Precious family recipes preserved in community recipe book, raising money for Worthing hospice

A recipe book featuring family favourites has been launched to raise money for St Barnabas House in memory of two women who were cared for at the Worthing hospice.

Wednesday, 4th November 2020, 2:01 pm

Friends Mel Hargreaves and Lucy Grace both lost their mother-in-laws last year and they wanted to do something for the hospice as a way of giving back for the care the families received.

Mel, 37, from Ferring and Lucy, 38, from Goring, set about creating a book of recipes from people in the community, which they hope will raise £700 for the hospice.

Lucy said: “Both my mother-in-law, Gill Grace, and Mel’s mother-in-law, Gill Horne, were unwell and going through a similar journey at a similar time. After their deaths, we were thinking up all sorts of ways that we might be able to support the hospice and came up with the idea of a recipe book.”

Mel Hargreaves and Lucy Grace with their recipe book, filled with favourites from the community

Mel added: “The idea of preserving precious family recipes was important to us, as we shared many memorable meals around the dinner table with our loved ones, and when my mother-in-law died, I realised that sadly I didn’t have the recipe for the shepherd’s pie she used to make.”

In an effort to make sure other people did not lose their favourite family recipes, the friends reached out to the community on Facebook and asked if people would like to share recipes that had a special place in their heart.

The result is a book containing 38 recipes which span many generations, from Ferring Primary School’s legendary 1960s jam roly-poly to a Covid-19 strawberry ice cream, which gets its name because pick your own fruit farms were among the first places to open after the first lockdown.

Alongside the dishes, people share memories of their loved ones, some of whom were cared for by the hospice.

Gill Grace was cared for at St Barnabas House hospice before she died from breast cancer

Mel said: “A lot of the people who reached out also have a connection with the hospice. The book is full of precious anecdotes about family members and friends, and it’s nice to be able to preserve these alongside their recipes.”

A Book of Recipes, Memories and Love contains beautiful illustrations by local artist Sharon Porter. It is available for a suggested donation of £5, plus postage. To order, call the St Barnabas House fundraising team on 01903 254777.

Mel said: “We wanted to raise some money as we know the hospice doesn’t get much government funding. St Barnabas was there to guide my mother-in-law and our family through all the different stages of her breast cancer journey, from practical help with filling in forms, to advice on pain relief and emotional support.

“When Gill’s health deteriorated, the hospice provided a night sitter, which meant my father-in-law could get some sleep knowing that someone was with her if she needed anything.

Gill Horne with grandchildren Neo and Merdeka. Picture: Sabrina Reed photography

“And, when she was admitted to the hospice in April 2019, the care was just so compassionate. The nurses took the time to explain everything to us and on the day she died, they had the care and knowledge to call us at 6am so we had the opportunity to all be there with her as a family for her last few hours. They had got her changed into a fresh nightie and everything was as calm and peaceful as it could be.”

Seven months later, in November 2019, Lucy’s mother-in-law also spent her last five days at the hospice surrounded by her loved ones.

Lucy said: “The support that was given to the whole family during such a difficult time was wonderful. My mother-in-law had volunteered and given a lot of support to her own local hospice in Lincolnshire before she moved to Sussex.

“So, she absolutely knew that at the end of her life she wanted to be in a hospice environment. She was very reassured to know that she would be cared for at St Barnabas and was kept as comfortable as could be.”

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