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Hero hospice fundraiser

343. Harvey McSloy

When Harvey was just 19 he lost his mother to an aggressive cancer. Inspired by his mother’s own tenacity and compassion throughout her illness he set up the charity ‘Trust Maria’ that raises money to support local hospices.

In 2010, Harvey’s mother Maria was rushed to hospital with severe abdominal pains. They discovered a large tumour which doctors and surgeons spent years trying to treat but unfortunately, after a long battle, she passed away aged just 49. Despite her illness, Maria continued to be a huge part of family life, even managing to travel to Cyprus to attend her daughter’s wedding.

Harvey was so touched by the incredible care that St Elizabeth Hospice in Ipswich provided his mother, he wanted to give something back. In the past two years the charity has raised around £47,000 to provide equipment and facilities for local hospices.

The money the charity raises is used to buy equipment to improve both the care and experience of hospice patients. Funds have provided items such as specialist beds and medical supplies, as well as recreational pieces such as musical instruments or garden furniture. These pieces support patient care and help others enjoy their lives to the fullest extent.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

“Harvey has shown great strength in taking the devastating experience of losing his mother Maria, and deciding to try and give something back to those who supported her through her illness.  The money he has raised has funded equipment that will make a huge difference to others in their darkest hours and he is thoroughly deserving of this Points of Light award.”

Harvey said:

“It’s absolutely brilliant to win this award as recognition for all our hard work. For me, it’s an added bonus because I really enjoy the fundraising and events. We are a small, independent charity and we do things a bit differently to most. Because we do all the buying and administration we can do more with the money we raise – every penny is spent on equipment for the hospices. At first we thought about just fundraising for St Elizabeth Hospice but realised there are so many hospices that do so much work that we wanted to give back a bit of the love and support they so frequently give. From there, ‘Trust Maria’ was created.”

Jo Churchill, MP for Bury St Edmunds said:

“I am truly thrilled that Harvey’s hard work and fundraising has been rewarded in this way. The hospice movement is truly fantastic and I’m sure we will see Harvey’s name against other great achievements in this area in the future.”

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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