When Alison and Anthony Richards of Clayton-le-Woods decided to buy a book of raffle tickets to support their local children’s hospice, they didn’t think anything of it.
But this afternoon (Friday 12 May), the retired couple were flabbergasted when they discovered they were the winners of a whopping £10,000 in Derian House’s new summer raffle.
£2,000 was awarded to the second prize winner, £500 to the third prize winner, and 20 runners-up won prizes of £25 in the raffle that ran from February to May.
With entries flying in from as far as Devon and Scotland, the raffle launched by the Chorley children’s hospice sold almost 20,000 tickets – raising a phenomenal £26,000 for the charity’s children and young adults.
And it wasn’t just ticket sales that boosted the total – the charity was inundated with donations from kind-hearted supporters that amounted to £6,500.
Winners of the top £10,000 prize are Alison Richards and her husband Anthony Richards who celebrated with a glass of champagne.
Alison, a retired teacher, said: “We’re both still in shock. We were just on our way out in the car when we got the call – nothing like this has ever happened to us before. We always support Derian House, it is local to us and we know a family that visits the hospice, which brings it closer to home. So when we bought tickets we didn’t think anything of it, we just wanted to support the hospice.”
When asked what they would spend their prize on, Alison said: “I think we would like to get the family together for a holiday. We have two sons and five grandchildren, so it would be incredible to be able to bring everyone together. I still can’t believe it. It’s really not something that ever happens to us.”
The Derian House summer raffle closed for entries on midnight on 2 May 2023.
Sarah Proctor, Community Fundraiser at Derian House, said: “We are absolutely over-the-moon for Mr and Mrs Richards! It was incredible to hear how happy they are, and the fact that they plan to spend precious holiday time with their family is so heartwarming.
“This was our first ever raffle on this scale and the amount of money raised will make a real difference to seriously ill children and young people from across the North West. It will cost £6 million to run Derian House this year and we rely heavily on the generosity of our supporters as we only receive a small amount of this in NHS funding.”
Tess Sullivan, 16, of Rossendale, and her family have been using services at Derian House Children’s Hospice for 11 years.
Tess was diagnosed with rare Alexander disease when she was three years old and visits the hospice regularly for respite, as well as music therapy, family cinema time, and relaxing sessions in the pool.
Her mum Helen, dad Steve, and her 14-year-old brother, Max, are also supported by Derian House.
Tess’s mum, Helen, who works as a Head Teacher at a primary school in Rossendale, said: “The idea people have of hospices is not the reality. Derian House is a joyous and positive place. Everyone knows how special the charity is to us as a family.
“Tess can experience some discomfort due to the curve in her spine, which is why it’s great to see her relax in the hydrotherapy pool. She loves using the pool. She loves music therapy. She loves having massage treatments too!
“Derian House is a haven. It’s a genuinely happy place and we are so grateful that it is there for our family.”
For full terms and conditions of the raffle visit: https://www.derianraffle.co.uk/terms-conditions/