Wendy Goddard has been fundraising tirelessly for the past six years, in memory of her daughter Zoe, who passed away in 2016. And thanks in part to the help of leisure venue Stonham Barns Park, she has managed raised more than three times her original goal of £30,000.
Zoe Goddard was ‘the most perfect daughter’, according to her mum, Wendy. Zoe was diagnosed with cervical cancer and passed away in 2016, aged just 27. Since then, Wendy, of Stowupland, has dedicated herself to raising money for St Elizabeth Hospice in Ipswich – and several other charities – in memory of her daughter. Her last fund-raising event – a charity dinner at Stonham Barns Park which raised £4,500 – brought her total raised with the help of the leisure venue to £29,366.
Wendy’s original goal was £30,000 but her continued fund raising – which included a generous donation from insurance giants Willis Towers Watson – extended over time (including two lockdowns) and the final just-announced campaign total of £94,566 has exceeded every expectation. Much of the money is promised to support the work of St Elizabeth Hospice whose staff cared for Zoe.
2020 marked Zoe’s and the hospice’s 30th birthday and Wendy had set out to generate £30,000 through a raft of fund-raising challenges involving the number 30 – with Ipswich Town Football Club and Stonham Barns Park owner Alan Forward backing her cause.
Alan – who has donated £5,000 and staged the Charity Dance and Auction Evening at Stonham Barns Park, in Stonham Aspal – has always aimed to help Wendy achieve her target.
Stonham Barns Park has helped to raise money in several different ways, encouraging people and businesses to share their pictures on social media of ‘30 something’ for the #weare30 campaign, including 30 birds of prey, 30 cars, and inviting Wendy to fundraise at all the events held at the Stonham Barns Park shows and events including the ever-popular Christmas Craft Markets and most recently Charity Bingo.
Wendy says: ‘Zoe was everything to us. She was loving, kind, so full of fun and the most perfect daughter. She started the fund raising herself and asked me to continue with the job. It has been an honour to do this for her and our hope is that through the work of the St Elizabeth Hospice others will get the invaluable support we were given. I can’t thank them and Stonham Barns Park enough; for all the support they have given us throughout these past years.’
‘It really was a long journey to raise the money, but I am so pleased that I did. I live every day being grateful for the love of Zoe and my family.’
Alan adds: ‘Wendy inspires us all with her tireless work for the St Elizabeth Hospice (and other charities). She is driven to give something back to them in memory of her daughter. Wendy and her family all received enormous comfort and support from the hospice team. As Wendy strives to serve the community with her efforts, we wanted to show her that the community supports her by helping where possible. We are absolutely in awe of her achievements.’
Ipswich-born darts legend Keith Deller attended the event to show his support for the fund raiser. He says: ‘This is such a heart-breaking story about a mother’s love – and sadly loss – but Wendy and her family have made such a difference with the phenomenal fund-raising that will help other people in the future. She is such a shining light. Full of positivity and energy, she was always going to make this work in memory of her lovely daughter.’
The Stonham Barns Park evening included Live Music from Its Fete, an eight-piece band performing funk, soul and disco classics, a Live Auction, Raffle and a three-course dinner. Prizes included a helicopter experience, a trip for two to The Shard in London, a hot tub, a Weekend Holiday Stay at Stonham Barns Park with a golf voucher and signed Ipswich Town Football. The event was staged in collaboration with St Elizabeth Hospice.
Money raised from the Charity Night will go to support St Elizabeth Hospice services caring for over 3,000 people every year. St Elizabeth Hospice is an independent Suffolk charity providing free services to improve life for people living with a progressive or life-limiting illness. Centred on an individual’s needs, the hospice provides specialist support, whenever and wherever it is needed, whether at home, in the community or at the hospice. More information about St Elizabeth Hospice, call 01473 727776 or click here. Also, visit Stonham Barns Park.
Featured image of Wendy Goddard, by Keith Suffling, idesign4