It is clear to anyone who has the pleasure of meeting Joan Eddings, MBE, that she really is a special lady and an incredibly dedicated supporter of Rowans Hospice Charity.
Not only she been a valued volunteer on the Hospice’s In-patient Unit, generously donating her time to serve lunch and refreshments to the patients and their families, she has also taken part in a variety of Fundraising events over the years.
Joan was born in London in 1922. She became a state registered nurse and qualified health visitor in 1944 at the age of 22, working a long and fulfilling career in the health sector. Joan married Michael, a doctor, in 1949 and was inspired to help people and make a difference in her local community.
Joan is the founder of the Old Portsmouth lunch club, which was an opportunity for the community to meet others over a hot meal. The lunch had a huge impact that led her to receive an MBE, which was presented to her by Princess Anne.
This year, Joan celebrated her 100th birthday with a room full of family and friends. Terry Halloran, a friend of Joan’s, was very touched by the number of guests at the party and the number of lives Joan had impacted. Inspired by Joan’s incredible stories, Terry decided to record the first 100 years of her life, and write a book that celebrates her incredible achievements.
Terry had Joan’s story published with all profits donated to the Rowans Hospice Charity.
Terry told us:
“Joan plays down her many achievements, but she thought if people were interested in reading her life story, they may wish to donate to the Charity. So far, the donations have generated in excess of £420 to support local Hospice care, and we have exhausted our supply of the booklets.”
Joan recently visited the Hospice to meet with Deborah Paris, Ruth White, CEO, Deborah Paris, Trustee and the Lord Mayor, and Lady Mayoress. She was given a tour of the Hospice, and saw the huge development since her time volunteering on the ward, including the ‘quiet space’ and the stained-glass window that her fundraising efforts had contributed to.
The Charity’s Director of Income Generation, Carol Milner said:
“We are delighted that Joan has shared her story, and that Terry has written such a wonderful account of the first 100 years of Joan’s life. Hospice services are essential, and with so much uncertainty ahead as a result of national issues such as the downturn of the economy and the increasing pressure on household finances, it remains a challenging time for the Charity. Therefore, Joan and Terry’s quest to generate much-needed income for local Hospice care, and to help raise awareness of the Charity and its services is greatly appreciated. We are so grateful to them both and would also like to extend our thanks to everyone who has kindly donated after reading Joan’s story.
It is thanks to the wonderful support from people like Joan, Terry, and the readers that we can continue to provide vital care to all those in our community who are affected by life-limiting illness.”