An East Lancashire hospice has received thousands of pounds in memory of a mum who lost her battle with bowel cancer.

Pendleside Hospice was selected as one of the charities to receive a £25,000 donation from The Eric Wright Charitable Trust.

The money will greatly contribute to patient care and family support, for people living within Burnley and Pendle.

The Eric Wright Charitable Trust was established by Eric Wright in 1990, in the belief that the role of business in society is not to create wealth for the few but rather to help build a strong community. 

In fulfilment of this belief, Mr Wright gifted his entire shareholding to the Trust to make it the sole owner of the Eric Wright Group, made up of eight core areas, including construction, civil engineering and facilities management.

The Trust works with a broad range of charities, primarily in the North West of England, with a key focus on youth development, elderly care, education and training, health and carers’ support services, mental health, and child and family support.

In addition to offering various grant programs, the Trust established its own learning foundation, offering bursaries to young people to help them achieve vocational qualifications and commence careers in the construction industry.

Kevin Salter, a senior site supervisor at Eric Wright Facilities Management, chose Pendleside Hospice as his preferred charity.

With more than 15 years of tenure at Eric Wright Facilities Management, Kevin holds a deep connection to the hospice, since his wife, Beckie Salter, died there in 2017, aged 39.

Beckie received a diagnosis of bowel cancer seven months before she died, and it was only two weeks after this diagnosis that medical confirmation revealed her cancer to be terminal.

Kevin said: “I selected Pendleside Hospice as my charity of choice because of the exceptional care provided to Beckie by their team, as well as the invaluable support extended to my family.

“We have four children together, who were aged between 10 and 18 when their mum was ill, and I needed to be there for them more than ever.

"Beckie spent nine days in the hospice before she passed away, but it brings some comfort knowing that she was well cared for and comfortable in her final days.

“Work was really good with me while Beckie was undergoing treatment. We were making daily trips to the hospital, and I would often need the added flexibility for school holidays, or when the children needed picking up from school.

"To now see the hospice being awarded such a fantastic amount from my employer is brilliant. I know first-hand just how much that is going to help support our community.”

Beckie had embarked on a journey to become a social worker before her diagnosis, entering the second year of her degree at UCLan.

Prior to this, she had dedicated her time to raising her children at home, but as they grew older, she sought to pursue a new career path.

Although Beckie didn't live to see her graduation, Beckie and Kevin’s daughter attended the ceremony to ensure her mother's scroll was received in her honour.

Paying tribute to Beckie and to raise money for the Hospice, Kevin raised £4,500 for the Pendleside after completing a 40-mile run via the East Lancashire Health Centres in 2021.

Kevin began his epic journey in Darwen, before touching base in Blackburn, Accrington, Rossendale, Bacup, Burnley, Briercliffe, and Nelson, before finishing up at Pendleside Hospice.

Chief executive of Pendleside Hospice, Helen McVey, said: “We are overjoyed with the contribution made to us by The Eric Wright Charitable Trust.

"We rely heavily on donations and fundraising from both the local community and our network of local businesses.

"The funds will go towards providing palliative care to our patients and service users, as well as helping to support their families and carers.

“We invited the Trust to the Hospice so that they could see the work being done, and understand how the charity helps people with life-limiting illnesses."

“It was quite humbling to tour the hospice on the day we presented the cheque for the donation,” added George Lilley, managing director of Eric Wright Facilities Management.

“The dedication of the staff was so easy to see, and the care they provided to patients was exemplary.

"I think our employees have chosen very wisely by nominating Pendleside Hospice as their Charity of the Year.”

Eric Wright Facilities Management have since signed up to Pendleside’s corporate challenge, which starts on the June 1, a four-month initiative for local businesses to fundraise as much as they can for the hospice.