One of our volunteers, Lorna Cunningham, has been named a community hero for not only raising money for the hospice, but for helping to make a difference to people who are bereaved.
Lorna received the Ben Ashworth Award for Fundraising at the BBC Radio Lancashire Community Heroes Awards 2018, which were held in Preston on Sunday evening.
Lorna has helped to raise more than £10,000 in the last 12 months by making Memory Elephants for people who have lost loved ones. It has created what we are calling an ‘Elephant in the Room movement’, as orders have come in from across the country, resulting in a waiting list of around six months.
Lorna started making the Memory Elephants as a way of coping herself when her husband Iain died in 2014. Iain had been looked after by Trinity’s nurses, so she offered them to the hospice as a way of raising money.
The elephants are made using cotton clothing, and as well as being a lasting memory of someone no longer here, they have opened up conversations around death and dying.
After receiving her award, for which she was nominated by our Fundraising Team, Lorna said: “I never expected the elephants to have become this massive movement – never in my wildest dreams did I think they would take off like this.
“I was so proud to accept the award, and I did so on behalf of the hospice. This award and these elephants are not just about me; there are a lot of people working behind the scenes on the project. It’s certainly not happened by itself.”
We are now hoping to pass the movement on to other hospices around the country, in the hope they can take it on to raise money for their own charities and to encourage more people to think and talk about death and dying.
We are incredibly proud of Lorna, and we are so pleased that she has been rightly recognised through this award.
No-one could have ever imagined the elephants would take off the way they have, and that’s testament to the hours of work, love and attention that goes into each unique product. We know they make a huge difference to the people who have received them, helping them remember their loved ones in such a special and lasting way.
We are very hopeful that we can share this important movement with other hospices across the country, but for now we are celebrating Lorna, and her wonderful Elephants.