A grateful family have donated more than £11,000 to Colchester & Ipswich Hospitals Charity and thanked staff at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) for the care they gave their much-loved wife, mother and friend. 

Rita Hoyle passed away in November following a cancer diagnosis four years earlier. Throughout her illness, Rita was supported by the staff and volunteers at the Woolverstone Unit at Ipswich Hospital. During her treatment, she regularly delivered pastries to the staff working tirelessly in the day unit to thank them for the care she received.

Rita’s friends and family donated thousands in her memory both before and after her funeral, while friend Val Gladwell even took part in an Ironman challenge in Italy to boost the total raised.

Rita loved to support the Hadleigh business community and always chose to shop locally whenever she could. In tribute to Rita, some local business owners recently came together to fundraise at one of her favourite clothes shops, Kitty & Em.

Working alongside Rita’s husband David, they held a fun day and raffle, sold Rita’s preloved clothes and donated 50% of the profit from new Kitty & Em stock sold at the event.

Shop owners Kate and Emma said: “We decided to hold the event and dedicate one of our shop rooms to Rita as she was a  dear customer and friend who loved to visit us for some retail therapy. We are so pleased we could help her family and the hospital as we know every penny makes a difference to the staff providing care, patients and their loved ones.”

David said: “We are blown away by the support we as a family have received. It was really important to us that this money was for the staff to enjoy.”

Pauline McKeown, oncology outpatient sister, said: “We are very grateful to David and his fundraisers for their ongoing support. Thanks to their donations, we have been able to fund weekly Pilates sessions in the day unit for all staff. 

“We will also be able to offer enhanced training and education that uplifts our teams to benefit our patients and the care they receive.”

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