Celebrating a lifetime of inspiration

On Monday 13 January, staff and volunteers from Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service gathered at the West Berkshire Community Champion Awards to celebrate Colleen Walker’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Colleen became a paediatric nurse straight out of school working in various care homes and centres in and around Newbury, before retiring and spending the next 27 years actively fundraising for local charities close to her heart.

After losing all three of her sisters to cancer, Colleen turned her heartache into a force for good, and started a fundraising group tasked with crafting and selling beautiful toys, baby clothes and gifts to raise funds for local causes close to her heart.

Fionnuala Lawes, Community Fundraiser for Alexander Devine made the nomination and was present at the ceremony:

“It was on a chance meeting with us in 2012 at was supposed to be Colleen’s last ever fundraising stall, following her own cancer diagnosis, that she learned of Alexander Devine’s story, and our mission to deliver a children’s hospice service to local families. Instead of retiring the group as planned, she decided that they would continue their efforts exclusively for Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service, and have raised an incredible £28,500 to date.”

Colleen sadly lost her battle in December 2018, but not before insisting to her daughter, Jane Fairchild, that she continue her legacy of crafting and fundraising for Alexander Devine. Jane attended the award ceremony and was thrilled to accept the award on her mum’s behalf:

“I can’t believe it’s happened. It’s the perfect way to honour my Mum for all her hard work in the community as a nurse and her fundraising over 27 years.”

The group, made up of 26 skilled local women, is now affectionately known as ‘Colleen’s Crafters’. You can find a Colleen’s Crafters stall at up to 40 different fairs and markets across the Borough each year, and you can regularly find upcoming stalls on our Facebook page or in our Community Events Calendar.

 

Need our help?

The word hospice should not seem scary and getting support from us doesn’t have to mean a child’s death is imminent. Helping to enrich the lives of the children and their families is at the heart of our service, our end of life and bereavement support is just a part of what we do.

Our children’s hospice service covers the whole of Berkshire and the surrounding counties. Anyone can make a referral to Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service and if you think your child may be eligible for our services, please do get in touch.

Alexander Devine on Facebook

We wanted to pay tribute to a very special young man who has been part of our Alexander Devine family for the past six years. A few weeks ago we had our final home visit with him before he transitions to an adult hospice.

This extraordinary young man has has brought so much joy, laughter and love to us all Alexander Devine. Amongst many things, we will miss his cheeky sense of humour and love of singing!

Here's to you Tomi, our superhero!
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Thank you so much to Naomi from Wild Heart Yoga for helping to raise money for us. Naomi is streaming live yoga sessions for free and asking students to make a donation to Alexander Devine Children's Hospice Service. Head to her page for details of all her classes.First live stream class done! That was really scary for me but so glad I did it. Was wonderful to see all my lovely students, Miss you all so much! Shoved everything out of the way, had a big roll of carpet in front of me, a step ladder, paint and my dog moaning but it was lovely all the same 😂
I’ll be teaching more classes next week - details to follow. Classes will free but I’m asking people to donate money to charities. My suggested is @alexanderdevinehospice but the choice is yours.
Let’s use this as a chance to give something back! Much love ♥️💫🤪🙌🏻 #yogaonline #zoom #wildheartyoga #charityyoga #stayhome #yoga #spreadlove

Ps. Message me to book onto classes
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On this day 13 years ago, Fiona Devine established Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service after her son Alexander tragically passed away.

Today Fiona has published an Open Letter in response to the Covid-19 crisis, urging our supporters and local community to help us. You can read the letter in full here.

alexanderdevine.org/2020/03/open-letter-from-our-ceo-fiona-devine/

To each and every one of you, please give what you can to help us maintain our much-needed and valued service. We need your help now more than ever.
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Inspected and rated Good by Care Quality commission
Registered with Fundraising Regulator
Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service is the operating name of Alexander Devine Children’s Cancer Trust. A company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales No. 5757493

Copyright © 2019 Alexander Devine Children's Hospice Service. UK Registered Charity No. 1118947.