The box scheme, which is supported by almost 10,000 households and businesses, has been in place for almost as long as the charity has provided dedicated end-of-life care to the people of Swindon and beyond. Its success is largely dependent on the involvement of box collectors who, in spring and autumn, call at the homes of friends and neighbours to collect the money they have accumulated in their boxes.
“It’s a very simple scheme, but one that has been of enormous value to Prospect Hospice over the years,” says Gifty Tawiah, Prospect’s boxes fundraiser. “The great thing is that it means people can contribute towards the work of their local hospice over time, just by putting their loose change in their own box. With many people across the community doing this, it makes a huge difference to the care we are able to deliver locally. Last year, boxes in homes and local businesses contributed over £90,000 towards the care of patients and their families in our community.”
Integral to the success of the scheme are people who bring in the boxes each spring and autumn. To ensure its continuing success, Gifty is looking for more of these box collectors to support the scheme in new neighbourhoods and to cover rounds no longer supported by a collector. Since joining the fundraising team at Prospect Hospice earlier this year, Gifty has had some success in recruiting new box collectors, among them Mandy Hooper of Old
Town: “It doesn’t take too much commitment to collect the boxes on my round twice a year,” she says, “and it has been nice to meet new people in my neighbourhood through it.”
John Goddard of Chiseldon took over a collection round after the retirement of a long-standing collector in the village: “I went to a presentation Gifty made at the Hospice and I felt it was something I would be able to do, and it’s good to be part of a scheme. Whether it’s just small change or some of the larger amounts people have given, it’s good to know that it really does make a difference. “
Christina Webb of Stratton took over her auntie’s round when she moved to another town: “I always had a Prospect box, and I didn’t mind taking over,” she says. “It’s supports a charity that I think does really good work and, for me, if feels good to be doing something that’s not too demanding on my time, but does good in our local community.”
If you are interested in becoming a box collector for Prospect Hospice, email Gifty at email@example.com or call her on 01793 816161.