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Family's £5k fundraiser in memory of 'Sambo'

The parents of a 31-year-old father of two have raised £5,000 to thank East Lancashire Hospice who cared for him.

Samuel Taylor, or ‘Sambo’ as he was known to friends and family lost his battle with bowel cancer in July last year and passed away at East Lancashire Hospice.

Mum Sharon, 52 and Dad, also called Samuel, aged 52 from Blackburn said they wanted to raise funds for the hospice so that others could be helped like Samuel was. They held a fundraising evening at Longshaw Club and contacted local businesses to ask for donations of raffle and auction prizes. They were overwhelmed with the support and the ticketed event was a complete sell out.

Sharon said: “It’s become the culture in our family that when someone dies, we raise funds in their memory. We wanted to put something back into the hospice. People before us have donated and that helped Samuel, so we wanted to help other families in the future.

“We were all a bit apprehensive when the hospice was first mentioned. Samuel said at first that he didn’t want to go there. He was always very stubborn and usually got his own way, but had a great sense of humour too. From when we first walked through the doors, it wasn’t like we expected. It was very homely and less clinical than we thought. You don’t see things like medical equipment about the place, although they always had everything Samuel needed. Everyone was so friendly too. The doctors and nurses were more like friends and even the cleaners came into Sam’s room for a chat. Volunteers were always popping in too. The food came in big portion sizes and Sam really enjoyed it. While he was in he focussed on getting well enough to go home to his boys and he spent a few months in and out of the hospice so he could do that. It was like a second home for Samuel and when he was given the choice of going home or to the hospice, he chose the hospice because he felt comfortable there.”

Dad Samuel added: “Things like being able to turn the tv on and watch it without having to pay for it as it can get expensive in places like hospitals. Sambo was in during the World Cup and the staff decorated the lounge with flags and banners and threw a party so that patients could all watch the England game together. Sambo’s friend went down to watch the match with him and the staff even got some non-alcoholic beer in for Sam as he couldn’t drink on the medication he was taking.”

Hospice fundraiser Denise Gee said: “Samuel’s family have worked hard to make their fundraising event a huge success. The fantastic total they have raised will help families in the future who need hospice care and we’re very grateful to them for all they’ve done.”

Anyone who would like to know more about organising a fundraising event for East Lancashire Hospice can call 01254 733411.