A CHARD resident who has raised around £10,000 for a hospice over the last eight years will hold a Christmas market to support the same cause.

Joan White, 89, will run the market this weekend (Saturday, December 2, and Sunday, December 3) in Whitestaunton, near Chard, in aid of St Margaret’s Hospice.

The year before the Covid pandemic she raised around £1,000, which is what she aims to raise this weekend.

So far, the funds raised by Joan paid for 96 Specialist Community Nurse visits, St Margaret's Hospice said.

Chard & Ilminster News: Some of the items gathered by Joan and her friends to raise funds for the hospiceSome of the items gathered by Joan and her friends to raise funds for the hospice (Image: Contributed)

Chard & Ilminster News:

Joan said: “We raised £10,000 in about eight years. They have been so grateful and every time we raised money, they told us what it was for. They were very inspirational.

“They really do a fantastic job. When my husband was dying, they were very supportive. It’s about giving something back.

“I am 89, I have always had good health and I feel I am one of the lucky ones, so I wanted to give something back.

“It’s only a drop in the ocean but if I can raise £1,000 I would be thrilled.”

Joan gathered several items from her friends, and they will be on sale over the weekend.

Cottage Flowers, based near Ilminster, also joined the initiative by donating a bouquet, Joan also said.

Kerry Baillie, community partnerships manager at St Margaret’s said: “We’re extremely grateful to Joan for the incredible effort she has made to fundraise for St Margaret’s over the last eight years.

“Joan has raised an astounding total of £9,616.17 and this could pay for 96 Specialist Community Nurse visits for local patients who are being cared for at home.

"During these visits, our nurses can help patients with everything from making sure they get the right medication to providing them with equipment to help them get around at home which makes a massive difference. 

“Without the support of amazing fundraisers like Joan, we simply wouldn’t be able to provide vital care and support to patients and their families across Somerset when they need it most.

"We wish Joan the best of luck with her upcoming Christmas fair in aid of the hospice and would like to thank her for being such a loyal supporter of St Margaret’s.”