On Thursday 14 April the School of Education hosted a charity fundraising day at Harcourt Hill Campus in aid of Sobell House, a hospice in Oxford which provides specialist palliative care and support to adult patients and their family, friends and carers.
Mike Dennis dressed as Beano cartoon character Dennis the Menace. Picture: Damian Halliwell.[/caption]On Thursday 14 April the School of Education hosted a charity fundraising day at Harcourt Hill Campus in aid of Sobell House, a hospice in Oxford which provides specialist palliative care and support to adult patients and their family, friends and carers. The School of Education aimed to raise as much money as possible for Sobell House by getting students and staff to dress up for the day as children’s television characters.
Mike Dennis, who lectures in Primary Science in the School of Education, organised the event in memory of his wife Rachel, who died in Sobell House having lived with cancer for 11 years. Speaking about the hospice, Mike commented: “I cannot speak highly enough of the staff and the love and care they provided for Rachel, me and my family. It is a truly special place, not a phrase I would use lightly.”
For Mike, one aspect of Rachel’s stay at Sobell House however was not so impressive; the television system. Each room has a wall mounted television for which you have to pay £10 a day to use. The system is complicated, with a difficult login procedure and poor picture and sound quality. Mike promised himself that after Rachel died he would do his best to influence a change. With the help of local MP Andrew Smith, it has been agreed that the current franchise agreement can be put aside and the system replaced by easy to use, high quality televisions. Mike said:
I am keen to raise the money to fund this change and have decided as far as possible that all the fundraising activities should be fun.
With this in mind, staff and students at Harcourt dressed up as everything from Basil Brush to Where’s Wally in support of the cause, with the aim to raise as much money as possible for Sobell House and the services it provides.
The day considerably contributed to Mike’s overall target of £8,000, with £1,671 being raised so far online.
See more about Mike’s story in the Oxford mail, where it featured on Wednesday 13 April and Saturday 16 April.
More information about Sobell House can be found online, and a video filmed on the day by ‘That’s Oxfordshire’ can be viewed here.