WINNING the East Lancashire Hospice lottery rollover meant a Whalley woman could fulfil her lifelong dream, and she believes her late father had influence over her win.
Jill Woodruff (50) had dreamed of taking her daughter Francesca (18) to New York, but it was only when she learned of her £2,500 rollover win that she was able to make the trip a reality.
And Jill believes her much-loved Dad was watching over her when her number came up.
“In my heart, I believe my lovely Dad, Alan Woodruff, had a hand in my win,” said Jill. “He died in the hospice six years ago. Maybe this was his way of saying: ‘Happy birthday Jill and Francesca, enjoy it all girls!’.”
After being diagnosed with a terminal lung disease, Alan Woodruff spent the last two weeks of his life in the hospice and died with his family by his side, in July 2006 aged 69.
“The relief we experienced once Dad had been moved from hospital to the hospice was immeasurable. He was finally calm and comfortable in the most peaceful and pretty surroundings. It was late June, the sun was shining, his patio door open and he could see the flowers, blue sky and ducklings who wandered into his room regularly.
“The staff and volunteers were so kind, sensitive and caring. They cared for my Dad’s physical and emotional needs making his final two weeks with us very special. They also helped me immensely in dealing with the preparation of my Dad’s inevitable passing away. I cried on the nurses’ shoulder so many times!”
Jill continued: “Since that day, the hospice has been my chosen charity to support. Alongside subscribing to the lottery, I have led the Starlight Walk twice and been involved with my daughter on a number of fund-raising events.
“I wouldn’t have been able to do this trip without my hospice lottery win. When I received the news from the hospice I had won I did not hesitate in deciding how I would spend the money! I went straight to my local travel agent and booked five days in New York. We both hit milestone birthdays this year with myself turning 50 and Francesca turning 18, so it was the perfect time to go on this trip to celebrate.”
“And as if our week could be any more perfect, in the taxi on our return to Newark airport I received news my lovely sister Lisa had just given birth to her first child, Jessica May.
“The hospice is a very precious place that deserves the utmost support to preserve it because you never know when you may need it.”
The hospice lottery is drawn every Friday, with a £1,000 first prize, a rollover second prize which starts at £250 and rises by that amount each week until it is won, and a £100 third prize. There are also 15 runner-up £10 prizes drawn each week. To sign up for the hospice lottery, call the team on 01254 733416, or to get involved with hospice fund-raising events, call the fund-raising department on 01254 733412.