Category: Articles

Stephen’s 66-mile cycle to raise funds in memory of fiancée’s dad

Stephen Ramage is taking on the daunting Etape Inverness Cycle race at the end of April in memory of his fiancée Sarah’s dad, Graham Campbell.

The 66-mile challenge starts in the Capital of the Highlands and takes riders on a breathtaking and very demanding trip around the whole of Loch Ness.

Stephen told us: “The Hospice cared for Graham and I was amazed at the facilities and care he received. So I wanted to honour this by raising funds for Hospice.”

If you would like to donate to Stephen’s appeal, please go to his JustGiving page at:

The page tells the story of his preparations for the event, which started last year and have involved months of training.

It reads: “This will be a big achievement for me. In the space of six months I will need to train consistently and eat correctly, so what better way to keep me motivated than raising money for St Margaret of Scotland Hospice?

“The initial reason for getting on the bike again was weight loss. As I will be marrying my fiancée next year (Sarah). And we all want to look our best for the big day.

“However, there is a big part of her life not going to be present on the day. Her Dad, Graham Campbell. Graham was treated amazingly by St Margaret of Scotland Hospice for the last few weeks of his life.

“The staff and Hospice in general improved his quality of life and spirits. The great work the Hospice do requires funds and hopefully monies we raise can go some way to the running costs of this incredible place.”

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Take part in the Kiltwalk and raise 140% of your sponsorship total for St Margaret of Scotland Hospice

St Margaret of Scotland Hospice is now an official charity partner of the Kiltwalk.

Are you thinking of participating in one of Scotland’s four Kiltwalks this year, perhaps with your family, friends or colleagues?

The Glasgow event takes place on Sunday 29 April and there are further walks in Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh later in the year.

For the first time in 2018, the funds you raise will be topped up by an ADDITIONAL 40% from the Hunter Foundation, who operate and underwrite the Kiltwalk.

For more information about taking part in the Kiltwalk to raise funds for the Hospice, please get in touch here, email or phone 0141 435 7018.

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People’s Tenor John Innes on performing at the St Margaret of Scotland Hospice Reach Out I’ll Be There Motown Ball

John Innes has a singing voice so strong it can fill a stadium – or a busy city street, depending on where the mood takes him.

On Saturday evening, the man known as the People’s Tenor showed he is as capable of captivating an audience at a black-tie dinner as he is of enthralling sports fans or shoppers.

John, originally from Edinburgh, was performing at the Reach Out I’ll Be There Annual Ball as part of an entertainment line-up which included the band Motown Gold and the host for the evening, Hospice Patron Peter Martin.

For many of the guests, John’s rousing rendition of Nessun Dorma was the most memorable moment of another highly successful event on the Hospice fundraising calendar.

The singer, who now lives in the Midlands, has played some of the UK’s biggest venues, but his association with the Hospice came about when he returned to the low-key format that made him famous – busking.

Speaking to us after has stunning performance at the Radisson Blu Hotel, John explained: “I was in Glasgow visiting family. I busk when I’m here – it’s good for the soul.

“I was singing in Argyle Street and I was approached by a member of staff from the Hospice who bought my CD and asked if I would be able to sing at the Ball.

“It has been a great evening. The sound is great in the hotel ballroom and the audience are very appreciative. It’s a nice venue. The Hospice have been very welcoming.”

The dramatic and uplifting quality of John’s sound has helped him carve out a niche as a singer at sporting events and for more than a decade, he has been a regular performer at the home of Leeds Rhinos rugby league team – whose fans have affectionately nicknamed him ‘Operaman’.

But it took him a lot of time – and effort – to gain a profile high enough to share a stage with some of the biggest names in the business.

He added: “I sang at Glasgow Concert Hall 10 years ago after a friend dared me to try to fill it. I stood on the steps of the Concert Hall over a period of three or four months promoting myself and managed to sell out 2000 seats, raising £10,000 for charity.

“I’m most often asked to sing Nessun Dorma and Andrea Bocelli songs. It’s usually sports events that I sing at so anthems or anything inspirational goes hand in hand with that.

“I’ve sung with Rod Stewart here in Glasgow and also with Katherine Jenkins at the Millennium Stadium in Wales. At that sort of event, it’s fantastic being at the centre of all that is happening.”

The Ball was attended by hundreds of Hospice supporters who helped raise vital funds through an auction, which featured high-quality prizes including jewellery and a cruise from P&O Ferries, as well as a raffle, silent auction and tombola.

Sister Rita, Chief Executive of St Margaret of Scotland Hospice said: “We are delighted to have held another very successful Annual Ball.

“Our entertainment on the night was first-class and we thank John Innes for his performance, which had our guests enthralled from start to finish.

“The event was very well-supported by the community and local businesses, many of whom generously donated items to assist with our fundraising on the night.

“All of our events are vital in ensuring that we can continue to provide our patients and their loved ones with the highest standards of care.”

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George Hally goes the extra mile and more for his community

St Margaret of Scotland Hospice is privileged to benefit from the support of a great number of people with a personal connection to the Hospice, often through a family member or friend who has been cared for here.

The Hospice is equally fortunate to be able to call on the backing of people in the local community who go out of their way to help through volunteering or fundraising.

George Hally would probably come into the second category. But he also has something of a personal association. Working in a shop just half a mile from the Hospice, George often speaks to customers who are on their way to see, or have just visited, someone who is being looked after here.

After hearing so much about the standard of care provided at the Hospice, George, from Drumchapel, was determined to give something back.

The 35-year-old, who works in the Keystore on Yoker Mill Road, decided to take on his first-ever marathon, in Stirling last month, and thanks to the backing of family, friends, customers and colleagues, raised as incredible £1522 for the Hospice.

Completing the gruelling training and the 26.2-mile race itself culminated in an emotionally-charged run to the finish line for George on May 21. The race was on the same day as his late brother Kevin’s birthday.

Here, George tells us all about his experience and why he chose to raise funds for the Hospice.

How physically tough was it to run a marathon?

It was my first full marathon. I’d run a couple of 10ks. Towards the end of the marathon, once I hit the wall, it was really tough (at about 18-20 miles). And the blisters I got too… I ran up to 22 miles in training and didn’t get any.

How would you describe the day itself?

The course was really good but just a wee bit hilly! My family, friends and children were there at the end and it was really emotional.

What made you decide to do it?

I’ve worked at the Keystore for 14 years and I wanted to give something back to the local community. A lot of my customers have passed away in the Hospice.

How did you raise the funds?

I was hoping to raise £500. I used a JustGiving page and had sponsor sheets in the shop – people were coming in and making donations even after the race.

Do you think you would do something like this again?

I talk a lot to the customers in store and they’ve really supported me. I’ve been taken aback by everyone’s kindness. I’ll definitely do more fundraising after this – I think I’ll try to do a marathon every year. I started training on the first of January and I’ve been eating healthy – I lost a stone and a half. I’m going to keep the training going.

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Banks support Hospice Here We Grow Again Garden Project

Garden project title

Patients, visitors and staff at St Margaret of Scotland Hospice will have noticed some industrious people in the gardens in recent weeks.

The Here We Grow Again Garden Project, arranged between the Hospice and three major financial services institutions, is a new volunteering initiative which benefits all parties involved.

Barclays, Morgan Stanley and National Australia Bank sent teams of volunteers to renew the spring/summer plants and replant winter plants on the grounds over four dates earlier this month.

Among other tasks, the 36 people who took part, also helped the maintenance and gardening team with building trellises and planting bulbs.

Hospice Chief Executive Sister Rita said: “We would like to thank the companies and their staff for helping us in this new project.

“The gardens are looking beautiful and we greatly appreciate the wonderful effort made by them to maintain the gardens throughout the year for the benefit of patients and families.

“We also hope the experience of volunteering for such an important local charity has been a useful one for all of the participants.”

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Host Peter Martin excited by top talent on show at Hospice ball

Peter Martin

Any Hospice event is a highlight in the calendar for Peter Martin, who will host tonight’s Sapphire Ball.

But he’s especially anticipating this occasion for a two main reasons – the top-class Scottish acts who will headline the evening on stage, Michelle McManus and Darius Campbell.

Peter explained: “The thing I’m most looking forward to seeing so much genuine Scottish talent on stage.

“Michelle and Darius are undoubtedly at the top of their game and when you hear them performing live, you realise just how good they are.”

Aside from the performances, Peter has his own personal reasons to look forward to the night.

He said: “I’m very proud to be associated with the Hospice. And I’m also proud that Sister Rita and the Hospice chairman Professor Leo Martin have asked me back to host the event.”

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Michelle McManus “proud” to sing at St Margaret of Scotland Hospice annual ball


Singer Michelle McManus is taking time out of her hectic schedule to headline the Sapphire Ball tomorrow night alongside Darius and the Singer Swingers.

She spoke to us today and told us she can’t wait until the big event.

Michelle said: “I always enjoy performing in my hometown so I’m really looking forward to getting on stage.

“Saturday will be a particularly special evening because the annual ball is such an important event for the Hospice and its supporters.”

The former Pop Idol winner also revealed her own backing for St Margaret of Scotland Hospice and said being invited to perform at the ball was a source of great pride for her.

She said: “The Hospice carries out vital work and has a well-earned reputation for the care and compassion given to patients. It’s an honour to be asked to sing at the Sapphire Ball and I’m proud to support St Margaret of Scotland Hospice.”

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Darius joins list of headliners for Hospice Sapphire Ball

Darius_Campbell        MichelleMcManus2010

With just a few weeks left until St Margaret of Scotland Hospice’s sparkling Annual Ball, organisers are delighted to confirm that singing star Darius will join Michelle McManus in headlining the evening.

Taking place on Saturday, October 24, 2015 in the Glasgow’s Radisson Blu Hotel, the event – traditionally one of our biggest fundraisers of the year – has been named the Sapphire Ball to commemorate the Hospice’s 65th Anniversary celebrations.

TV and radio presenter Peter Martin will host the night, which begins with a champagne reception – offering guests the chance to mingle and take part in a “tombola twist”.

 A fantastic four-course meal then follows before the night really gets going with an array of superb musical talent performing on stage, including former X-Factor star and West End stage icon Darius, Pop Idol winner Michelle McManus and local band the Singer Swingers.

Chief executive Sister Rita said: “This is a very special Annual Ball for the Hospice, as we celebrate our 65th year, and it is a night we are all looking forward to.

“We will be very grateful if you could support the Sapphire Ball by attending the event, sponsoring a donation or providing a prize for the auction, raffle, tombola or silent auction. We look forward to seeing you on the night.”

Individual tickets are £75 and tables are available for 10/12 people. There is an ‘Early Bird Table Discount’ of £650 for a table of 10. Please book by October 12, 2015.

To purchase tickets or for further information, please contact the Hospice fundraising department on 0141 435 7018. Tickets can be bought online at

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Wullie blocks out the pain in fundraising leg wax

Opinion may have been divided about his pain threshold.

But everyone who watched “Wullie gets waxed” was united in agreement that the Hospice’s Acting Head of Fundraising put in a sterling effort on Friday to gather money for the Charity.

And while the experience of having his legs made hairless was “worse than I thought”, there’s no doubt  Wullie was pleasantly surprised by the generosity of his sponsors, who helped him raise over £400.

Wullie said: “It was painful. Extreme pain. The others looked delighted when I was getting it done.”

Not one of the many staff members who filmed and photographed Wullie’s every wince of agony could spot a tear being shed.

While that was commendable, Hospice therapist Catriona, who carried out the treatment using warm wax and a spatula, noted: “His perception of pain is higher than most.” In other words, man up Wullie.

Another observer suggested he might, with his newfound smooth appearance, target an appearance in next year’s Tour de France.

But Wullie admitted: “If this is what it involves, I’m going to cancel my career as an elite cyclist.”

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Concert pays tribute to inspirational David Munro

David Munro was an inspiration to many as a musician, teacher and academic.

Last month, he was remembered in a special tribute concert of Late Summer Music at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

All proceeds raised from the event will be donated to St Margaret of Scotland Hospice, where David spent his final weeks before passing away in June, at the age of 80.

Hospice chairman Professor Leo Martin attended the Glasgow venue to enjoy the tribute and said a few words to thank the musicians, choir and all those who supported the “wonderful” event.

Included in the classical repertoire were Five Mystical Songs, Swing Low, sweet chariot and O When then the saints: Feel the Spirit.

The evening was presented by STV Glasgow’s Colin Stone and featured conductors Gerry Doherty and Des McLean, baritone Philip Gault, mezzo soprano Cheryl Cree, pianist Cameron Murdoch and the Ceciliana Chorus and Orchestras. Des also organised the event.

A spokesman for the Royal Conservatoire said: “David touched the lives of so many people throughout his own life in a myriad of contexts ranging from school to tertiary education, church communities and music enterprises.

“We offered this concert in his memory as a mark of genuine love and thanksgiving and in doing so, will support financially the work of St Margaret of Scotland Hospice.

“Each and every performer at the concert has given their time and talent without a fee so that as much as possible can be donated to the Hospice.

“For that, organisers are deeply indebted. To one and all, a heartfelt thanks for your unwavering commitment.

“Thanks, too, to Colin Stone who guided us through the programme tonight and who, like those performing, waived his fee in lieu of our chosen charity.”

Hospice chief executive Sister Rita added: “We are very grateful to be remembered in such a way by friends and colleagues of David Munro, who had such a positivie impact on their lives.

“We greatly appreciate all the time, energy and enthusiasm of those who performed and contributed to the success of the event.”

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