St Albans pub holds hospice fundraising raffle in memory of former barmaid

Hospice of St Francis fundraiser Vanessa Howden-Smith, golf day organiser Simon Wright, landlady Ela

Hospice of St Francis fundraiser Vanessa Howden-Smith, golf day organiser Simon Wright, landlady Elaine Rainsford, Hospice of St Francis trustee Sarah Byrt, Anne's husband Jim Doran, landlord Paul Rainsford - Credit: Archant

An historic St Albans pub has raised thousands of pounds in memory of a former barmaid who had met her husband there 30 years earlier.

Anne Doran died at the end of May after being cared for by the Hospice of St Francis in her final weeks. At her funeral her husband Jim, who had met her when she was working at The Hare and Hounds Pub in Sopwell Lane, asked the pub to hold a raffle for the hospice rather than sending flowers or cards.

That raised £800 on the day of Anne’s wake and the fundraising quickly gathered momentum. Elaine Rainsford, licensee of The Hare and Hounds, said: “We all decided to run a fundraising event for the hospice alongside our annual Golf Day, which was organised at the Batchwood Golf Club on the August bank holiday by Simon Wright and raised £800.

“When everyone came back to The Hare and Hounds afterwards, we held a live music evening with three bands and an auction. People and local businesses donated some incredible prizes.”

She added: “It was a real community effort because so many people ran around getting prizes. People were so generous.”

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On October 23, Elaine presented a large cheque to Sarah Byrt, a trustee of the hospice. They were joined by Anne Doran’s husband Jim, Elaine’s husband Paul, Simon Wright who organised a fundraising Golf Day, and Vanessa Howden-Smith, In Memoriam fundraising manager at the hospice.

Sarah Byrt, who lives in St Albans, said: “We are hugely grateful to The Hare and Hounds and all its customers, and to Jim Doran for raising such a large sum of money for The Hospice of St Francis. This money will pay for one of the beds in our inpatient unit for 10 days.”

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