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Devoted late couple donate £500 to charity

2023-02-15T14:53:02+00:00Wednesday 15 February 2023|

A thoughtful staff member has raised £500 for Walsall Healthcare’s charity Well Wishers following the death of a devoted couple who were cared for by the Trust.

Iain Vowles Smith, one of the nursing team at Walsall Palliative Care Centre, was a long-term friend and in-law of Catharine and Peter Walker, who lived on the Sutton Road Estate.

The couple had no immediate family to hand things down to, so when they died, Iain made a sale of items from their house and divided the proceeds equally between Well Wishers and the Dogs Trust. Items included jewellery, china and a three-piece suite.

Married for 60 years, Catharine and Peter met at the age of 17 at Darlaston car parts manufacturer Rubery Owen, and between them served a combined total of a century’s service there. Peter was office manager and Catharine head of administration.

Keen motoring enthusiasts, Peter was treasurer and Catharine secretary of the Rubery Owen Motoring Club, and the couple acted as marshals at the annual Goodwood Festival of Speed for 40 years and also at the Lombard RAC Rally in the 1970s when it passed through Walsall.

The couple both died at the age of 87, Catharine on Ward 9 at the Manor Hospital in 2018 and Peter at Goscote Hospice eight years ago after being cared for on Ward 16.

“They did a lot for charity but did it quietly; I was very fond of them and saw them as role models,” said Iain, of Park Hall, Walsall. “They were a lovely couple, dedicated to each other. They also received extremely good care both from the Manor and Goscote Hospice so I saw this as a way of giving back.

“They were such generous, caring people and the staff are so dedicated that I think they would have approved of this gesture. Family and friends were very important to Peter and Cath. As godparents to children of friends, birthdays were never missed to either their godchildren or family and friends.

“Catharine was a very caring Christian lady who worshipped at St. Michael’s Parish Church at Rushall and St. Stephen’s Church in Willenhall – where they married in 1955 – and she would have loved others to benefit. Hopefully patients at the Palliative Care Centre can benefit from this – and I hope more people can donate to the Centre too.

“They never forgot their working class roots and they donated to various charities over the years, such as Shelter and the Dogs Trust.”

Iain is hoping the money can be used to buy parasols for the patients at Goscote Hospice

Georgie Westley, Fundraising Manager for Well Wishers, said: “Thanks to Iain for this kind and thoughtful gesture and what a fitting tribute to Catharine and Peter. This will provide a boost for our patients and staff at Goscote, and perfect timing as we are currently looking to replace the garden furniture.”

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