Fundraiser for Sidmouth Hospiscare and Admiral Nurse Campaign

Veronica Wood with Tom DeRemer from Hospiscare and Linda Archard of the memory cafe in her garden. R

Veronica Wood with Tom DeRemer from Hospiscare and Linda Archard of the memory cafe in her garden. Ref shs 19-16TI 0652. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

A fundraising grandmother is once again opening her garden in loving tribute to her husband - and to help others living with the condition she watched him suffer from for 14 years.

Since her late spouse Bill’s death in 2011, Veronica Wood, 80, has welcomed guests to her home at Runnymede, in Orchard Close, to boost local causes.

Veronica cared for Bill, who was a professional gardener, for 14 years after he was diagnosed with vascular dementia following a stroke.

She is opening her garden to the public from Saturday, May 21, to Monday, May 23, from 2pm to 5pm, to boost the Admiral Nurse Campaign and Sidmouth Hospiscare.

The events have proven to be a big hit over the past six years.

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Grandmother-of-five Veronica told the Herald of her own struggle looking after her husband of 27 years and the positive impact an Admiral Nurse would have had. She said: “It [dementia] is a miserable, miserable, thing. It’s part of the realisation that things are getting worse and the person is vanishing before your eyes. Where you could have a conversation, now you cannot, you lose that adult person and you have a child in their place. I had tremendous support from my family. They paid for me to have as much care as I needed. If I hadn’t had that, I don’t know how I would have coped.”

Veronica added that, while she had not used Sidmouth Hospiscare, she recognised the importance of the palliative care service.

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Debbie Snelgrove, from the charity, said: “We are really looking forward to working with Veronica again after a successful event last year and also joining forces with the Admiral Nurse team - two very worthwhile local charities working hard for the Sid Valley locality.

“We are extremely grateful to Veronica for opening up her beautiful garden and for her ongoing support of Sidmouth Hospiscare. We are also very much hoping for a sunny weekend.”

Admission is £3 for adults and free for children.

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