Hospice Lottery thanks long-standing players in 20th year

As part of its 20th year celebrations, Treetops Lottery is thanking its longest running players with gifts of Norway spruce tree seeds to plant in their gardens.

There are over 7,500 members of the Treetops Lottery of which over 400 have playing since it began in 1996. Lottery proceeds help fund Treetops Hospice Care which provides nursing care and emotional support for adults and their families in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.

The seed gifts come at the end of a year-long birthday tour by the Lottery staff team as Becki Lee-Jones, sales and promotions assistant explains:

“We’ve been out and about all year attending different events and going into supermarkets, handing out birthday cake and thank you gifts such as reusable bags, trolley coins and pens – all to say a huge thank you to everyone who supports the Treetops Lottery.

“The tree seeds for our longest running players truly represent Treetops and we hope will be planted in gardens as a reminder of the charity and the difference players have made over the years. With their support, we have grown and developed enormously and now support over 1,750 people each year.”

Janet Briars, 64yrs from Breaston, is one of the 422 people who have been playing the Lottery since it began and now volunteers for the charity on reception, as a kitchen assistant and with events and marketing:

“I joined the Treetops Lottery as I wanted to support a local cause and I’d heard such good reports of the work done at the hospice.

“In 2010, my husband Keith was diagnosed with Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma which is a very aggressive form of asbestos-related cancer and he passed away 5 months after diagnosis in December of that year.

“As you can imagine this was a particularly difficult time, but an appointment with Dr. Swanwick at Treetops made a huge difference to his state of mind. His words on leaving his first consultation were – ‘at last, someone who really understands’.

“After several months, plans were put in place for a Hospice at Home nurse to sit with Keith during the night which I at first resisted but the District Nurse advised me to allow. Thank goodness she did, as during that first night Keith took a downturn and died. Without that nurse I’m not sure how my two children and I would have coped that night. She prepared us for what would happen and made all the relevant phone calls.

“I started volunteering at Treetops when I was due to retire and was looking for something to do. The hospice is only just over a mile away and has various ways in which someone can volunteer so I signed up in February 2015.

“I’m so glad that I did as I have met so many kind and welcoming staff and volunteers and brave, stoic and cheerful guests. It’s a privilege when someone lets you into their lives at such a vulnerable and possibly frightening time and very rewarding to be a volunteer. We have good reason to be grateful to Treetops.”

The Treetops Lottery has raised over £4million for Treetops Hospice Care helping to fund its services including Support and Information, Day Care, Hospice at Home and Therapeutic Services. All services are provided free of charge.

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