From the kitchen to the charity shops, 75-year-old Mabel has volunteered and worked for Derian House since the hospice’s second year of opening.
Mabel, of Croston, said: “I first became a part of Derian House one year after it opened. I started volunteering alongside Trish the cook. I worked every other Sunday in the kitchen and helped to cook the brunches for families. Trish and me have been friends ever since.
“In 2011 I stopped volunteering. I had decided to retire after 18 years of being a carer at Lancashire County Council. My husband Terry passed away aged 65 – he had cancer. You wouldn’t think it was 12 years ago. Derian was so good to me during that time.
“When I eventually came back to Derian I chose to go up into fundraising but while I was there, it was suggested that I take on a paid role in the charity shops.
“And here I stayed.” Said Mabel, “I’ve been in the Chorley shop now for three and a half years.
“But that’s not the only connection I have with Derian House,” she continued, “In fact, I helped to carve the stone at the front of Derian House. I did it with a couple of other people from Croston – our village. In around 2000, a few of us were taught how to carve stone.
“This year, for the 30th anniversary, I’m going to fundraise for Derian House at the Croston Coffee Day. It’s a tradition that we have in the village – we have two horse and cart floats that are paraded up the village.
“Children from the village sit in the cart and they are followed by scouts and brownies – there are always lots of people there.” Said Mabel, “We have the band made up of ex-scouts. They can’t play drums,” laughed Mabel, “But they’re very popular.
“One of the highlights I have from Derian is when Together for Short Lives visited the hospice with an eye-catching purple Rolls Royce. We went to Blackpool in it and I was so pleased to go in this beautiful car. I’ll never forget it.
“Another thing I’ll never forget is dragon boat racing on Preston docks for Derian – we did that for quite a few years. I’ve done stars and cars. I went one year and met Sean Wallace – I was dressed as a minion.” Laughed Mabel. “And Morecambe Bay Walk – I did that with my husband.
“I have sang at Blackburn Cathedral for one of Derian’s services. I’ve sold Easter eggs at Morrison’s. Even during lockdown, my mum and I decoupaged tins – we sold them and raised £100. I’ve done a lot!
“Derian House has changed, and the building has changed, but the spirit of the place keeps on going. I have really enjoyed being a part of the charity for all of these years. I feel I have had so much out of it. I’ve had a good life and managed to do lots with my husband, but Derian House has always been a crucial part of my life – and continues to be.”