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John Maxim has supported the Hospice for many years. As a fundraiser and ambassador, John, supported by his wife Denise, has arranged events, completed challenges and highlighted the Hospice’s work and its need for support across his community.
He explains: “I have been involved with the Hospice for nearly 30 years. It came about in a rather roundabout way.
“In Brandon, I was chairman of many groups and knew many different people. When you have a group of people, be sure, as eggs are eggs, that one of those people or a close relative of theirs will need St Nicholas Hospice. When that happened, I’d always say I’d pop into the Hospice to visit them and say hello, and I did.
“Alongside a friend, I founded a car club in Brandon over 30 years ago, and one of my good friends at the club passed away at the Hospice.
“Going back some many, many years ago, I was with St John’s Ambulance, and our superintendent passed away in the Hospice, and that’s what happened over the years.
“I’ve seen the care and support the Hospice has given people, and I’ve wanted to support that.”
To raise funds, John has completed treks in India and Jordan and on his first trek in India, John heard about an idea for an event, a walk around Bury St Edmunds – Girls Night Out – an occasion which grew into a big fundraising event for St Nic’s.
Girls Night Out started for me on a train in India. I was on a trek for the Hospice and met Jenny, who was then the Hospice’s events fundraiser. She told me about the event, and when we returned, she asked me if I’d be interested in supporting the event. I said yes, of course I would, and I volunteered ever since.
For his second trek in Jordan, John’s fundraising also received a royal seal of approval.
He said: “The Jordan trek was good for me. I speak Arabic as I’d lived there with my family for eight and a half years. While I was working there, I met a little girl she was the daughter of a king and I used to coach her in football and basketball.
“When I had decided to do the trek, I wrote to the princess and asked if she would be prepared to sponsor me. We got a reply back and a big cheque. The Hospice’s accountant rang me and said, ‘John, you must have some rich friends. I have got a big cheque here from a princess.
“I enjoyed the treks and fundraising for the Hospice. It was good to know that the money was coming in. I told all my business contacts and suppliers that I needed their support and that if they didn’t, I’d be taking my business somewhere else, and they all supported me.”
In more recent years, John has helped organise two events in aid of the Hospice. The first Beer, Bands and Beat It and currently, John is busy getting ready for the next St Nic’s Does Elvis and Neil Diamond event.
John became involved in Beer, Bands and Beat It after a member of our community fundraising team asked if he could help support the group based in Hockwold who wanted to stage a festival.
I went to meet them, and they were a decent group of people who just needed some help organising things, which is what I did. We held two Beer, Bands and Beat It events, the first of which was very successful, but unfortunately, on the day of the second one, we had the most horrendous weather. There was rain, hail, and wind, and everything seemed to come at once. After that, I said I’d never do an outside event again. It just wasn’t worth the risk.
“Shortly after that, a friend invited me to a night at the Corby (Freemasons) Lodge. I went up there, and the act on was Elvis, someone called Fisher Stevens.
“Now, I’m not a big Elvis fan, but I told my friend he is very good; he replied and said why don’t you have a word with him and see if he’ll do an event for you in Bury? I went out the back and shook his (Fisher’s) hand, and he agreed to come to Bury, and St Nic’s Does Elvis and Neil Diamond began.”
Why does John keep supporting St Nic’s?
“I enjoy supporting the Hospice; we meet a lot of nice people, and it’s a bit of fun too. It gives me and Denise a lot of satisfaction when we get to hand a cheque over. I’m pleased to have been able to support the Hospice for as long as I have, and I will keep doing it.”
Do you have a story about your connection with St Nicholas Hospice Care?
In our 40th year celebration, we want to highlight the many contributions in our Hospice’s history.
We’re aiming to proudly feature 40 faces across the year, could you be someone who has a story to share?
If you are someone who has a fond memory to share, you can do so here.