A generous-spirited nurse described as ‘having a heart of gold’ has helped raise over £1,600 for Goscote Hospice in Walsall.
Lymphoedema Nurse Maxine Plant, based at Walsall Palliative Care Centre, raised £1,323 for the hospice in 2021, which along with buying a companion seat, pushed the total donation up to £1,618.
Mother of two Maxine, 49, who has worked for the Palliative Care Centre for nearly eight years, raised the money by holding fayres, afternoon teas, raffles and selling items on her fundraising page.
She makes it a real family affair too, roping in husband Andrew, 52, son Zak 16, daughter Amy, 13, and mum Carol Carless, 70. Until June, the family were also joined by Maxine’s dad, Carol’s husband John, 71, but he died just three weeks before the couple were due to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary.
“All of us enjoy it,” said Maxine, who lives in Bloxwich. “Andrew and Zak tend to be more hands on getting the rooms ready, whereas me, mum and Amy are in the kitchen baking.”
The money is raised from a monthly raffle, plus the sales of cup cakes to commemorate Valentine’s Day and Easter, mince pies at Christmas and fayres at Easter, autumn and Christmas, where other items are sold.
All proceeds go towards treats for the patients or items or equipment above and beyond what the NHS can fund.
“People are very supportive – but if they see me coming, they get worried because they know I’m doing a raffle!” added Maxine. “With the proceeds, we work closely with the hospice so we know what they want.”
Maxine’s fundraising started when she did line dancing and organised an event with a band, donating the proceeds to the Air Ambulance.
Since then, she has organised fundraising events every year, and has raised over £10,000 over the last few years.
Outreach and Information Support Officer at Walsall Palliative Care Centre Joanne Barlow said: “Maxine has always amazed me with her efforts and kindness and has a heart of gold, all while coping with her NHS workload.
“Sadly Maxine’s dad died last year, which devastated the family, but she carried on fundraising during COVID-19, finding new ways to keep getting people to support, such as setting up a Facebook page and WhatsApp group.
“Even when afternoon teas were cancelled she boxed them up for people to collect and take home.”
Joanne added: “She comes in with a big bag of stuff like Del Boy from Only Fools and Horses, things that people have donated, saying ‘come and have a look in my bag and see what you can buy!’
Maxine has organised a summer fayre on 18 June at St John’s Methodist Church, Victoria Avenue, Bloxwich and an autumn fayre at King Street Progressive Club, King Street, Walsall Wood on 5 November. Both events are open to the public from 1pm-4pm.