Family raises over £7k for cause in son's memory

Dorset Echo: SO GRATEFUL: Keith Matthews, third from left, Doreen Matthews, centre, and Jon Matthews, left of Doreen, present a cheque to St Margaret's Hospice, Yeovil, in memory of Simon Matthews SO GRATEFUL: Keith Matthews, third from left, Doreen Matthews, centre, and Jon Matthews, left of Doreen, present a cheque to St Margaret's Hospice, Yeovil, in memory of Simon Matthews

A WEYMOUTH family has raised more than £7,000 for the hospice in which their son passed away.

Simon Matthews died at St Margaret’s Hospice in Yeovil at the age of 38 from a heart condition.

His parents, Keith and Doreen Matthews, of Weymouth, launched a campaign last year to raise funds for a special electric bed and mattress for patients who could fall out of bed and injure themselves.

And after months of fundraising, the couple have raised a total of £7,761 for Simon’s Bed Fund, enabling the hospice to buy the equipment and leave a lasting legacy for Simon.

Simon’s family began the fundraising to show their appreciation of the care Simon received from St Margaret’s.

Doreen and Keith Matthews used to work at Marks & Spencer in Yeovil and Weymouth respectively and the Weymouth branch of the store made Simon’s Bed Fund its charity of the year in 2011.

Doreen said: “Without the support of Marks & Spencer we wouldn’t have raised half of what we raised.

“We also held some quiz nights and our son Jon’s friends did the Three Peaks challenge to raise money, with Jon driving the team for the challenge.

“I’d like to thank all the people in Dorset who sponsored us. People were very generous.”

Suzi O’Callaghan, head of nursing and patient services at St Margaret’s Hospice, said: “What Doreen and Keith did to mark the legacy of their son is remarkably generous. To raise more than £7,000 is no mean feat.

“I can speak for all of us at the hospice when I say that Doreen and Keith have our deepest gratitude for all of their hard work.

“The low bed and mattress will be a great asset on the ward for patients who need to use this equipment.”

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