Bedford mum’s fundraising dinner in memory of daughter

Ann with Melissa, right, and her sister Susanna.
Ann with Melissa, right, and her sister Susanna.

A mum from Bedford is organising a charity dinner, auction, raffle and music fundraiser in memory of her daughter and to support Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice.

Ann Girdlestone’s daughter Melissa Jones sadly died last year having been cared for with “calmness and love” at St John’s in Moggerhanger.

Ann said: “Melissa had a very rare nerve cancer which gave her horrendous pain.

“She was at St John’s seven times to get her pain under control.

“My daughter trusted the doctors and other staff at St John’s who listened to everything she said.

“They helped her through a very difficult time with calmness and love.”

As well as the top class care the team at St John’s gave to Melissa, the ongoing support her family has received has been crucial at an extremely difficult time.

Ann said: “I personally would not have coped if it had not been for everyone at the hospice. They looked after and cared for all the family and are still doing this, we cannot thank them enough for the work they do and would do anything to support them.”

As a way to thank the hospice, the family has organised The Red Robin Charity Fundraiser at the Sharnbrook Hotel on Saturday, May 5.

The evening event will include drinks on arrival, a buffet and hog roast and there will be entertainment such as award-winning magician Lewis Joss and singer Lisa Collier as well as a silent auction with funds raised going to the 15-bed hospice.

For tickets, priced £35, to the Red Robin Charity Fundraiser, contact Ann on 07856 636290 or Linda on 07843 197812.

St John’s is there for people aged 18 and over who are living with conditions like cancer, heart failure and lung disease. It costs £3.2m per year to run the hospice, which has to raise £1.8m to continue to provide care this year.

St John’s offers a range of support to communities across Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire, from inpatient care in a 15 bed hospice to day and community services.

Whether supporting people in the hospice or their own homes, St John’s focus is on quality of life – giving every patient the care and support they need to spend the time

they have left in the way they choose.

Founded in 1953, Sue Ryder is a national health and social care charity providing compassionate hospice and neurological care across the UK. It does this throughout its 7 hospices, 4 neurological care centres, community-based services and in people’s own homes.

The charity relies predominantly on income from its retail shops, fundraising activities and generous donations from members of the public. For more information visit