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12 Dec 2019 Community

Gwen Lowe – leaving a lasting legacy

In May 2018, Gwen Lowe became the Mayor of Kirklees. During her one year service, Gwen Lowe and her Charity Committee chose Kirkwood Hospice and the RSPCA Halifax, Huddersfield & Bradford branch as their chosen charities. The committee went above and beyond and ended the year with a grand total of £29,000!

In the months leading up to becoming Mayor of Kirklees, Gwen spent a lot of time thinking about the charities she wanted to support, and it was important for Gwen to choose something that meant a lot to her, as well as being a local cause.

Gwen said: “I just thought of Kirkwood. I met with Chief Executive Michael Crowther, on numerous occasions to find out more about what Kirkwood does.

“I didn’t want to just choose a charity and that be it. I wanted it to be so much fun and I wanted to leave a lasting legacy.”

After hearing more about Kirkwood services, Gwen realised she felt passionately about the Community Specialist Nursing team.

Gwen wanted to make a difference to patients who were being cared for at home and decided that she wanted her monies raised to be used to train members of the Community Specialist Nursing Team to become qualified Nurse Prescribers. 

 Gwen (centre), being presented with a bunch of flowers from the Community Specialist Nursing Team.

 

Gwen said: “In the perfect end, I’m sure most would wish to die at home. I recently listened to a piece on the radio during Dying Matters Week, with the emphasis on Hospice at Home.

 “A lady told the story of how she was dying from liver cancer and talked about not wanting to spend her last few days and hours being rushed into A&E.

“Friends and family had decorated her bedroom her favourite colour of blue, so that she could leave this life surrounded by her own personal belongings with family and friends together.

“I want to reach out to all communities to think about the needs of people at the end of their lives and what we can do to help."

Eager to start her year as Mayor of Kirklees, Gwen got her committee together for regular meetings to plan the exciting year ahead.

Gwen said: “I love fundraising and being out in the community. 12 months just wasn’t enough time for me to do everything.”

As the plans got underway, the committee were soon busy planning events such as a Dog Show – ‘Paws for a Cause’, community bucket collections, a Best of British evening, a Mayorfest held at Greenhead Park, cakes stalls, tombola’s, and that’s just to name a few!

 Gwen with Husband and Consort Ken, and daughter Ashleigh holding a Cake Stall at the Huddersfield Park Run

 Gwen and Ken attending Kirkwood's annual Christmas Fair in 2018.

 Gwen and Ken with part of the Charity Committee hosting a fundraising stall at Asda Dewsbury.

 

Ahead of the year of fundraising, Gwen and her committee set themselves a target of raising £20,000 for both charities.

With the hard work and dedication of Gwen, Husband and Consort, Ken, all members of the committee and the backing of the fabulous Kirklees Community, everyone was astounded to realise they had gone over and above their initial goal of £20,000 and had actually raised £29,000!

Gwen said: “We are really proud with the amount that has been raised. We’ve enjoyed every bit of it.

“Thank you to everyone out there in the community who supported us during the year.”

Kirkwood Chief Executive Michael Crowther said: “I would like to say a big thank you. I want to thank Gwen, Ken and the rest of the committee for how energetic you were during the year.

“You absolutely embraced every moment. Beyond the amount of money, which is huge, it’s about the awareness you wanted to raise and the connections you helped us make in the community.

“Thank you so much, it has been a fantastic year.”

 Gwen, Ken, and daughter Ashleigh presenting Kirkwood Chief Executive, Michael Crowther and Community Services Manager, Andrew Gammon, with her incredible donation.

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