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Big-hearted husband and wife bucket collectors raise £100,000 for Sue Ryder hospice

Sue and Pete Woolfitt with Community Fundraiser Victoria Potter and Sue Ryder Nurses

Come rain or shine, Sue and Pete Woolfitt have loyally held bucket collections for a local hospice for nearly a decade – raising an incredible £100,000.

Since 2010, the kind-hearted Peterborough couple have volunteered about 3,000 hours of their time to do more than 300 bucket collections for Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice.

Sue, 68, and Pete, 71, who have been married for nearly 50 years, haven’t let anything stop them from collecting donations – overcoming extreme weather, flat tyres and even broken bones.

Sue first volunteered in the hospice’s coffee shop in 2004 after she retired from a career at British Gas and “wanted to do something different”.

She soon enlisted Pete, a retired serviceman, as a fellow hospice volunteer and together they helped out in the coffee shop, at hospice events and with fundraising.

The determined duo first started holding bucket collections in 2010 – and haven’t looked back since.

They hold collections during six months of every year in different locations in Peterborough and the surrounding region, including Stamford, Oundle and Huntingdon.

Typically collecting for ten hours at a time, the persistent pair have braved all types of weather over the years, from snow to heatwaves.

They haven’t even let injuries such as Pete’s broken hip or Sue’s broken ribs stand in their way – and as a result have totted up an amazing £100,000 for the hospice.

“My mum died of cancer and my brother was killed when he was 25. My mum and dad brought me up to give something back in life,” said Sue.

“Every penny really does count. We say the same ‘thank you’ to people, whether someone gives us one pound or seventy. We meet some incredible people.”

Pete added: “I’d not been retired very long when three of my ex-work colleagues, all the same age as me, died in the space of 18 months and were cared for by Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice.

“We went to see one of them at the hospice on a Friday night. He was really cheerful and could remember everything, bringing up things about work and chatting. We were going to be in the hospice volunteering at an event on Sunday night, so we mentioned to him that we would bring him some food. Sadly he took a turn for the worse and passed away before then. That is one of the reasons Sue and I started volunteering for Sue Ryder.”

Allison Mann, Hospice Director of Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice, said: “We can’t thank Sue and Pete enough for their incredible dedication to our hospice over the years. We are so grateful for their fantastic fundraising.

“Our expert and compassionate palliative care and support is free of charge to everyone who needs it. However, we need to raise £2.4 million this year to be able to carry on providing it. That is why the support of people like Sue and Pete is so important and helps us to be there when it matters for local families.

“Sue and Pete are familiar faces to many in the local area. As well as raising funds, they are brilliant ambassadors for our hospice and help to raise vital awareness of who we are and what we do.”

For more information about Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice, please visit: www.sueryder.org/thorpehall.

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