No wedding presents, please - just donations to Sidmouth Hospiscare

Emily and Steve Rockey married at Gee's restaurant in Oxford. Photo by Andy Cracknell

Emily and Steve Rockey married at Gee's restaurant in Oxford. Photo by Andy Cracknell - Credit: Archant

A couple were left ‘astonished’ when their wedding day generosity netted £2,000 for a charity that cared for a loved one as she battled terminal ovarian cancer.

Beverley Rockey

Beverley Rockey - Credit: Archant

Beverley Rockey’s funeral last March raised money for Sidmouth Hospiscare and her son Stephen and fiancée Emily Perry saw another chance to back the cause when they tied the knot in January.

Instead of wedding gifts, they asked for donations – and their fundraising will not stop there.

Emily, 31, said: “We are in the fortunate position where we have a house filled with things people would normally give at a wedding. We wanted to do something more. It wasn’t a massive decision to ask for no presents and it’s so much more fulfilling to give something back.

“Sidmouth Hospiscare is small, but it’s so important in the community. Without donations, they wouldn’t be in existence.

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“They did an incredible job with Beverley, making sure she had the very best care and supporting us through a very tough time.

“We didn’t expect to lose her before we got married – someone very important was missing from it. She is someone we miss every single day.”

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Emily met 39-year-old Steve when she sold him some human resources software three-and-a-half years ago.

With Beverley’s death reminding them ‘life is very short’, they got engaged last August and soon realised Sidmouth Hospiscare was on the JustGiving fundraising website. They hope their generosity will raise awareness of the cause and encourage other couples to set up charity wedding lists.

Emily added: “We set a target of £1,000 for the whole year. We were astonished to raise more than £2,000 at the wedding – our guests were so generous. I think Beverley would have been very pleased with that.”

She said their future fundraising is not yet ‘set in stone’, but Steve plans to walk the South Downs Way and she hopes to take on a running challenge.

The couple have a three-year-old son, Theo, and live in Sussex.

Dr Gill Ryall, the chief executive of the Sidmouth Hospiscare Trust, said: “We are really grateful to Emily and Steve for encouraging their friends and family to make donations to Sidmouth Hospiscare instead of wedding gifts and for raising over £2,000.

“This was a lovely idea in memory of Steve’s mum, and the money raised will help us to continue to provide palliative and end of life care to all of those in need in the Sid Valley as well as support for their carers and families.”

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