Feb 5 2013 By Lynn Jolly
Popular broadcaster Shereen Nanjiani has returned to her Renfrewshire roots to back a campaign to raise £1million for a well-known hospice before the end of 2013.
Shereen, who was born in Elderslie and went to school in Paisley, is an ambassador for St Vincent’s Hospice, in Howwood, and is backing the bid to raise crucial funds.
Yesterday, the TV and radio show presenter attended a launch event on The Tall Ship, in Glasgow, and urged Paisley Daily Express readers to do whatever they can to help.
Shereen told the Express: “I have supported the hospice for a number of years now because it is right in the heart of the community I grew up in.
“My parents still live in the area and, if they ever needed the support of a hospice, I can’t think of a better place.
“St Vincent’s has a lovely tranquil feel, helped by the beautiful country setting, and the staff are sensitive and caring.”
Shereen described the hospice as having a crucial role to play in people’s everyday lives and stressed that the £1m is needed to help reach more people and provide additional services in the future.
“The hospice also recognises the importance of going out into the community to support people in their homes if they need it,” she added. “It’s a vital lifeline for families who are trying to find their way through a very difficult time.”
Support for the campaign, which has been launched to coincide with the hospice’s 25th anniversary, also comes from STV weatherman Sean Batty, from Paisley, and Douglas Alexander, who is the MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South.
St Vincent’s chief executive Kate Lennon, who is a former nurse at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley, said funding is vital for the hospice to succeed in the future, particularly with the ever-increasing elderly population.
There are complex challenges ahead for healthcare and, coupled with the current financial climate, this means fundraising is more crucial than ever before.
Kate said: “We would like to care for hundreds more patients.
“We are seeing far more people with respiratory, heart and neurological conditions and dementia, so we want to get bigger but we also want to stay local.
“Community care is absolutely imperative to what we do.
“It would be an enormous privilege for us to be able to expand our services. We believe we can make a difference and care for many more people.
“Many activities go on out in the community and every pound we raise does make a difference.”
Hospice volunteer Liz Kelly, from Paisley, has been covering reception at St Vincent’s on Thursday nights for almost a year and is well aware of the difference £1m could make to the charity’s coffers.
She got involved with the hospice after her father, Hugh Scott, was cared for by the team there before he passed away in 1996, at the age of 70.
Liz said: “My dad had lung cancer and was in the hospice for respite. He took a turn for the worse and passed away.
“The care he got then was amazing and the services have got so much better – with physio, occupational therapy and counselling available.
“I know everybody is struggling financially but even a few pounds would help. Around £5,000 is needed every week to run the hospice so, if you are having a clearout, you could donate goods to one of the hospice shops or give furniture to the shop in Johnstone.”