Steeple Claydon fundraising hero completes 'amazing' year-long mission

A woman from Steeple Claydon has raised £2,230 for charity after spending an entire year fundraising for Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity.

Trevina Smith, who runs the Post Office in the village, set about her mission after losing her close friend Daphne Braggins in December 2018.

Trevina (centre) with Liza (right) from Florence Nightingale during the cheque presentation evening at The Prince of Wales pub

Trevina (centre) with Liza (right) from Florence Nightingale during the cheque presentation evening at The Prince of Wales pub

Trevina told us about the great care her friend had received from Florence Nightingale Hospice and that as a result she wanted to give something back.

She certainly did just that. Clearly overjoyed with the result, Trevina said:

"I'm really chuffed at the amount, it's brilliant. I aimed for £2,000 and we smashed it!"

Initially, in January 2019, she began holding 'Hoy Bingo' nights in the village pub, The Prince of Wales, but then she had a dream.

left to right: Liza Brissenden-Hemstock, Trevina Smith, Donna and Marion, daughters of Daphne Braggins who inspired the fundraising events

left to right: Liza Brissenden-Hemstock, Trevina Smith, Donna and Marion, daughters of Daphne Braggins who inspired the fundraising events

Trevina had been part of the village panto group for nearly 30 years until it disbanded three years ago. She dreamt about a reunion forming part of her fundraising.

Many regular members of the panto group had since moved away from the village, some as far afield as Kent and South Wales, but this didn't deter Trevina.

Remarkably, on the 23 November last year in the local village hall, Trevina's dream was realised. She explained:

"It was a bit ambitious because my idea was that we'd all get together to rehearse at 9am in the morning and put the show on in the evening, but it actually worked! We ended up doing two shows – one at 5pm and one at 8pm . We called it the panto mish mash reunited!"

Trevina continued:

“We did songs. My sister Dyan helped me re-write popular songs. For example, instead of Abbas 'I believe in angels' (from 'I Have a Dream') we sang 'I believe in panto' and from The Greatest Showman instead of 'This is me' we did 'This is us'."

The panto ended up raising £1,130 in one day.

The final amount of £2,230 for the whole year was presented to Liza Brissenden-Hemstock from Florence Nightingale Hospice last Saturday evening, 25 January, in The Prince of Wales pub where it all began.

Liza said to us:

“Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity needs to raise £1,000,000 each year to keep essential local services running. This includes fully funding the Day Hospice, Nightingale 24/7, Florrie’s Children’s Team and the Lymphoedema Clinic. FNHC also makes a significant contribution to in-patient nursing, community nurse specialists and the common fund which provides all those little extras for patients and their families. The fund raising efforts from Trevina and all the locals at the Prince of Wales, Steeple Claydon supporting Florence in helping us to maintain these essential services is really appreciated.”

We also spoke to the landlord of The Prince of Wales, Frank Mahon, who commented:

"I think it's commendable that a lady who holds so many positions in the village, such as at the Post Office and on the Parish Council still managed to give up so much of her time over a year to raise money for this magnificent cause. She never let up. It was like a mission and she was going to succeed – and she did. The amount speaks for itself. £2,230 in a small village is absolutely amazing."

To find out more about Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity visit: www.fnhospice.org.uk