BLOG: Saluting sponsors who keep our flagship fundraisers flying

Kind-hearted sponsors play a huge part in enabling St Luke’s key fundraising events to happen year after year, bringing in hundreds of thousands of pounds to support our compassionate end of life care.

Members of Plymouth’s independent business community whose generosity helps make our flagship fundraisers such a rip-roaring success were invited to our Turnchapel headquarters to receive a huge heartfelt thank you on behalf of everyone at St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth and those whose lives we touch.

The valued contributions of local firms Michael Spiers, Marchand Petit, Print Copy Scan, NFU Mutual Plymouth, Jem Scaffolding, Sir Fix-a-lock Ltd and Plymouth Golf Centre were saluted with a slap-up breakfast celebration in the conservatory.

It was an opportunity not only to receive personal thanks from St Luke’s Head of Fundraising Penny Hannah, events lead Georgina Mayhew, events advisor Chloe Symons and new partnerships advisor Kim Dover, but also to meet each other and reflect on how and why they support the hospice and what it means to them.

Jackie Spiers, widow of Michael Spiers, founder of the renowned Plymouth based jewellery retailer, attended the reception with marketing and PR manager Fiona Spear, proudly standing close to the Memory Leaf the family sponsors in memory of her husband.

Michael was cared for at Turnchapel and at home before his death in 1999 and since then the business has supported St Luke’s in many ways. They are currently the main sponsors of St Luke’s popular Midnight Walk, which this year has so far raised more than £125,000 for patient care.

Jackie said: “St Luke’s is our favourite charity from the heart because when Michael was here, he was happy. The first time he came he was apprehensive, but the was soon very content flirting with the nurses who were all lovely. There is a lovely family feel here.

“I won’t say Michael loved coming here, but he wasn’t worried or anxious about it because everyone was so kind. He was in the inpatient unit for about a week the month before he died to sort out his pain relief, and he later died at home.

“The staff are wonderful and do an unbelievably good job and that’s why we support St Luke’s and we will carry on sponsoring Midnight Walk.”

Gordon Maunder, company chairman of Marchand Petit estate agents, came to the breakfast with marketing manager Rebecca Martin. The company became co-sponsors of Midnight Walk in 2023, after Gordon’s mother, Christine, was cared for at home by St Luke’s leading up to her death in 2022.

Gordon said: “My mother always thought that giving was almost a selfish act because it makes you feel good yourself, and I agree with that. You never know when it might be you who needs St Luke’s help so, from a personal point of view, giving a little something is a good thing to do.”

Jo Young and Kerry Hogan are partners in NFU Mutual Plymouth and have been sponsoring St Luke’s Open Gardens scheme for the past three years, helping to raise £55,000 this season alone.

Jo and Kerry said: “Although we don’t have a personal connection to anyone who has been cared for by St Luke’s, a lot of our customers and members do and it’s a charity everyone knows about.

“For our business it’s about wanting to give something back to the community. We share the same values and the same geographical area as St Luke’s and our relationship with Open Gardens is a perfect fit for our business.”

Jonathan Philpotts, director of Plymouth Golf Centre, is a new sponsor who recently came on board to support St Luke’s corporate Golf Days and attended the breakfast with golf operations manager Sam Stephens.

Jonathan said: “I have always been very much in awe of what St Luke’s does. It is just incredible, and the staff always have a smile on their faces. St Luke’s has been very helpful to a lot of friends of mine. Then in 2019 my business partner John Spry had end of life care from St Luke’s at home.

“We had already supported St Luke’s for about ten years with little prizes here and there. When we were asked to come on board with the rebranding of St Luke’s Golf Days we thought it would be brilliant to get involved. As well as a support package we are giving a prize package worth around £1,200 for Golf Days held in aid of the hospice.

“We like to do our bit. I have always taken part in Men’s Day Out… and never made it back to the rugby club once!”

Karl Welburn of Print Copy Scan has sponsored our Tour de Moor cycle challenge for the past six events, as well as taking part himself.

“If you live in Plymouth you will know someone who has a relationship with St Luke’s. The events are good fun alongside something that is so sad. I just really enjoy it and the people you get to work with.”

Darren Toms, managing director of Jem Scaffolding is a familiar face for many people at St Luke’s, especially at Christmas time when he becomes a “secret Santa” donating gifts and festive food for patients and their families.

His company are long time sponsors of Men’s Day Out, St Luke’s most successful annual event which this year raised more than £140,000.

Darren became involved after his father, Jim, was cared for by St Luke’s at home and in our specialist unit in 2018.

Paul Montgomery, aka Sir Fix-a-lock Ltd, supports several of St Luke’s flagship events at once by sponsoring all the signage used for Men’s Day Out, Tour de Moor and Midnight Walk, as well as flying the charity’s flag in a host of other ways through the year.

St Luke’s Penny Hannah said: “You are all so important to us. In the past year you have helped us to raise more than £600,000 and that represents a huge amount of care for our patients and their families. We can’t thank you enough.”

If your business would like to get involved, there’s a host of opportunities available to support St Luke’s and our events through sponsorship and regular giving, and we’re always ready to listen to your ideas. Please contact our fundraising team at partnerships@stluke-hospice.org.uk