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28 Feb 2020 Volunteer News

Long-standing supporter dedicates over 30 years to fundraise for Kirkwood

Since the early 1980s, Denise Cobbett, who now runs the aptly named Dee’s Support Group, has raised over £91,000 for patients and families. With over thirty years of hard work behind her, it’s safe to say that Dee truly has Kirkwood at the heart of everything she does.

Denise’s father, Dennis Carmichael, died 31 years ago after contracting pneumonia. Following his death, Denise (Dee) was invited by her neighbour and friend, Irene, to come along to a local coffee morning in aid of Kirkwood. She took mum Sheila along to the event – and has been supporting Kirkwood ever since.

Dalton Support Group, who held regular events to fundraise for Kirkwood, hosted a community coffee morning at the Grove Church in Dalton.

At the time, part of Irene’s role within the Dalton Support Group was to hand-make items to sell such as wheatbags and aprons. After seeing her efforts at the coffee morning, Dee decided to get more involved and started helping Irene create hand-crafted items to boost their fundraising efforts.  

Five years after her Dad had died, Dee’s auntie, Nellie Wood, sadly died at Kirkwood. This made Dee more determined to fundraise for Kirkwood. She soon became an official member of her local Support Group.

Over time, sadly, the group eventually disbanded. But Dee wasn’t ready to stop raising funds, so decided to set up her own group, which she named ‘Dee’s Support Group’.

Dee said: “As well as my auntie Nellie spending her final days at Kirkwood, we also had friends that had been cared for by the team at Kirkwood. We’ve got so much respect for the Hospice; we just wanted to keep helping out.

“I started fundraising on my own, but before long, friends started to join me. We all had different talents and worked well together.”

Since its inception, Dee’s Support Group has gone on to raise over £91,000!

 A selection of articles from the Huddersfield Examiner in recognition of Dee's Group's fundraising

 Dee (right) with members of Dee's Support Group at Kirkwood's Christmas Fair

 Hand-knitted Easter Chicks hand-made and filled with a Creme Egg to sell in aid of Kirkwood.


Dee said: “I feel so proud that, as a group, we have raised so much money to help patients and their families in the local community.”

From organising tombolas to raffling chocolate hampers and signing people up to Kirkwood events; Dee’s group always have Kirkwood at the heart of everything they do.

When asking Dee what her most memorable fundraiser was, she said: “We once organised a pub crawl. It was such good fun, everyone had such a great time. Another memorable fundraiser was when we held a huge tombola at the Tandem Pub. It caused a huge traffic jam because everyone was stopping on the roadside so they could come in and support Kirkwood.”

Dee is so committed to the Kirkwood cause, that when Kirkwood opened its first ever Coffee Shop in Denby Dale, Dee volunteered her group to run it until a full team was put in place. Dee and her group ran the café successfully for six whole months, helping to firmly establish it in the local community.

The list of Dee’s efforts is endless! Always looking for a new challenge, she has attended many events on behalf of the fundraising team over the years, and when the time came to celebrate her golden wedding anniversary and 70th birthday, she used it as an opportunity to raise over £3,000 for Kirkwood.

 Dee and Mick with their Golden Anniversary balloons

Dee and her Husband, Mick – one of the groups unsung heroes – spend much of their summer in their static caravan at Reighton Sands. But even when she’s miles away from Kirkwood, they still have fundraising on the brain! Dee and her friends run regular tombolas whilst they’re away, splitting the proceeds between RNLI and Kirkwood Hospice.

We are delighted to announce that Dee has now become an official Ambassador here at Kirkwood. 

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