Better Care

Charity boxing night boosts garden appeal

A Walsall man is set to deliver a ‘thank you’ gesture that really packs a punch when he stages a charity boxing night to raise funds for a garden at the hospital that cared for his mum in the last days of her life.

Roy Vernum has lined up a bill of 24 fighters – from novice through to seasoned amateurs -  who will go toe-to-toe in a 12-bout fight night to raise funds for a £30,000 appeal to transform a neglected garden at West Heath Hospital.

Roy’s mum Diane Vernum was a patient at the hospital’s end-of-life palliative care Sheldon ward for three months before passing away last November.

Sheldon garden makeover
Roy gets set to lend a hand with the digging (second from right) while Bob (far left) inspects the plans for the new garden with the team from the Sheldon Unit and BCHC charity.

Together with friend and colleague Bob Prosser, Roy hopes to raise at least £7,500 from ticket sales alone at the sell-out fundraiser, which takes place on Saturday, 11 May at 
Jack’s Café and Bar in Wolverhampton.

Sheldon matron Julie Webber said: “The whole ethos of the ward is to provide high quality, compassionate care for patients coming to the end of their lives.

“The renovated garden will give patients, their families and their friends a peaceful space in which to come to terms with diagnoses, spend quality time together away from the hospital setting, and enjoy nature together.

“The garden as it stands could do with a significant facelift and so we’re very grateful to Roy and Bob for this fantastic initiative which will raise a lot of money towards our target.”

Roy said his aim has been to express his thanks and make a lasting gesture of support to families who receive care and support at Sheldon in future.

“I was so grateful for the care the Sheldon team provided for my mum that my first thought was to make a donation,” said the 54-year-old aerospace fitter.

“But Bob came up with the idea of a boxing event and it just snowballed from there. Before we knew it, we had a full card of fighters and had more or less sold out!”

“We’re delighted because it would be lovely to know that my mum’s memory was being kept alive by providing a garden that will help make future patients and families’ final times together as comfortable as possible".

 Visit our JustGiving page to make a donation, or contact us to find out more. 

Any money raised over the cost of the garden project will support other projects at Sheldon to help make a difference to patients, carers and staff who support them.