Paul Hughes has been raising money for the hospice for many years but began a regular fundraising event around the anniversary of his football mate Mark 'Gozzer' Gosling's death at the hospice. So far he has raised £22,226.
Here's his story in his own words:
“On April 14th 2015, many lives changed forever when our friend Mark ‘Gozzer’ Gosling passed away in Cynthia Spencer Hospice. An avid Northampton Town fan, I had known him for a few years from travelling around the country watching the Cobblers. Through football and social drinks, we became good mates and he was always first on the list when an away day was organised. These days will never be the same again.
"Since 2015, we have held a night of fundraising on or close to the anniversary of Gozzer's passing, the first being in 2016 at Kingsley Workings Men Club and the last 3 years being at the Picturedrome. The night involves a live band, DJ’s, raffle and silent auctions and has raised thousands for Cynthia Spencer Hospice. It has become an annual event. I have also arranged various away trips to watch Northampton Town, notably coaches to Cambridge and Stevenage, and even a boat trip down the River Thames to Charlton, all assisting with our fundraising efforts."
"I have been asked on a number of occasions why I do it….for his family, for his friends, keeping his memory alive, bringing people from all walks of life together in what seems an ever divided society, making new friends…but I suppose most all organising these events, raising money in memory of our friend Goz is a positive way to celebrate his life whilst helping other families to receive care when they need it most. The days and weeks leading up to the night are an emotional rollercoaster with what seems like endless organising and planning, I feel nervous, worried, sad, excited all at the same time... just wanting to do my best for his family and friends but a moment of quiet reflection on the night looking at the photos of Gozzer on the big screen and seeing everyone having such a good time it really hits home how loved he was, still is and always will be and this makes it all worth it."
Although I saw Gozzer before he died, the last time I spoke to him was a few days before. He shook my hand and the last thing he said to me was ‘stay strong brother’. This has inspired me every day. To know we can make a small difference makes me proud and I hope, together, we can continue to do so....Thank you to all the staff, nurses and volunteers at the Hospice for all the work you do...truly amazing people....you are the true heroes”
Thank you Paul for your amazing fundraising efforts! You're a true hospice hero!!
For support in organising your own fundraising event contact Lauren on 01604 973341 or email firstname.lastname@example.org