A tireless fundraiser has single-handedly raised half a million pounds for her local hospice, thanks to the power of her pen.
Over almost three decades, Jewish grandmother of three, Helen Bloom, 84, has handwritten hundreds of annual appeal letters to her generous friends, asking them to donate to North London Hospice.
Helen, a member of the North West Reform Synagogue in Alyth Gardens, wrote her first letter in 1994, following the death of her uncle on a hospital ward. “It wasn’t the peaceful, dignified death we all hope for,” she said. “I had joined the Mill Hill and Totteridge Support Group to fundraise to build North London Hospice, and their vision of a peaceful end to life is exactly what I would have wanted for my uncle.”
Having been a businesswoman for many years, Helen decided to write to her contacts and use her powers of persuasion to ask them to donate what they could. “When I started my personal annual appeal, never in a million years did I think I would raise £500,000. I feel so proud of this achievement. Apart from bringing up my children, it’s one of the proudest moments of my life.”
In 1994 Helen’s first annual appeal raised £7,000 and over the years, thanks to her powers of persuasion and the generosity of her network, that figure had grown to reach £63,000 a year in 2021.
Does she plan to put down her pen now she has reached such an incredible £500,000 milestone? “I shall keep going…. who knows maybe I can reach £750,000!”
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