“Like friends of the family” – grateful family supports NHS charity

A grateful family were so overwhelmed with the support from one of Gateshead’s community teams that they went out of their way to make a charity donation to say ‘thank you’ – and presented it to staff this week.

The Hospice at Home service, which helps terminally ill people in Gateshead to spend their last days at home with loved ones, was gifted a £5000 donation from the family of Margaret Rankin, through QE Charitable Funds, the charity arm of the Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust.

Margaret was a patient of Hospice at Home, and spent her final weeks at home in Dunston, Gateshead. Her family found the staff to be so supportive that, after Margaret had sadly passed away, her husband Frank and son Martin organised an application to the Benevolence Fund of the Durham Freemasons, which they’re both a part of.

Martin Rankin, son of Margaret, explains: “I am member of the General Purposes Committee at Durham Freemasons. One of the members from our Lodge kindly applied to Durham Freemasons for a grant for Hospice at Home to assist them all in the wonderful work that they carry out.”

Frank Rankin is Margaret’s husband, and also has links to the Freemasons. He adds: “The staff were an absolutely tremendous help, nothing was a problem to them and they were all great. Even when we had bad weather, they would travel in frost and snow to us. They never failed to show up, they were absolutely brilliant. Because all the people were so nice they became like friends of the family. One of the team even brought her a stocking on Christmas Day. I couldn’t fault them at all.”

Tracey Cowper, clinical operational manager at Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I’d like to personally thank Frank and his son Martin for their extraordinarily kind donation to our NHS charity. It’s always heartening to hear about how the hard work and dedication of our staff has a profound effect on local families – and we are honoured that the Rankin family chose to support us in this way.”

Find out more about our charity QE Charitable Funds