Families from Central Lancashire’s Keralite community have raised more than £6,000 for St Catherine’s Hospice and hope their efforts will inspire others in the area to fund-raise and donate to support the charity’s specialised care.
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Around 160 families living in Preston and also Chorley gave donations to the hospice in memory of Jaya Noby who was cared for at St Catherine’s in May.
The group also bought several cakes for patients, families, volunteers and staff to enjoy.
The community, who come from the South Indian state of Kerala and call themselves Malayalees, said they hoped their efforts would inspire others to consider supporting St Catherine’s or another good cause, supporting the vital work charities do.
Donations came from Jaya’s family – which includes husband Noby Joseph, daughter Nimisha, aged 16, and son Noel, 10 – and the wider Malayali community, as well as her colleagues at Royal Preston Hospital, where she worked as a nurse on the endoscopy unit.
Noby said: “The care St Catherine’s gave Jaya and our family was wonderful. The care and compassion they showed helped her to be comfortable and peaceful at the end of her life.”
Nimisha added: “The atmosphere at St Catherine’s was so different to hospital - it’s a very peaceful place. The staff were so welcoming too, not just to my mum but to all of us. It was almost like a second home for us.”
Jojo Varghese, one of the community members who helped to coordinate the collection for St Catherine’s, said: “’Give and it shall be given unto you’ is a saying we live by – we wanted to do something good for the community where we live and to honour Jaya’s memory. We have enjoyed the fruit of others’ labour and it’s now our turn to return, so that someone who is in need can make use of it.
“We would like to say a big thank you to everyone who supported our collection.”
Emma Jacovelli, head of community engagement at St Catherine’s, said: “The generosity of the Malayali community is quite overwhelming and we are extremely grateful for their wonderful support.
“St Catherine’s is here to help local people to have the best possible quality of life, until the end of life - but it’s only with the support of local people that we are able to continue our work. A huge thank you goes to everyone who made a contribution to this wonderful total of £6,200.”