Charity supporters refuse to let rain stop play

Volunteers battled the elements to run an event raising funds for Mary Stevens Hospice on Sunday 29th July at Hagley Hall.

'A Picnic in the Park' was the brainchild of long-term Hospice supporter, Sue Williams, who worked closely with events staff at Hagley Hall to organise exclusive access for a one-off event at the stately home.

Originally, Hospice supporters were invited to enjoy a rare opportunity to walk the idyllic grounds of the Hall, taking in the waterfall, scenic gardens and deer who live on the site followed by BBQ or a picnic in the park, however the weather conditions meant event organisers had to think on their feet and adapt the day to ensure it was still enjoyable and safe for their guests. Mike Williams, Event co-organiser, said:

“After a three-month heatwave, what are the odds of gale force winds and heavy rain? The conditions meant the barbecue and raffle had to be abandoned but, despite everything, Sue's team of volunteers all arrived, dressed in winter waterproofs and thermals and carried on without complaint. We were still able to raise £350 for the Hospice!"

A Picnic in the Park was the second of five events being run by Sue to support the Hospice in 2018, with An Evening with Dr Norman Croucher, a charity fashion show and a day trip to Blenheim Palace all to come before the end of the year. Charlotte Schofield, Head of Fundraising & Lottery, Mary Stevens Hospice Group, added:

“Sue and her voluntary team dedicated so many hours and such hard-work and creativity to this event and we are so, so grateful to everyone who was there on Sunday.

"To know that there were members of our community out there in the wind and rain, making the best of truly awful weather to make care possible for our patients, is simply overwhelming, and the money they've raised will make a huge difference.

"What they've raised is enough to pay for two patients to attend our Day Services Unit tomorrow, which goes so far beyond monetary value for the families who will benefit from that care.”

To find out more about the work done by Mary Stevens Hospice, visit


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