A loyal supporter of Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice is to receive an award from Bassetlaw District Council for his years of dedicated service to the charity.

John Bower has been giving his time and energy to the North Anston hospice since the very early days.

He became chairman of its Worksop Support Group in 2006, some two years before the hospice opened. During his 12 years in the post the group raised over £65,000.

John was also a dedicated member of the hospice’s board of trustees from 2009 to 2012, when ill health prompted retirement, and is still an active fundraiser.

He will receive an Achievers’ Award in recognition of his fundraising achievements for the charity at Bassetlaw Town Hall on March 18.

The awards recognise the accomplishments of individuals and groups who have improved the lives of Bassetlaw people. John was nominated by long-standing hospice volunteer Janet Marshall on behalf of the Worksop Support Group.

Click here to find out more about Bluebell Wood's varied volunteering opportunities

It was a love of golf which led John Bower to become a hospice supporter from the hospice’s earliest days.

John had been playing for years when he became Captain of Worksop Golf Club in 2004.

With the title came the task of fundraising for charity and, determined to raise a good sum, he joined forces with the club’s Lady Captain, Jane Meyrick.

A former children’s nurse, Jane told him about plans to get a specialist children’s hospice up and running for the region.

“I thought it sounded such a worthwhile thing to support and Jane and I raised almost £5,000, which we split between the children’s hospice appeal and the charity Coronary Care,” says John, who lives in the Crabtree Park area of Worksop.

When a meeting was held to launch Bluebell Wood’s Worksop Support Group, John made sure he was there – and was elected chairman. 

Supporting the cause that became Bluebell Wood became a real passion for him. 

“The group was very active and organised a host of fundraising events under my 13-year leadership, raising over £65,000,” said John, who became a member of the hospice’s board of trustees from 2009 to 2012.

A heart problem meant John had to step back from the board, but his volunteer work continued.

“Helping the hospice has brought many good things into my life,” said John, now 76 and a great-grandfather. “I had a very fulfilling career as a company secretary in the construction sector and volunteering with Bluebell Wood enabled me to use my skills to benefit a really worthwhile organisation.”

John organised numerous events in the Worksop area, ranging from elegant fundraising dinners at Thoresby House to annual ‘wooden frog races’.

John still stages a yearly fundraising quiz for the hospice and organising it has become something of a Bower family tradition.

 “My wife June and I have had a lot of fun and made many friendships thanks to Bluebell Wood."

It has brought another dimension to our lives,” said John, who stepped aside from his role as Chairman of the Worksop Group in 2018 but continues to support its work.

"I have no intention of stopping.

“I have been humbled by the courage and strength of the families supported by Bluebell Wood I have met through being a volunteer. I feel very glad that I have been able to help in some small way.”

To read how the dream of Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice became reality, click here.