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Local Hospice Fundraiser Invited to Celebrate Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebration

A local fundraiser who helped found and has spent over 30 years raising money for the Hospice of the Good Shepherd was thrilled to be invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace as part of the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations.


Celia Gifford, from Blacon was part of the first committee to start funds for a Chester Hospice in 1985 and has been Chairman of Blacon Support Group since 1989 asked her husband Allan to share her big day on May 10.


The couple arrived at Buckingham Palace and were led through the main gates and through the Palace into the garden for a delicious afternoon tea, before the Queen arrived shortly after to greet guests and acknowledge the crowd that have made a significant contribution to their local communities and country.


Cestrian, Celia was inspired to help open a local hospice after losing her sister Rhona to cancer in 1985 who received care and support at St. John’s Hospice, Clatterbridge, Wirral.


The family was devastated when Rhona passed away.  Anybody that has lost a loved one to cancer knows how difficult it is, and whilst the care and support given by St. John’s Hospice will never be forgotten, it was a long way to travel every day from Chester.  There was a need for a hospice in Chester to help local people and their families facing end of life illnesses.


Celia joined a group of local people that were trying to raise £600,000 to convert the old vicarage at Backford to a hospice – a place where people could receive specialist palliative care and support when they need it most.  The energy and commitment of everybody involved was marvellous.


Celia said: “It is rewarding to still be part of a Community Group in Blacon that has raised almost £90,000 for the Hospice of the Good Shepherd to date.  We are excited to be fundraising to support the plans to double the size of the existing building and help local people for the next 25 years”


“We were delighted to receive an invite to the garden party, it was a memorable day and one I will never forget.”

We are now organising an afternoon tea at the Blacon Enterprise Centre on 10th June from 2,3pm until 4.30pm to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday and help raise funds for the Hospice “From Silver to Gold” appeal.”

Phil Crawford, Community Fundraiser for the Hospice said “We are delighted Celia was acknowledged for all her hard work and dedication.  Without the support of people like her there wouldn’t be a local hospice. We cannot thank Celia and everybody enough who volunteer for us throughout the year. Blacon Support Group and others around Chester always welcome new volunteers also.”


If you are interested in attending the Blacon Afternoon Tea Party you can obtain tickets at the Enterprise Centre, The Parade, Blacon or pay at the door.