EAST Lancashire Hospice has started the new year with a generous donation of £3,477 from Thwaites brewery.

Staff nominated the Blackburn-based hospice as the brewer’s charity of the year 2012 after former Thwaites drayman, Roy Aspin, was cared for by the hospice when he was diagnosed with cancer.

Roy died in October 2011 and he and his family received support from the staff during his illness.

The money was raised through a series of fundraising events arranged by staff including a Morecambe Bay walk, a quiz night, a trip to York races, raffle and coffee morning cake sale.

Lynn Jepson, from Thwaites, presented Sharon Crymble, fundraising manager at East Lancashire Hospice, with the cheque.

Sharon said: “Thwaites’ generous contribution will go a long way in helping us to continue to care and support our patients.

“On average we need to raise more than £8,200 a day to keep going and we couldn’t do it without the help of companies, local charities and individuals.”

Lynn said: “Roy was a much-loved member of staff and his colleagues were keen to do something in his memory.

“Reliant on donations alone, the hospice works hard on little funds and we wanted to help ensure that its invaluable care and support continues.”

For more than 25 years the East Lancashire Hospice has provided holistic care to inpatients and their families, rehabilitation services, and other services including bereavement support, end of life care, clinical nurse specialists and education.

Thwaites’ charity of the year 2013 is the British Heart Foundation. Staff nominated the charity after Eamonn Kilbride, 46, an IT manager at Thwaites died on December 9 following a heart attack.