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Pier adds sparkle to charity’s anniversary celebrations

Wednesday 1st May

A top tourist attraction in Weston-super-Mare has teamed up with the best-known resort-based charity to help its 30th anniversary celebrations go with a bang.

The now-traditional Grand Pier pyrotechnic performance in November has a new name for 2019 – Weston Hospicecare’s Fireworks At Sea to mark the charity’s milestone.

Weston Hospicecare was founded by members of the community in 1989 and has grown steadily ever since, opening a day hospice in 1991, an in-patient unit in 1997 and then moving to its current location, Jackson-Barstow House, in Uphill, in 2002.

The charity provides care for those with life-limiting illnesses, and supports their loved ones, maximising their quality of life and assisting with their symptoms to make their moments together as special as they can be.

Michelle Michael, co-owner of the Grand Pier, became a Trustee of Weston Hospicecare in 2010.

She said: “I went there to visit my father, who was cared for by the charity 15 years ago, and I’ve been involved with the organisation ever since.

“The impact that Weston Hospicecare can have on a family, and indeed, did have on my family, is profound.

“When you take the time to understand that the charity only receives 19% of its funding from Government, you can recognise why the charity’s shops and many other fund-raising activities have to take place in order for this vital service to continue.

“That’s why you stay; to do everything you can to make sure that the service remains for the community. It really is five-star quality and is absolutely free to those it supports.

“For us, as a large family, it really was the very best place for our father to spend his last days.”

The Grand Pier has supported many fund-raising activities for Weston Hospicecare over the years, and Michelle said they were more than happy to do something extra-special in the charity’s 30th anniversary year.

She said: “The charity approached us knowing that the fireworks display is a hugely popular event, attracting thousands of people to the Pier itself and many more to the surrounding seafront.

“We hope that re-branding the Fireworks at Sea event will help raise the charity’s profile even further in their milestone year and help raise more funds in support of the priceless work they do.”

Judi Driscoll, who became Chair of Trustees at the hospice after retiring as editor of the Weston Mercury, said: “The Michael family and the Grand Pier have supported Weston Hospicecare for many years, and are going the extra mile for our 30th anniversary. “To make the most of this spectacular event, we are hoping that residents and visitors on the Pier and the seafront will give generously to our bucket-shaking volunteers. “Our annual running costs are £4.2million, so it is absolutely fantastic when local families, businesses and individuals support us. “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Pier and all our supporters – without them, the hospice would not exist.”

Weston Hospicecare’s Fireworks At Sea takes place on Saturday 9 November 2019, from 6.30pm.

Tickets cost £9.50, which include unlimited rides as well as the best view of the stunning firework show.

Gold tickets, for £15, also include a hot food selection (to include children’s meal) and traditional fish and chips in the Boardwalk Café.

The firework show is expected to start at 8pm.

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