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Christine – raising money in memory of Michael

Christine Neil is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to selling raffle tickets; over the course of three Hospice Raffles she has sold almost 5,000 tickets on our behalf!

Christine’s beloved husband Michael, had been battling cancer for three years and before Christmas 2019 had been told his prognosis was poor, but he had kept that from his family. He made a huge effort to decorate the house
and put up the Christmas lights to ensure they all had a Christmas to remember. Christine could tell all was not well and recalls that, for a man who loved his food, he could not eat his Christmas dinner.

Having cared for Michael for three years, it had been hard. Christine’s colleagues at EDF Power Station in Hartlepool, who are Patrons of the Hospice, had been a huge support, as had her two girls Samantha and Sarah.

In early 2020, Michael was told that his care would continue at Alice House. He told Christine over the phone that he was making the move to Alice House from North Tees Hospital.

“We both felt a huge sense of ease, we knew it was the right place for him. Now it was time for Michael to receive the specialist care that only a Hospice can provide.”

Christine recalls fondly that music was Michael’s passion and as a DJ they both travelled the country with his work and loved to visit vintage fairs and events dressing in period fashions; the 60’s being Christine’s favourite era. They had great times and she remembers York and Edinburgh with particular fondness.

Michael died on St. Valentine’s Day 2020, just before the COVID-19 pandemic started.

“Fortunately we had the chance to hold a proper funeral, it was a wonderful send off, there were people on scooters, just as he’d have wanted.”

Her daughter, Samantha, had moved in with her to help care for her dad while he was unwell and she stayed with Christine throughout the first lockdown, providing much needed support. Her other daughter, Sarah, had to stay in a bubble with her partner.

Since Michael’s death, Christine has helped to sell tickets for the Hospice’s twice-yearly Cash Raffles, raising almost £5,000 across three raffles. Alongside other fundraising activities, her total to date is an incredible £5,900.

Image: Christine and grandson Kalvin (Samantha’s Son)

“It’s like therapy for me when I’m selling the tickets and planning events, my mind switches entirely on to that and it helps me through the tough times.

I’ve had Bereavement Counselling too from the wonderful Vivien at Alice House, I actually had my last session with her last week.

The support from the Hospice, not just for Michael but for me, has been wonderful”

— Christine Neil,

Christine has planned further fundraising events, and will continue to take comfort from her fundraising.  Thank You Christine! 

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Hartlepool Hospice Ltd (known locally as Alice House Hospice and formerly Hartlepool & District Hospice)
Registered office: Alice House, Wells Avenue, Hartlepool, TS24 9DA.