After Matthew Webb died in August, 2016 at the Rowans Hospice, his wife Louise and daughter Megan have raised more than £30,000 for the hospice.
‘We have always raised money for charity, it is kind of in our blood,’ says Megan Webb. Her mum, Louise, adds: ‘Yes, we have always fundraised for several charities. Megan has two brothers, Richard and David. David has mild cerebral palsy and used to go to Kids in Fareham, so my husband Matthew always did a lot of fundraising for SCOPE and various other charities.
‘However, Megan and I have always been involved in fundraising for Rowans, even before Matthew passed away in the hospice.’
She continues: ‘You never know when you might need the hospice, if at all.
‘However when Matt passed away in the Rowans, we experienced their care first-hand. So Rowans means so much more to us.’
Matthew, who was a biochemist in the Royal Navy for 33 years, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and his illness was rapid. Louise, an ex-navy nurse, says: ‘As we both were medical, we knew exactly what was going on when he was ill.
‘He was only ill for six weeks and spent the last five days of his life in the hospice.
‘Due to distance, I slept there for four of the nights.
‘On entering his room, Matthew sat in the chair and sighed. It was like a whole weight had been lifted off his shoulders.
‘He just turned to me and said “it is really comfortable here”. His room overlooked the garden, which Matthew, as a big gardener, really appreciated.’
Louise adds: ‘We all felt looked after, as the staff and volunteers did anything they could for you, always going above and beyond.
‘I was a nurse for 18 years and I recognised they are a very special kind of nurse at the Rowans.
‘They have such a lovely way about them and with how they deal with patients and the families. The service and care is just first class.
‘I think people underestimate the kind of work that they do there and what services they provide.
‘The common perception is you just go to a hospice to die but it’s not true.
‘You get support for the whole family as well as the patient. They offer support from the moment your loved one is diagnosed and into bereavement.
‘So it feels really rewarding to know that we are helping to fund this special care for others through our fundraising.’
Catalogue of fundraising ideas
This wonderful mum and daughter are not short of fundraising ideas. Their annual garden sale in June is a popular local event, which this year alone raised a total of £1,300.
Another key annual highlight is their themed charity night, which is held at Bay House School, Gosport.
Louise says: ‘The first year was a bit of a combined effort, but the last two years Megan has organised this single-handedly.
‘She is fantastic. Matt and I were organised but Megan, she is Miss Organised!’
This year the theme was a 1920s Gatsby Night, which was another hit, raising a grand total of £3,500.
Megan and Louise can also be spotted heading off in the early hours of Sunday morning with a car packed full of donations, which they sell at car boot sales across the area.
‘We travel to Bedhampton, Bordon, Hedge End and even Romsey,’ says Louise, adding: ‘We love it. We are like a double act.’
To which Megan replies: ‘We really enjoy it, it’s nice to do different things and it’s rewarding knowing we are raising money for the Rowans, a great local charity.’
Bursting with energy, enthusiasm and passion, Megan and Louise are a joy to be around.
They really are an amazing fundraising double act.
Rowans Hospice totally appreciates how lucky it is to be supported by Megan and Louise Webb, plus every single fundraiser, as every year 86.5% of Rowans funding comes from our community. Therefore as a local charity, Rowans appreciates what a big ask it is to raise the additional
£7.5millon needed, on top of our day-to-day running costs, to refurbish the hospice. So thank you to Megan and Louise Webb and everyone in our community for your amazing support.