Colleagues raise more than ten thousand pounds in memory of Emma

Edd Smith, Clair Wygladala, Jo Thresher & Sister Anne CrockerA group of colleagues from a Bristol financial services company have raised more than ten thousand pounds in memory of a much loved friend who passed away in March following a battle with cancer.

Emma Wygladala from Fishponds worked as a business support manager at the Jelf Group in Chipping Sodbury before she was diagnosed with a very rare sarcoma of the womb in 2013 and sadly passed away 10 months later aged 38.

Emma’s colleagues at Jelf, which specialises in employee benefits, insurance and financial planning, raised the funds through a programme of activities and presented the proceeds to Bristol charity St Peter’s Hospice, which cared for Emma in her final weeks.

Jo Thresher, Head of Money at Work at Jelf, said: “When Emma visited the office for the final time at Christmas 2013, she was very blunt about what she wanted. She said to us ‘help the hospice because the hospice is helping me to die.’ That really stuck with me and we’ve spent this year raising as much as we could for St Peter’s Hospice as Emma wanted us to.

“Emma was at Jelf for 10 years and she was such a professional and creative part of the team that she has been greatly missed by all of us. She used to say that Jelf helped her in life and the hospice was helping her in death because the employers insurance policy she got through work enabled her to really enjoy herself in her final months.

Emma Wygladala (2)“It was a shock to everyone when Emma was diagnosed and told straight away that there was nothing that could be done. From that moment we spent the next 10 months having fun and enjoying every moment. We went designer handbag shopping and doing everything Emma wanted to do.

“The support and care offered to her by the hospice was second to none and everyone at Jelf is so pleased to be able to offer some support back.”

As Bristol’s only adult hospice, St Peter’s Hospice cares for more than 2,670 patients each year as well as supporting family members.

All services are provided free of charge but this care costs around £18,000 a day. For around £14,000 of that, the hospice relies on gifts in wills, kind donations and funds generated by the hospice shops.

Emma’s sister Clair and their mum were by Emma’s side when she passed away at the hospice in March this year. They believe that the funds raised by Jelf will be put to great use in helping others like Emma:

Clair explained: “Emma was admitted to the BRI for a week before being moved to the hospice. At the hospital the nurses made up a bed for me on the floor so I could stay with her, but it wasn’t ideal.

“When we got to the hospice I was made to feel so welcome and never felt like I was getting in the way. Emma’s biggest wish at that time was that I stayed with her in the same room and was there all the time and the staff at the hospice just made that so easy.

“Although Emma wanted to be at home she was just too poorly and we never could have coped ourselves as a family, it would have been impossible. The level of attentiveness and care given by the staff at the hospice was amazing and we knew she was getting the help she needed. There was nowhere else I would have liked her to be.

“I can’t thank the nurses enough for how they looked after both Emma, and to a certain extent me, at that time. Emma loved her nice products so they made sure she had everything she needed to feel as nice as she could, she even got lovely hand massages to relax her. Most importantly she felt safe and at home there.

“In the final week our mum joined us at the hospice as well. It was so lovely to be able to spend that time all together in a nice environment. Although my dad found it too difficult to stay he visited a lot and said he always found the hospice to be welcoming and considerate to him and the rest of the family who visited.

“We were all able to be with Emma when she passed away which meant it wasn’t so scary for her and I also think it was good for us too to see that she was ok and it wasn’t too traumatic.

“I really couldn’t fault the care given to my sister, it was just wonderful.”

Edd Smith, corporate fundraiser at St Peter’s Hospice said: “It is great that Jelf have been supporting the hospice this year in memory of Emma. The team raised an amazing £5000 at the annual conference, which happened to fall on the same day that Emma was taken to the hospice. More funds have also been raised at a golf day and through an online survey where Jelf donated £1 for every customer who took part.

“The support shown by Jo and the rest of the team is fantastic and will allow us to continue caring for those with life-limiting illnesses and their families in Bristol.”

For more information about St Peter’s Hospice visit www.stpetershospice.org.uk

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