The amazing family gesture behind our Grand Prize Draw

Like so many matters related to our fundraising efforts, our Grand Prize Draw came about because of a very personal connection to the Hospice and the work that is done here.

The fantastic first prize in the draw, a brand-new Suzuki Celerio car, was donated to the Hospice by the McKitrick family, in association with Phoenix Suzuki  in Paisley, in memory of their mother Mary McKitrick who spent her last days at the Hospice last year.

Tom McKitrick, who is the Car Dealership’s Sales Director, played a key part in arranging the fantastic donation, which will enable the Hospice to raffle tickets for the draw, with all proceeds going to the care of patients.

His sister Christina spoke to us to explain the family’s connection.

She said: “St Margaret of Scotland Hospice cared for our mother in the last few days of her life.

“The care and attention given by Professor Welsh and his team, the presence and prayers of Father Frank and the comfort offered to our mother and family gave us strength at such a sad and difficult time.

“We grew up with Mum telling us of the work of Sister Rita and the Sisters in Clydebank. We had been told of their dedication, compassion and care for those in need as death approached.

“We remember our mother’s words and we have been truly fortunate that Mum received such care and comfort.

“Our thanks and gratitude to Sister Rita and her team for caring for Mum and supporting our family when we were in need.”

We would like to invite you join us in thanking the McKitrick family for this truly amazing and touching gesture, and to support their effort by taking part in our Grand Prize Draw, which will be drawn on Friday, 31 March 2017.  If you already have tickets for the Draw, please return these as soon as possible to ensure your entry.

Tickets are just £1 and can be obtained in singles or in books – please contact our fundraising team on 0141 435 7018 or

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Hugh and friends set to cycle all the way to Ireland in support of the Hospice

If you’re going to take on a challenge, you might as well make it a big one.

But even then, Hospice supporter Hugh Friel’s feat of cycling all the way to another country is an effort that really stands out.

Hugh, 54, will be joined by three friends on his bike ride from Clydebank to Kerrykeel in Donegal, Ireland on 1 April 2017.

The engineering firm manager, who lives in Glasgow’s King’s Park, is taking on the 270-mile trek to raise funds in memory of his sister Maureen Eileen Deeney, who passed away in the Hospice last June.

Hugh said: “It’s for a great cause. I can’t thank the Hospice enough for what they did for both Maureen and ourselves.

“Maureen had worked at the Hospice for 10 years as Ward Manager in the Mary Aikenhead Centre.  Maureen was cared for by her Hospice colleagues and friends and received the most overwhelming care. She was treated as if she was a queen, as every single one of their patients are.”

Looking ahead to the trip with pals Paul Stitt, Rui Rossa and Anthony Preston, Hugh admitted he will find the physical challenge of the cycle difficult.

But he will be spurred on by the emotional pull of their destination and the aim of pushing his fundraising total, which already stands at more than £1800, as high as possible.

Hugh added: “I hadn’t cycled in 35 years! We’ve cycled to Dunoon and back in our training.

“When we set off in April, we’re starting early in the morning and hoping to get to the boat in one day – it’s 90 miles.

“We’ll be staying in Belfast on the first night. The hardest bit will be the Glenshane Pass, which cuts through the Sperrin Mountains. We’ll be doing that on the Sunday.

“And by Monday we arrive in Kerrykeel. That’s the place where where my father and Maureen’s husband’s father are from.

“I want to raise as much as I can. The thing I’m looking forward to most is getting finished… and raising as much as we can for the Hospice!”

To donate to Hugh’s appeal, please go to

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Clydebank and District GC committee member Brendan Dillon tells us about two fantastic club fundraisers in aid of the Hospice

Clydebank and District GC

The Hospice runs a packed and popular events calendar throughout the year, providing entertainment for our supporters and raising vital sums to allow us to continue to offer the highest standards of care.

In addition to events organised by the Hospice, we are also very fortunate to benefit from the proceeds of events organised independently by our friends and supporters in the local community and further afield.

One of the top event-based donations we received this year was from Clydebank and District Golf Club.

Through an Am-Am golf day and a speakers’ night, hosted by our Patron Peter Martin, the club raised the wonderful sum of £11,760.

We recently caught up with club committee member Brendan Dillon, who told us a little more about the two events, held on separate days earlier in the year.

Brendan is pictured here with club captain Hugh Gravel and West Dunbartonshire Provost Douglas McAllister, presenting a cheque to our Chief Executive Sister Rita .

Brendan said: “Clydebank and District Golf Club have an affection for the Hospice – we try to do as much as we can.

“Our last three speakers nights have all been in aid of St Margaret of Scotland Hospice. I know Peter Martin well, he hosted the night and runs the whole show.

“Our speakers Bill Copleand and Paul Reid were absolutely excellent.

“There were 36 teams in the Am-Am. It went really well. We ran it in conjunction with the Hospice and Prostate Cancer and split the funds evenly between the two charities.”

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Michael sets new PB in fundraising – and in his race time

Michael Conroy

As the end of the year approaches, it’s a good time to look back and show our appreciation to the people who have gone to great lengths to raise funds for the Hospice, enabling us to continue to offer the highest standards of care to our patients and their loved ones.

One of those supporters is Michael Conroy, from Alexandria. Michael, 41, raised more than £950 through sponsorship for his fantastic efforts in completing the Great Scottish Run.

Michael took six minutes from his PB to finish the Glasgow half-marathon course in a superb time of 1hr 48 mins.

We spoke to Michael, who works as an Occupational Therapy Assistant, when he came to the Hospice to hand over a cheque for the sum of £962.50.

He told us why he chose to run for St Margaret of Scotland Hospice – something he described as a “humbling” experience – and how he motivated himself to train so hard.

Michael said: “My wife’s friend’s mum passed away at the Hospice in June. I heard about the excellent care she’d received.

“I’ve raised money for CHAS in the past but this is the most I’ve ever raised. There were people who don’t know me who donated through JustGiving.

“I’ve made new friends through this and have been supported by my excellent work colleagues.

“The fundraising helped to motivate me for the training and on the race day itself. I was aiming for sub-1.50 so I was delighted with my time. I’m going to do it again next year.

“The best thing about the experience was making the most of the day and appreciating how good it was.

“When you see all of the other people running for charity, it’s humbling. It felt fantastic when I crossed the line – I was over the moon.”

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Charity benefits after garden centre bosses say, ‘Play it again, Sam’

Sam Peoples

A partially-sighted pianist has been entertaining customers at his workplace to raise funds for charity.

Sam Peoples, from Duntocher near Clydebank, is employed part-time by Dobbies Garden Centre in nearby Milngavie, where he has worked for 11 years as a car park attendant and groundsman.

But the self-taught musician, 28, amazed colleagues with his skills when he took to playing the store’s piano on his tea breaks earlier this year.

And when a video of him performing attracted thousands of viewers on social media, managers decided to take him off trolley duty and give him a platform for his talents.

Sam, who is studying computing at Glasgow Caledonian University, was asked to take up residence in the centre’s café.

He is often given tips by his growing number of fans – but kind-hearted Sam insists that they are put in a collection bucket for St Margaret of Scotland Hospice, the store’s Charity of the Year.

He said: “My boss’s pal filmed me playing on her phone and put it on Facebook and more than 30,000 people watched it.

“So they said to me that they wanted me to do it permanently because it brings so many customers into the store.

“I just play for my own enjoyment, I’ve no interest in doing it professionally.

“I’m grateful to the management here for giving me the chance to do this and to McLaren’s Pianos in Glasgow, who donated the piano to Dobbies.

“I’ve raised money for St Margaret of Scotland Hospice before, when I was at school, and being from Clydebank I know about the reputation they have in the community.”

Sam first played the keyboard before he had started school and briefly took lessons at the age of seven.

Although he played in his spare time in the years that followed, Sam only began playing seriously three years ago when he was given a grand piano by a relative.

He is unable to read music because he is blind in one eye and can’t see fully from the other – meaning he relies on his ear to pick up melodies.

Sam’s disability resulted from being born prematurely, weighing just 2lb 2oz. The retina in his right eye detached from the optical nerve when he was given oxygen to aid his breathing.

He added: “I learn much better if I just listen to a tune and practise. I play all sorts of music, from the Eagles and Elton John to Dire Straits and the Stereophonics.

“But I’ve had to learn some of the older classics for the customers in the store – things like Elvis, Sinatra and Patsy Cline.”

St Margaret of Scotland Hospice Chief Executive Sister Rita said: “Sam’s talent and dedication are an inspiration and we are very humbled that he has chosen to raise funds for the Hospice in this way.

“We would like to say thank you to Sam and the management at Dobbies Garden Centre for their continued support.”

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Students’ road trip is a roaring success for the Hospice

A team of five intrepid students and lecturers from West College Scotland in Clydebank have taken on a Top Gear-style challenge across Europe to raise more than £800 for a local charity.

In two revamped cars, the group set off on the trip of a lifetime for the Motoscape Banger Rally, driving through 12 countries in seven days to reach their destination of Prague in the Czech Republic.

The quintet– students Allister Linstead, 26, from Knightswood; Christopher McKenzie, 18 from East Kilbride and David Henry, 29, from Paisley, accompanied by the college Motor Vehicle course’s curriculum and quality leader Alastair Fleming and technician Murray Miller – were rewarded for their dedication through donations to their chosen charity, St Margaret of Scotland Hospice, for whom they raised a superb total of £845.

They joined 29 other teams who took in the spectacular scenery of France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Slovenia and Czech Republic before arriving at their final destination in the Czech capital.

But before setting out, the students, under the watchful eye of their lecturers, had to work hard to get their cars in shape for the race, which took place in September.

But the repair work, like the trip itself, proved to be an amazing learning experience for the students.

Allister Linstead said: “Getting to drive cross country was an opportunity we may never get again so I’m delighted I was selected to be part of the team.

“As a team we got on great, which was just as well given that we had to spend up to nine hours a day in a car with each other.

“There was a great sense of team spirit across all the teams and everyone helped each other when needed.

“We were fortunate not to have any problems with our cars but others weren’t so lucky. Murray came to the rescue of the MG team who needed a whole new set up breaks fitted at the side of the road.

“It really was an awesome trip and given the chance, I’d jump at doing it again.”

David added: “It really was a trip of a lifetime. For me it was all about the scenery and driving meant we got to see parts of countries that you wouldn’t normally get the chance to see.

“The Stelvio Pass in Italy was the most challenging part of the journey. The bends are so sharp that we could see cyclists falling off their bikes but luckily we managed to get through it unscathed.”

One of the vehicles – an out-of-use Renault Megane – was donated by Whitecrook man Michael Smith and required some serious work to make it not only roadworthy, but able to cope with a round trip of more than 4000 miles.

Michael had considered selling or even scrapping the car but decided to speak to the College because he knew of their Motor Vehicle department.

He explained: “I had the car for six years when the exhaust from the backend went. I got it fixed and unbelievably, on the same day as it was fitted, the timing belt went too.

“My wife suggested donating it to the College. I knew they had a Motor Vehicle department so I came down and spoke to Alistair Fleming, who was more than happy to take it off my hands.

“Later he told me about their plans to take it across the country as part of the Banger Rally. I was delighted that they were able to put it to good use.

“My wife and I are delighted to see it doing something worthwhile and it’s great to see the car with a new lease of life. Congratulations to all the students involved.”

Alastair Fleming, who rallied the group together for the trip, added: “It was a tough but an enriching challenge to help raise money for St Margaret of Scotland Hospice.

“The students were selected based on their achievements and qualifications, including having a full, clean driving licence.

“The boys put the skills learned over the past couple of years to good use. They’ve proved they’ve got the ability so we had every faith in them.”

The total raised for St Margaret of Scotland Hospice was raised to £1334, after the students’ Motor Vehicle colleagues organised a car wash event which added £489 to the donations for the Rally.

Hospice Chief Executive Sister Rita said: “The students and lecturers who took part in this activity have gone to amazing lengths to support us and we are truly grateful for that.

“It is wonderful to hear about the learning experiences they have had and how the local community and College have clubbed together to make this possible for them.

“And of course, we are delighted that their efforts in the Rally have raised vital and welcome funds for the worthiest of causes.”

The department were commended for their efforts in a recent lunchtime ceremony at the Clydebank Campus.

The JustGiving page for the WCS rally team is still open if you would like to donate. Please go to

Special thanks to JLC in Dumbarton, German Auto Care, Zero Seven Graphics, Your Radio and Clyde Kitchens for their kind sponsorship.

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Lottery Results – 11/11/2016

The lucky winning numbers for November 11th 2016 (Draw 43)

First Prize (£2000) – 245750-001

Second Prize (£250) – 341763-001

Third Prize (£100) – 104135-001

Fourth Prize (£50) – 929380-001

Ten x £10 prize winners (£10 each)

996375-002 / 600961-001/ 564271-002 / 571854-001 / 250864-001/ 983062-001 /692760-001/ 570221-001 / 739616-002/ 829979-001

Winners do not need to claim their prizes, cheques will be automatically sent to their registered address.

Enquiries can be made by contacting the Lottery Office on 0141-435 7018.


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Sponsored Millport Bike Ride

Millport cycle

The Hospice’s annual Sponsored Millport Bike Ride takes place on Saturday, 11 June 2016.

Now in its sixth year, the Bike Ride – generously sponsored by the Dolphin Bar in Partick – offers Hospice supporters and their families and friends a chance to raise funds while enjoying a fun day out.

Those taking part will leave for Largs by coach from St Margaret of Scotland Hospice in East Barns Street, Clydebank, at 9am, returning between 5pm and 5.30pm.

Bicycles will be collected on arrival in Millport. Bike and helmet hire is included for everyone reaching the minimum sponsorship level, with participants asked to raise at least £50 to take part.

Certificates will be awarded to everyone who completes the 10-mile circular route around the island of Cumbrae.

Last year, around 30 supporters took part and were back in Millport by 3pm before heading back across the Firth of Clyde for home.

Please contact the Hospice fundraising department for registration
and sponsorship forms on 0141 435 7018 or email

Sister Rita, Hospice Chief Executive, said: “The Sponsored Bike Ride is our first outdoor event of the summer, with new events Choir in the Park and the Hospice Open Golf Competition following in the coming weeks.

“Even in poor weather last year, everyone who took part in the Bike Ride had great fun.

“A trip to the seaside is enjoyable for people of all ages and this day out in Millport offers a wonderful opportunity to bring children along to one of our events, while raising funds for the Hospice at the same time.

“We are grateful to the Dolphin Bar and to our supporters for their continued backing of this event and we hope to see you there on the day.”

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Q&A with Michael Reilly of the Singer Swingers for Ladies’ Lunch 2016


St Margaret of Scotland Hospice Ladies’ Lunch

When: Sunday, 22 May 2016 at 12.30pm

Where: Radisson Blu Hotel, Glasgow

Tickets: or 0141 435 7018


The Ladies’ Lunch is the next big event on St Margaret of Scotland Hospice’s packed events calendar.

There’s a top day of entertainment in store including a champagne reception, pop-up shops, a delicious three-course meal, a fantastic fashion show hosted by ITV’s Mark Heyes and superb musical entertainment from The Ragtime Dolls – whose harmony act will be the perfect accompaniment to the event’s Vintage theme.

But last and absolutely not least, there’s also a much-anticipated show from local band The Singer Swingers, who are becoming regular performers at the Hospice’s major events.

Their renditions of crooning classics by Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and many more from the swing era – coupled with their high-energy presence on stage and among the crowd – have made them a favourite of our guests and supporters.

We took some time this week to speak to Michael Reilly from the band. The trio are made up of Michael, 25, a financial services worker from Parkhall, Kevin Scullion, 29, from Linnvale, who works for Scottish Enterprise, and Mark Long, 31, from Hardgate, who runs a theatre school.

How did the Singer Swingers come about?

Michael: We met when we were all at Clydebank Musical Society and we got together four-and-a-half years ago almost by accident. Kevin and Mark had been in rock and indie bands. Kevin’s Dad’s partner was arranging a 50th birthday party for her sister, who loves swing music. Kevin’s Dad suggested we performed at it and we had all tried some swing music at karaoke so we already knew six or seven songs we could do. My Dad came up with name, which ties in with Clydebank’s Singer factory, and it all snowballed from there.

Do you have any personal connection to the Hospice?

M: Being from Clydebank you are always aware of the work Hospice does. I don’t have any personal connection but there are probably connections in my extended family because the Hospice has reached out to so many people in the area.

What is the best thing about performing at Hospice events?

M: We always get a great reception and the events are very well organised. The people connect with us and the American accents we put on help with the show. We are three guys from Clydebank, best pals, and people buy into that. They are there to support a local Charity and they connect with us – they are a really good crowd and enjoy what we are doing. At the Ladies’ Lunch they have a really good day out!

Do you have any surprises in store for guests this time around?

M: Last time (at the Annual Ball 2015) we did a surprise waiter routine and started singing from among the audience so we can’t do that this time – we would get recognised. But we will make sure we get everyone on their feet – they’ll have had Prosecco and there will be a party atmosphere and we’ll make sure everyone is enjoying themselves!

St Margaret of Scotland Ladies’ Lunch takes place at 12.30pm on Sunday, 22 May 2016 at The Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow.

Tickets are available at

For tickets or further information, you can also call the Hospice Fundraising Department on 0141 435 7018.

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