‘They cared for my mum – now we’re raising £2.5k for the Rowans Hospice’

Emma Shepherd, manager of Creations Hair Salon
Emma Shepherd, manager of Creations Hair Salon
Promoted by Rowans Hospice

Creations has always believed in supporting local causes and charities - we are in the heart of the community, so it‘s important to give back to that community.

Alongside our regular charity work, seven years ago we started hosting the Hearts and Diamond Ball as the main fundraising event for the salon’s chosen charity.

It’s always a fantastic evening at Rowlands Castle Golf Club, including a lavish three-course dinner and entertainment. In addition to ticket sales we raise money through our raffle of amazing prizes, which just get better every year.

Why the Rowans Hospice?

The ball is an event that Lorraine Ware, who was cared for at the Rowans, and her husband Keith always attended. Hosting a table of guests, they were always incredibly generous in their donations. So last year we chose to hold the evening in memory of Lorraine.

It was our most successful evening yet, raising £8,000 which went to the Rowans because of the strong connection Keith feels towards the hospice.

We hope to raise £5,000 at this years’ ball on February 23. It’s themed ‘Hollywood glamour’ and all the money will go towards the Rowans Silver Jubilee Appeal.

My close connection

I have a very close connection to the Rowans as my mum died there 10 years ago. She was really young, only 47, and had breast cancer. She stayed in the Rowans for a long time.

Most people either go into the Rowans, get better and go home or they will die after a short period. Mum was neither well enough to go home or ready for the alternative.

In the end she spent around 10 weeks in the hospice. The staff, care and support for all of the family was fantastic. There are so many things I can remember which made mum and all of us feel comfortable and at ease.

At the time my brother and sister were still very young, just 10 and 13 years old. So they were supported through the counselling given by Sophie in the Rowans’ Meerkat team.

For us adults, the nurses and doctors were great. There is a fine line between being brutally honest and telling you the situation. They got it right, so we were able to deal with what was happening.

‘Small things had a big impact’

As a big lover of animals, mum loved her regular visit from a greyhound, a PAT dog. She would be able to stroke him and it helped her relax.

She was still a young woman, so she appreciated getting her hair done and enjoyed the relaxation and massage treatments given by volunteers. I also remember how wonderful the gardens were and how much she enjoyed going outside and walking around the grounds, taking in the fresh air and seeing all the plants.

These small things had a big impact on her emotionally, making her feel better in herself.

Keeping company

Whilst she was in the hospice, my mum didn’t want to be left on her own, so her husband, auntie and I took it in turns to make sure someone was always with her. The staff would make up a camp bed for us, or we would sleep on the sofa, chair in the room, or stay overnight in the family room.

I was working up in Blackpool at the time, so would travel down each weekend. I came down to stay for Christmas, so the nurses made up a bed for me and I stayed the night with mum on Christmas Eve.

All of the staff at the Rowans helped to make that Christmas so special. They made sure we had presents to open and helped us to celebrate the day together as a family. That evening my mum died.

Quality of care

I know that whatever money we raise for the Rowans will be spent well,  as I know how good the quality of care is. Therefore Creations is really happy to take on the Corporate Challenge for the Silver Jubilee Appeal.

It is important for us a community business to make sure that we give back to our community. We are really looking forward to this year’s ball and I would welcome anyone to get in touch with me to buy tickets for an incredible fun night, raising money for a really worthy charity.