A woman whose husband was able to enjoy one last Christmas at home with his family thanks to care at St Giles Hospice is calling on people to support a festive raffle being organised by the charity.

Gill Henley with her husband Charlie

Gill Henley’s husband Charlie was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in October 2019.

But the help of a community nurse from St Giles meant he was able to stay with his loved ones during the festive period. 

Charlie putting Santa on the top of the Christmas tree

“Even at Christmas St Giles were there for us day and night – it gave us such peace of mind and we were able to relax and enjoy ourselves knowing that we had their support to call on if we needed it. 

“Our nurse Shelly did everything she could to make Charlie as comfortable as possible and he was able to stand up with his frame and put Santa on top of the Christmas tree – a memory I’ll always cherish.

“We celebrated Christmas Day at home surrounded by our close family, and Charlie felt well enough that we could bring Christmas forward to celebrate with the rest of his family a few days before too.

“He was really able to enjoy it and to take part.”

Gill Henley

Charlie was admitted to St Giles Hospice in January 2020 for pain management and after six days he felt well enough to go home.

However, he was readmitted a few weeks later when his condition took a turn for the worse and five days later he died in Gill’s arms at the Whittington hospice.

Gill Henley with a picture of her husband Charlie

“People think that hospices are just places that you go to at the end of life, but St Giles really helped Charlie to be at home for as long as he could, and made him as comfortable as he could possibly be.

“They supported the whole family – our community nurse was our angel and the team at the hospice were fantastic. I hope people will support the hospice raffle if they can because St Giles Hospice has to be there for other local families like ours when they need it.”

Gill Henley

Tickets for the hospice Christmas raffle are now on sale at £1 each and goodies up for grabs include a first prize of £8,000 or a brand new Kia Picanto car, £2,000 or a luxury holiday and other cash prizes.

St Giles Hospice’s lottery manager Alison Jerram said:

“We’re asking our local community to really get behind our Christmas Raffle this year – the money it raises is more important than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Every £1 ticket sold helps us to continue supporting people in the local community who are living with a terminal illness, and we’ve never needed the support of our community more than we need it now.

“We’ve had to cancel many of our events in 2020 which has really affected our income, so every raffle ticket sold will help to ensure we can continue to care for local people when they need us in these uncertain times.

“The raffle is a great way for our supporters to have some fun – with the satisfaction of knowing that they are also helping to fund St Giles – and may win a fabulous cash prize or have a new car or holiday to look forward to in the New Year. 

“There are also extra prizes up for grabs for people who buy their tickets early.”

Alison Jerram

Tickets are on sale at www.stgileshospice.com/raffle. The draw will be made on 20 January 2021.


Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.