to Worcestershire Royal Hospital and diagnosed with acute leukaemia.

Miss Davenport said: “Staff at the hospice were absolutely wonderful - the chef even baked her a cake for her 86th birthday.

“Apart from offering her excellent care, the staff also cared for our family by patiently answering the many questions we had, as well as offering much needed emotional support.

“Throughout her illness Nana kept her wonderful sense of humour and interest in people which endeared her to all the staff.

“As a family, we are eternally grateful that Nana was in such a wonderful and caring environment. We will never forget the staff’s devotion to her care and only wish that everyone in the last stages of life have the same dignified and pain free death she had, surrounded by family.”

The ball took place last month and was called “Eat, drink and be giving” and it consisted of a three-course meal, a raffle and auction, which included a return helicopter flight to Ellenborough Park in Cheltenham for afternoon tea; the chance to win a trip to Paradise Wildlife Park in Hertfordshire to feed a big cat; a family trip to Windsor Castle; a glamping holiday and a flight in a vintage biplane. Music was provided by The Fanatics.

The Davenport family would like to thank all those who made the ball a success.

Alison Parkes, fundraiser at St Richard’s, said: “Our thanks go to Vanessa and her family for raising much needed funds for our work here at the hospice. Our care is made possible thanks to such generous donations from our supporters and makes a real difference to patients and their loved ones.”

St Richard’s Hospice was established in 1984 and provides free specialist palliative care for patients living with life-limiting illnesses and supports their loved ones. Each year the hospice team supports over 2,500 patients and family members in Worcestershire. For more information visit www.strichards.org.uk.

It currently costs £8.2 million a year to run St Richard’s Hospice. One quarter of that comes from the NHS and the rest comes from donations, legacies and fundraising events.