Yvonne Fretwell has played the fundraising lottery every week since it began ten years ago, as a way of giving something back.
Her husband Peter, who had lung cancer, was cared for at the hospice during the last week of his life in 2001. And 17 years later Yvonne has won the jackpot – a £5,000 rollover prize which is the largest win possible.
She said: “The care that Peter received was absolutely brilliant, so signing up to the lottery all those years ago was a way of saying thank you. I was absolutely amazed when I was told I had won. It was a big surprise and it came at the right time.
“We didn’t know anything about Barnsley Hospice before Peter spent time there. The In Patient Unit hadn’t been open long and the staff were absolutely marvellous, to us all. Until you directly experience the hospice I don’t think you have any idea how important it is to Barnsley.”
When Yvonne collected her winnings, it was the first time she had been back to the hospice since just after the death of her husband. She plans to use the money to treat her grandchildren and will visit friends in America for a cruise in October.
Yvonne, a stallholder at Barnsley Market, now encourages other people to sign up to the lottery by handing out forms at her stall and speaking to family and friends.
Sam Silverwood, fundraising manager at Barnsley Hospice, said: “It was an absolute pleasure to present Yvonne with her winner’s cheque. By playing the lottery Yvonne has made a big difference to the care we are able to offer other families in Barnsley and we’d like to thank her and everyone else who is part of the draw each week.”
The lottery has generated £3.2m for the hospice since it began in 2008.
The Barnsley Hospice lottery costs £1 each week to play, with a guaranteed weekly first prize of £500, second prize of £50 and five third prizes of £10.
The ‘rollover draw’, which is included in the main draw, has a prize pot that starts at £100 and increases each week by £100 until it is won. If it reaches £5,000, one lucky supporter, like Yvonne, is guaranteed to win it that week.
For details of how to sign up to the Barnsley Hospice lottery, or to check each week’s winning numbers, visit our Lottery page.