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September 2014 - Fundraising the Old Thatch way

Jason bought his girlfriend Gemma a skydiving experience and the HSP Support Group are now well over £1500 richer as a consequence. Let me explain:

I got to know the Roberts family some time ago when our daughters all attended the same school. Sarah and Pete Roberts are mum and dad; Gemma and Tanya are their daughters, both of whom work behind the bar at the local pub which is called The Old Thatch, located between Ferndown and Wimborne in Dorset. When Gemma discovered she had a skydive to look forward to, the other girls in the family, Sarah and Tanya thought they’d like a piece of the action so they also signed up for the jump. During discussions the girls decided that they wanted to raise money for a good cause and Sarah contacted me to see if I knew of any worthwhile, deserving charities. The rest is history!

Staff at The Old Thatch have been brilliant and offered their full support. They have HSP collection boxes behind the bar and they recently held a BBQ with live music to raise further funds. Carol Parsons, another of the bar staff from the pub decided that she’d also like to jump and she has been busy gaining sponsorship. All the girls who are jumping have pages on JustGiving. Further discussions took place between the Roberts family and the pub management and they agreed that they’d like to support a Dorset resident affected with HSP. They’re hoping to purchase mobility equipment that could have a big positive impact on a local individual’s quality of life. Consequently I’ve written to all Dorset members explaining the fundraising and I’ve invited them to make me aware of any equipment that may be useful.

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January 2014 - Gone but not forgotten

 Eric SpaldingEric Spalding 09/01/1941 – 09/11/2013

Eric grew up in the Horseshoe pub, Thornton Heath with his large family - one of seven. Moved to Wallington, where he met and married Maureen (lived in same road). They had two daughters, Kim and Dawn to whom he was very close. HSP progressively affected his mobility and cognitive function (the condition only came on in his forties). He had a difficult time in later years, constantly in and out of hospital, but enjoyed a relatively normal life before that e.g. a keen DIY enthusiast.

He was sociable and loved big get-togethers with family and friends. He particularly enjoyed day trips to the seaside, pub lunches, family BBQs and weekend breaks away with his disabled swimming club. A keen Crystal Palace supporter, he relished every opportunity to watch a big game on Sky sports and occasionally went to see a live game with his friend Frank. A respected and intelligent man, he worked hard as an accountant, even when he retired he still continued to help people do their accounts. Strong work ethic, a perfectionist, a sense of pride and achievement ran through whatever he turned his mind to e.g. For the last few years he has belonged to a disabled swimming club and won cups for his achievements and also attended a gym, where he tried to keep as active as he could.

Others describe him as a gentleman, honest, kind, caring man. He did lots of voluntary work – including fundraising and treasurer for the groups he belonged to (e.g. disabled swimming club and shopmobility scheme). He loved chatting to others and banter. Made new friends very easily, was sincere and had a genuine interest in people. Appreciative of other people’s efforts, he’d go out of his way to write lengthy thank-you notes or phone calls thanking people for good service. Dad liked to vocalise his happiness, he used to stand up and publicly congratulate people for all their achievements and encourage them further. He did the same with family too.

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