Retirement for fundraiser who generated hundreds of thousands of pounds for Northampton hospice

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After two decades of co-ordinating bike rides, sponsored walks, cake sales, talent shows and concerts, community fundraiser at Cynthia Spencer Hospice, Sue Bownass, has retired.

Her massive contribution was honoured as colleagues, friends, volunteers and patients and their families gathered to pay tribute to the positive impact she has had on many local people.

Pam Nock, Cynthia Spencer’s chair of trustees, said: “The one thing that stands out about Sue is that she truly put the ‘fun’ into fundraising with her joyous and fantastic spirit.

“The hospice prides itself on its five-star offering to patients and their families and that’s only been possible thanks to Sue’s incredible efforts.

“She will be sorely missed.”

Also, at the send-off was former Chronicle and Echo sports editor, Mark Beesley, whose wife Caroline passed away at the hospice in November 2013.

He said; “I first met Sue through my involvement with the Dalepak horse racing naps table and its regular fundraising for the hospice and over the years she has shone like a beacon at the forefront of a great crusade.

“Her passion and energy for the cause have been totally uplifting, and it’s not surprising so many willing volunteers have been inspired by her.”

Even though making the return to the hospice for the party might have been difficult, Mark was keen to attend.

He said: “Coming back to Cynthia Spencer always triggers memories of Caroline but, because of people such as Sue, those thoughts become a positive force and so I wanted to be here to say my own thank you and to wish her many, many happy years of retirement ahead.”

Sue’s link to the hospice was forged twenty years ago after her mum received its care at the end of her life, while her brother, David, also spent his final days there.

From volunteering in the early days, Sue took on a number of roles over the years before finally becoming community fundraiser, looking after the Harley Davidson runs, Tree of Love services and Cycle 4 Cynthia.

Speaking at the party, Sue said “I have truly enjoyed the best of times at the hospice and feel that I’m a better person because of those people I’ve met here who have enriched my life.

“In particular, I will never forget the incredible team of volunteers who’ve given so much to make this the special place that it is and, believe you and me, I’ll still be doing my bit to support it.

“In fact, after years of helping to organize it, I’ve already signed up to ride in this year’s Cycle 4 Cynthia, so they don’t get rid of me that easily” she giggled, while wiping away a tear or two.

To show your support for Cynthia Spencer Hospice, either by becoming a sponsor, making a donation or staging a fundraising event of your own, please visit www.cynthiaspencer.org.uk or call the fundraising team on 01604 678088.

Meanwhile to join Sue at this year’s Cycle 4 Cynthia, which takes place on Sunday 25th September and which offers routes of 5, 25 and 50 miles, please visit www.cycle4cynthia.co.uk or ‘like’ the ride on Facebook.