Portadown businessman Cedric Livingstone designed and purposely built the Southern Trust’s roadshow hospice which recently raised vital funds for their services, all in memory of his mother.
Mr Livingstone, who owns AC Motors in Portadown, wanted to do something to raise the profile of the good work that happens at the Southern Area Hospice Services (SAHS).
“My mother Marina had cancer for five years and passed away last year. She spent her last 17 days in the hospice. I can recall when the word ‘hospice’ was mentioned in our house. I knew it was the last resort and often shunned away from talking about it,” he said.
“I didn’t want to know. ‘Hospice’ meant that there was no alternative. I have to say though, the staff were brilliant. They managed it right. My mother’s life ended with dignity and the staff made it easier for my father. They were a great support and took away any stigma attached to the word ‘hospice’. From the auxiliaries, to the nurses, to the doctors and caretakers, they were phenomenal. Even the chaplains, from both dominations, offered advice. Religion was left at the door.”
Mr Livingstone started raising funds by organising a tractor run, involving 300 tractors and raised £20,000, and then came the innovative mobile hospice idea.
“I wanted to do something more so I came up with the mobile hospice - a car and hospice trailer on the back. We did it up making it look like a real hospice and Una Lavery and I started going around schools educating children. I do all the driving and Una gives talks about what happens inside the walls of a hospice and then if anybody decides to raise funds they can. It’s more about the education though. We wanted to break down barriers so children are able to walk into a hospice room and not feel afraid. Some are even afraid to step foot in the building. We have a mascot, ‘Croc the Hospice Doc’ who travel with us and adds a bit of fun for the children.”
Una Lavery, regional marketing officer for the hospice said, “We would like to thank the Livingstone family for their continued support, particularly Cedric who has put his heart and soul, not to mention time and dedication, into building the mobile Hospice unit.
“We also thank the companies who supported us.”