Lloyd's Market Charity Awards 2020

Hear from winner Alan Higgins about why he chose to nominate St Clare Hospice.

Every year Lloyd’s Charities Trust donates £4,000 to 30 charities as part of their Lloyd’s Market Charity Awards.  These donations are made on behalf of individuals in the market, in recognition of their fundraising and voluntary work.  As part of the Corporation’s  response to COVID-19 £1 million was donated to the Lloyd’s Market Charity Awards. This allowed trustees to increase donations to £25,000 per charity for 2020 and 2021.  

Alan Higgins, Hampden Agencies Ltd on behalf of 
Rosie Knowles, St Clare Hospice

Alan Higgins, of Hampden Agencies Ltd, applied successfully for a donation to be made to St Clare Hospice.  We asked Alan what made him apply and Rosie what the difference the donation will make to the charity.

What prompted you to apply for the awards?
(Alan) Before my wife, Heather, was diagnosed with aggressive incurable cancer in January 2019, the closest I’d come to needing to deal with dying face-to-face was visiting my ailing grandparents.  It was a very different, unexpected and shocking scenario then when it was my best friend of 30 years, whom I shared my life, home and children with, who was doing the dying, whilst still only in her 50s and long before we were anticipating that either of us would die.  And I was to be the primary carer.  The final couple of months of my wife’s life were very difficult and the support we received from St Clare Hospice was invaluable.  So, when I read that the criteria for the charity awards included that “Donations are given … to charities that have given invaluable support to those in the market whose lives have been affected by difficult circumstances.” then St Clare Hospice obviously leapt to my mind!

What was your relationship with the charity prior to applying?
Very grateful recipient of their expert services.

What do you think/know the charity will spend the money on?

(Rosie) £25,000 is a significant amount of money to us. To think about the impact that this funding could have, we can put it in terms of the services that it will enable us to provide, e.g. funding our entire Hospice at Home team for two weeks. Hospice at Home have about 150-200 patients on their caseload at any one time, so this means that £25,000 provides care and support for all those patients as well as their families. Another way to look at it is in staffing, so £25,000 would fund a Hospice at Home or inpatient unit nursing assistant for an entire year, as well as the gloves and face masks that they must now wear all the time to make sure we are keeping everyone safe.  Right now, our priority is continuing to provide our services to the community no matter the obstacles that the pandemic throws in. We also know that the need for our services is increasing and projected to keep increasing over the coming year. Funding like this helps us with sustainability and security in our longer-term planning, to make sure we can be here for our community for the future. 

What difference will this make to charity at this time?
St Clare Hospice is a small local charity, and we don’t get too many donations of this size! Most of our donations come from people in the community giving directly to us, or doing their own fundraising in aid of St Clare. Because of the effects of the pandemic and the restrictions we’ve all faced at home and at work, that means that most of that fundraising income has been cut off. Not through lack of willing from the community who have been absolutely wonderful, but because all the usual ways of gathering and raising money, or taking part in the marathon, runs, cycles, skydiving, climbs, walks, etc, have all been impossible! So, to get this donation means so much to us just now when we are seeing a drop in other areas of our fundraising. We usually raise over £750,000 each year from businesses and the community fundraising efforts, and we expect that this year that figure will be halved. We are so fortunate that donations like this one are helping us to meet that shortfall, and although we recognise that the winter will be hard for everyone, we are making sure that we seek out every opportunity and are keeping a close eye on making sure we run a lean and efficient service.

How did you feel when you found out you had been successful?
(Alan) I received an e-mail from Sarah, of Lloyd’s Responsible Business team, advising me that St Clare Hospice had been awarded the maximum donation of £25,000 and my immediate e-mail response to her summed up my feelings very well.  I replied with “Oh Wow!” in massive font size, followed up with “That’s awesome”.  I had been quite hopeful that St Clare would get something because I knew that my story was a good one (because the reality of the care provided was really that good).  But I never imagined that St Clare might get as much as £25,000, so I was very very surprised and excited and felt so privileged that I’d facilitated St Clare receiving such a significant donation.

Congratulations Alan on behalf of St Clare Hospice, who are doing such vital work at this time.

The full list of Lloyd’s Market Charity Award winners can be found here.