A FLINTSHIRE businessman is launching a renewed fundraising drive for a Wrexham hospice in memory of his much-loved father.
David Catherall is Managing Director of TDC Services, based on the Ewloe roundabout, which celebrated its 35th anniversary last year and supplies industrial cleaning equipment to firms across the world.
TDC has a long track record of supporting the Wrexham-based Nightingale House Hospice and has reignited its pledge this year as the vital hospice service approaches its own landmark anniversary of 25 years.
David and his TDC team will be supported in their fundraising efforts by his wife Steph, who is Clwyd’s High Sheriff in Nomination and has named the charity as one of her main causes to support.
The couple, who live in Nercwys, are particularly keen to help the hospice raise funds to improve the gym facilities within the hospice’s physiotherapy department which is available to anyone referred to the hospice and at any stage of diagnosis.
The hospice’s aim is to transform the current treatment room into a permanent gym area with new equipment and to create a new treatment room for other activities in what is now an adjoining store room.
David remembers well the ‘calm and kindness’ which a respite nurse from a pain control clinic established by Dr Graham Arthurs in Wrexham, which was the forerunner to Nightingale House, brought to their family.
David and his wife cared for his father Ralph Edward Catherall, known as Ted, before he passed away from bowel cancer aged 72.
David, whose firm was set up with his father and gained its name from their combined initials, said: “We had the most valuable support from very caring nurses who helped look after my father. One lady came from Dr Arthurs’ Pain Clinic, which was the predecessor to Nightingale House and she had a very innovative approach to palliative care.
“When she came in to the room, she brought calm and kindness to the situation which feels a bit like light entering the room when your family is in such a dark situation.
“My Dad was a very unselfish man and would always put others first – sometimes to the great annoyance of my Mother!
“If there was a car broken down or it looked as though someone was in need of help, he would stop and fix it for them whether he had his best suit on or not!!
He had three brothers and four sisters. At his funeral, his youngest brother Noel, who was a minister, said there was one true Christian amongst the siblings and that was my father.
“He would do absolutely anything to help other people, no matter how much effort it took.
“I remember the story being told about how he was coming home from work on the train one day and when he got to the station, a fellow passenger found his bike had punctured tyres.
“My father simply gave him his and then walked home which took him ages and everyone was wondering where he was!
“He was very much of ‘the make do and mend’ era and was a great vehicle mechanic, improving his skills of improvisation during the Second World War in places like El Alamein.
“He had a successful road haulage business and I went to work with him from an early age. Later, I set up a side-line selling high pressure jet washers to haulage companies. It was so successful we set up as TDC Services and expanded from there.
“He was a great father and a terrific man to work with. I miss him very much still to this day but the support re received when we looked after him during his illness has never been forgotten by me or my family.
“This is why I am keen to push forward with our fundraising for Nightingale House this year and why my wife Steph has decided to name them as one of her charitable causes as High Sheriff in Nomination for Clwyd.”
TDC has organised a host of fundraising events for Nightingale House over the years from corporate donations to sponsored walks at Erddig Park.
David is starting the ball rolling this year by contacting TDC customers and suppliers to ask them to donate to their new fundraising drive.
Debbie Barton, Area Fundraiser for Nightingale House Hospice said: “To have this commitment and the support of David and Stephanie means so much to us at Nightingale House. They have had a long affiliation with us dating back more than twenty years. Indeed they were involved with fundraising before the hospice moved to its present home on Chester Road in Wrexham in 1995.
“In 2018, as in previous years we will receive 20% of our funding from statutory sources which means we need to find the remainder, totalling £2.4 million, to fund the work of the hospice, which includes caring for local people and their families affected by life-threatening or life-limiting illness. The support of local businesses, organisations and individuals within the community we serve is vital to the continued ability of Nightingale House to offer the high standard of palliative care, so needed in our area.
“We are so grateful to David and Stephanie for all their efforts and hard work.”
For more information about Nightingale House, go to www.nightingalehouse.co.uk