Dedicated fundraisers from Kings Norton have been celebrating an award win this month, after being named a ‘Cross City Hero’ by West Midlands Railway.
11 members from The Kings Norton Fundraising Group who collectively raise funds for Selly Park-based Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice have been recognised for their outstanding commitment to the local charity following years of dedicated fundraising and volunteering.
Formed six-years-ago, the big-hearted group have raised over £15,000 for the Hospice which provides vital care and support to local people living with life-limiting illness.
To raise the much-needed funds, the group host regular quizzes at Stirchley United Club, tombolas and raffles at Kings Norton’s summer festival, and tea and coffee mornings at local GP surgeries.
Members also give up hundreds of hours of their time to volunteer for the charity, with some providing a listening ear to patients and others providing vital admin and fundraising support.
West Midlands Railway is celebrating 40 years of passenger services on its Cross City Line, which runs between Lichfield, Birmingham and Redditch. To commemorate the anniversary, the rail firm wanted to award deserving community groups near every station along the route, calling them their ‘Cross City Heroes’.
Judges from West Midlands Railway awarded The Kings Norton Fundraising Group due to its commitment to spreading the word of hospice care across the community, as well as continuing to raise funds year-after-year.
The group have received a plaque from the rail firm to honour their win, which now takes pride of place at Kings Norton station.
Eileen McCann, who is one of the founding members of The Kings Norton Fundraising Group, said: “It was a real surprise to be nominated and to win this Cross City Hero award and I know the group are absolutely delighted to be recognised for their dedication to the charity. We hope our plaque will help educate more people about the vital work of hospices, whilst encouraging them to come along to our fun events.
“The group came together six years ago as several of us had experienced the wonderful care and support of Birmingham St Mary’s. We wanted to give something back to the charity whilst bringing together local people from the Kings Norton community.
“I know the group feel incredibly proud to support the Hospice, helping to raise vital funds so that it will always be there for future generations to come. I’m always touched when people come up to me at our events and say lovely things about how Birmingham St Mary’s supported them and their loved ones – it really does bring home the crucial work the Hospice and we do.”
This year the charity is also celebrating its 40th anniversary. When the Hospice first opened in 1979, it could care for 25 people on any given day. Four decades later and the Hospice is supporting over 400 people every day across Birmingham and Sandwell, providing care in people’s homes, in the community, at its Day Hospice facility and at the Hospice’s Inpatient Unit.
Lucy Watkins, head of fundraising at Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice, added: “The Kings Norton Fundraising Group is proof that amazing things can happen when a group of generous and committed individuals come together for a great cause. I am thrilled that they have been named a Cross City Hero and know that they are hugely deserving of the title, so thank you to West Midlands Railway for recognising their dedication.
“It costs £9 million to run the Hospice every year – over 60% of which must come from voluntary donations – so the work of the Kings Norton group really does make a difference to the people we care for, enabling the Hospice to continue to support people when they need it most. Congratulations to the group and I look forward to continue working with them for many years to come.