KIND-HEARTED residents and staff at a Hampshire care home have raised thousands of pounds for a much-loved colleague who has been diagnosed with lung cancer.
Graham Bishop, and his wife Pat, who both work at Colten Care’s Belmore Lodge in Lymington, were overcome with emotion after being presented with a £2,500 cheque by Home Manager Janie Pearman.
Graham, 64, a domestic supervisor, said: “Words can’t express how much this means to me. Each and every one of you have contributed something towards my recovery.
“I feel that all the love and support that has been shown towards me has helped me through my treatment and some of the really dark moments.”
Graham, who has worked at Belmore Lodge for more than seven years, was first diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer last June.
After the initial shock, colleagues, led by Janie, decided to raise money for Graham by launching a series of fundraising initiatives.
They included a sponsored abseil at Portsmouth’s Spinnaker Tower as well as selling hampers, organising a quiz and holding a raffle. Colten Care also made a sizable donation.
Presenting Graham with the £2,500 cheque, Janie said the efforts of staff, residents and relatives had demonstrated the true spirit of Belmore Lodge.
She said: “Despite the sad background, we’ve actually had a great time raising this money.
“To my mind it sums up Belmore Lodge and why I love working here. We work together as a team and we look out for each other as a team.
“We were all devastated at the news about Graham but something very positive has come out of the whole experience.”
Graham’s wife, Pat, 63, is a laundry assistant at the home and his daughter, Natalie, 35, is a healthcare assistant at Belmore Lodge. The couple plan to use the money to pay for a holiday.
“I can’t thank everyone enough for their kindness. Janie has been a wonderful, supportive and encouraging manager,” said Graham.
He added: “At the start my future looked bleak, even more so when I was told they couldn’t operate as this could have been life ending. I’m not out of the woods yet but the future is looking a lot better.”