I am organising a Gala Concert on Saturday 14th September at
St Peter's Church in Petersfield, Hampshire to raise money for the Rowans Hospice Silver Jubilee Appeal.
We will have an evening of entertainment from exceptional Grade 8 and Diploma Music Students and professionals. The concert starts at 19.30 and will include Brass, Woodwind and Vocal ensembles.
We are also delighted to announce the Premier performance of "Papilio" a new Flute and Piano piece by local composer James Smith.
Do put the date in your diary.
Rowans Hospice came directly in to my life early in May 2018 when my beautiful eldest sister Angela was diagnosed with acute leukaemia. We were down in Weymouth clearing our Mother's house who had died the previous month when she was taken ill. She didn't believe in illness and was never sick, so to see her being whisked away in an ambulance was a massive shock. We didn't find out the root cause of her problem until the evening of the 6th when the blood tests came back.
The outlook was bleak and the way we were told the news, by a rather Gung-ho consultant, was both callous and extremely unsympathetic to Angela as a person and the circumstances she was now facing.
Leukaemia is a cancer which starts in blood-forming tissue, usually the bone marrow. It leads to the body making too many white blood cells which may not be fully formed or mature, so they can't do their job of fighting infection. They may also crowd out your red blood cells and platelets, so they can't work properly either.
No one knows what triggers the changes in the DNA inside normal bone marrow cells causing them to grow out of control and become leukaemia cells.
Angela was a very private person and although it became clear very quickly that she had been struggling silently for months, her diagnosis hit like an oncoming train. She confirmed within the first 24 hours following her diagnosis that she did not want any treatment. So we worked with her and the staff at Dorchester Hospital to identify her options.
Rowans Hospice was her best option and we were so lucky that they had a bed for her. On the 11th May she was transferred from Dorchester Hospital to Rowans. It was a glorious sunny day and she sent me text messages to say how much she had enjoyed the views of the countryside on the journey.
Angela was an amazing, talented and extremely gentle lady. She had a wide and varied career, starting life in the WRNS, running a restaurant with her life partner Nikki, an artist, teacher, pictorial cartographer, glass engraver and designer of stained glass. Kind, caring, and always interested in those who she came in to contact with, her enthusiasm to see others succeed made her such a shining light in everyone's life.
Angela recognised the love, support and care that she received at Rowans in the last two weeks of her life and I too recognise the enormous skill, knowledge, kindness and dedication that the staff and volunteers at Rowans provide 24/7. I personally have benefited greatly from their bereavement counselling and this has spurred me on to raise funds for their Silver Jubilee Appeal by organising the Gala Concert.
Angela loved all sorts of music and drama and attended many concerts, big screen performances, opera and ballet. It seems fitting to honour her memory with this Gala Concert and raise funds for this very worth while organisation who do so much for people in need.
Your donation, whatever you are able to give, will help Rowans Hospice continue to provide an outstanding service of care to patients and their families who are affected by life limiting illnesses, in Portsmouth and South East Hampshire.
Thank you so much for your support.