A charity which enables adults with a terminal illness to fulfil special wishes with their family and friends is in line for a cash boost from proptech business Symple and two sister companies.
Symple has chosen Purple Heart Wishes as its charity of the year for 2022.
Merco Facilities Services, a commercial cleaning business, and FCS Management Services, a business rates management company, have followed suit to provide a triple boost to the charity. The businesses are all part of Kingsbury Holdings and are headquartered in Swinton, Greater Manchester.
Purple Heart Wishes was founded by Symple’s chief operating officer Susan Roughton in 2016 following the passing of her daughter Lyndsey from a brain tumour at the age of 29.
Lyndsey was diagnosed in 2009 after suffering from headaches and blurred vision. Initially, her treatment was successful, but the tumour recurred more aggressively and was diagnosed as incurable in 2012. She passed away in 2014 at St Ann’s Hospice, Greater Manchester.
During her illness, Lyndsey’s family and friends raised over £25,000 for her to fulfil a lifelong dream to visit Thailand and Vietnam. She went for three weeks with a friend who was training to become a doctor.
Susan wanted Lyndsey’s final months to be filled with laughter, love and excitement with her family and friends.
“We tried to arrange for her to do as much as possible to ensure she had the best days of her short life,” said Susan, who lives in Denton, Greater Manchester.
“Thanks to the generosity of individuals and organisations, she did a host of amazing things, including horse riding, going to Premier League football matches, riding on a motorbike and going to the Creamfields music festival where her older sister Leigh was a DJ.
“After she passed away, I felt I wanted to help grant wishes to other adults with terminal illnesses, just as we had done for Lyndsey.
“That led to setting up Purple Heart Wishes, catering for people aged 18 to 55 and even older. There are similar organisations for children, but not many like this for adults.
“Currently we are receiving 12 requests for wishes a month, which is more than we’ve ever had. We receive wishes from the patients themselves, their friends, hospices, Macmillan Cancer Support, The Brain Tumour Charity and elsewhere.
“We are fortunate to receive support from people doing sponsored activities such as parachute jumps, and from Manchester City FC, where we work in the kiosks at matches and concerts and get a percentage of the sales through the catering company Fabulous Fan Fayre.
“However, with the number of requests for wishes now at such a high level, we need to raise more money, and I’m delighted that Symple, Merco and FCS have chosen us as their charity of the year.
“Their support will make a huge difference to people who are very poorly and want to fulfil dreams and create memories for their families and friends by spending precious quality time with them or doing something special. Some of the people who request a wish simply cannot afford to do these things themselves.
“They include hotel stays and breaks at holiday parks with their families, sightseeing in London, having a photo shoot or even providing a pendant gift from a terminally ill husband to his wife. They are all tremendously appreciated. They create lasting memories, and give people the strength to continue fighting.”
Susan said Purple Heart Wishes is also seeking ambassadors and fundraisers as well as sponsors for wishes and for donors of wishes themselves.
“We want to do as much as we can to help families in such tragic situations. It’s great to be able to do this in Lyndsey’s memory, and to bring some joy into people’s lives at a very difficult time. The feedback we receive is always fantastic,” she said.
The charity’s logo is a heart which Lyndsey drew in a birthday card to Susan which was found after she passed away. The Purple Heart medal is awarded to service people in the US who have been injured in conflict, as a way of celebrating their heroism.
“Lyndsey was a hero to us, so it seemed a fitting name for the charity,” said her mum.
Kingsbury founder and chief executive Simon Dresdner said: “We are deeply moved by the story of how Purple Heart Wishes came to be.
“Susan has created something really special in memory of Lyndsey, enabling her legacy to live on. It is our great honour and privilege to be able to support the wonderful work the charity does, knowing what a difference it makes to people in need. I hope we can be a supporting partner of Purple Heart Wishes for many years to come.”