What is St Luke's Hospice?

St Luke's is a hospice which cares for people aged 18 and above throughout Sheffield who have incurable illnesses. Their aim is always to control the patients symptoms, alleviate pain, and give them the best possible quality of life – all free of charge. It costs £6 million per annum to keep St Luke's open, and government funding, via NHS trusts only provides one third of the funds required, which means the Hospice has to raise a staggering £4 million each year to provide this vital end-of-life care.

This challenge was set up by a St Luke's Supporter who has seen first hand, the amazing care given to patients through St Luke's and whilst donations are now closed we would like to thank all our donators for their wonderful contributions.

Thursday 1 November 2012

A final challenge

This is going to be quite a difficult post to write, but, as you can probably already guess from the title of the post, this is going to be the final challenge from St Luke's charity cards challenge and this one is JUST FOR FUN, we are no longer accepting any new cards to sell on behalf of the hospice.

The idea for this challenge came to me a little under two years ago when I looked at the box full of cards I had made for challenges but had no recipients for and thought that up and down the UK there must be other card makers who were in the same boat.  What if we could something useful with these brilliant cards?  As my father had died 3 years before in St Luke's hospice of lung cancer, I thought that collecting these cards to sell on their behalf would be a perfect way to give a little back.  I thought we would get maybe 20 or 30 cards each month and that it would take a while to build up enough stocks for a sale, but I was so overwhelmed when you lovely, generous and creative people started to send not only your challenge cards but also boxes full of others.  I need to do a final count but I estimate that we will have received around 2250 cards in the 18 months we've been running which is not bad for a half baked idea!   The problem has been in the selling of the cards - it's been a tough year both due to the bad weather and resulting low fair turnout and cancellations, but also for me personally as my father-in-law now has terminal cancer and my mother is now housebound which means I just haven't had the weekends to give up to attend fairs in the last 6 months.  Even though the cards go to the hospice, there isn't anyone there that does anything with them, it's all me and I'm afraid I just don't have the necessary time to commit currently.  I have been frantically investigating other methods to sell the cards - I had always hoped when I set up the challenge that the cards could stock the hospice's charity shops across the city, but now I've looked into this a little more the prices they put on cards in the shops just does not match the quality of cards you send us and therefore I just didn't feel comfortable with asking you to donate anymore knowing they wouldn't fetch a fair price.  The staff at the hospice were also not able to track cards donated or sold so we would have no information going on the blog about your donations or the money they had raised - again not something I felt comfortable with.  Therefore I have no option but to stop the challenge.

We still have a few prizes from our kind sponsors so I thought the best thing to do would be to go out with one final challenge but this is one is being run just for fun and as a thank you to you all for all your previous donations.  You can still link up your cards and be in with a chance to win this one final bumper prize worth over £30.

This is the final challenge, but I won't be totally closing the blog will stay active as there is still a job to do with all the stock you have so kindly donated already.  Again, the hospice don't really know what to do with them (they suggested storing them in their cellar!) so they will be stored by me  at home until next year and will be taken to St Luke's own summer fair (I will continue to man the card stall there for them each year as a volunteer) and if I get a little more time next year I will try and do a few more fairs until I run the stocks down.  Any new sales will be updated on the blog from time to time, so if you're a follower you'll get the updates as they happen.

All that's left to say is a MASSIVE THANK YOU for all your support and we hope you had a little fun while it lasted

And so to that final challenge - we're leaving you with an easy one - all we want to see is a traditional Christmas card - you can interpret that in any way - traditional colours, religious theme or other traditional Christmas imagery.  And here are my wonderful DT members with their final inspirational projects for you - thank you ladies - you've all been a real pleasure to work with and have made this challenge what it is - couldn't have done it without you :-D

Thanks again to all who have joined in with our challenges - you've all made a great contribution to the work of the hospice and for that I can't thank you enough.

Tara x


  1. A set of gorgeous cards! I am very sad to see this but of course understandable too.

    Thanks for all the inspiration these past 18 months and so pleased that I've made many blog friends from the design team too!

  2. Thank you for all your hard work.

  3. I hope you feel very proud of what you've achieved Tara - I think you've done a brilliant job. I've loved playing along with these challenges and seeing what the design team comes up with each month. The cards this month are fabulous - and you're certainly going out with quite a bang! Vicky x

  4. So sad to see the challenge go Tara, but totally understand your reasons. Thanks so much for all your hard work, and all the best for the future.

    Nicki, x

  5. Ooooh Tara very sad news...i think you have made a great effort and a great work, but the life is very difficult many times.I wish the best for you and your family and i hope to see you as quickly as possible, never lost the hope!.
    Thank you for your time and thank you too to your great team.
    A warm and BIG hug from Palma.

  6. So sad 2 see the challenge finish but sometimes your personal life must come first. Thanx for all your hard work and dedication. My thoughts are with you as you face difficult times. Hugz x x x x

  7. Wow what a lovely collection of wonderful Traditonal cards all of them are so inspiring, it's so sad to know this is the last it's been a real pleasure taking part in the challenges your a great team too take care x

  8. Such a lovely display of crafting here. It's so sad that the challenges are ending and the situation with the cards for the hospice, but I totally understand and wish you well for the future x

  9. Oh, so sorry to hear that this will be your last card challenge. It must have been a difficult decision to make, but it sounds like you really have a lot on your plate right now.
    Thanks for all your hard work raising money and running the challenges.
    Take care
    Caroline xxx

  10. Hi Tara, I have enjoyed the challenges so much and it's very sad that you have decided to call it a day, but all good things must come to an end! You have obviously worked tirelessly for a charity which is close to your heart, so I hope you feel proud of all that you have achieved. I do hope to continue to see you in 'blogland'. Very best wishes
    Louise xx

  11. Such fabulous DT cards!
    Tara, I am so sorry to hear that this will be the last St Luke's challenge. But you have done such a wonderful job raising money for this charity over the past two years, and I think your amazing for doing that :)
    Take care!
    Lots of love,
    Sasha xx

  12. What a lovely selection of DT cards!

    Tara I'm sorry to hear that this is the last St Lukes Challenge, you've done a fantastic job raising money for the hospice and I'm sure you will continue to do so.
    Sending you my best wishes
    Sarah x

  13. Well done Tara for all you have achieved with this challenge. You are an inspiration to us all and it's been fun to be a part of something so worthwhile.
    I wish you all the best in supporting your family and hope to keep in touch via your blog.
    Thanks for what you have done here.

  14. Oh my! I haven't had much time to blog over the past month or so and just thought I'd check in to see how you've all been getting on over here and what the new challenge is and I'll be honest, it's not the news I was expecting to find! I echo the thoughts of those comments above and completely understand why you have come to this decision. Life must come first and I think it takes a stronger person to make this tough decision than to just keep it running, I admire that :)

    I hope that you now find yourself with the time you need to do all those things in your life that are clearly important, but also that you might get some time to yourself now to have a little rest! :)

    The design team have outdone themselves once again and as this is the final challenge I shall have to find the time to have a go myself! We all owe you a fabulous send off for all of your hard work, time and commitment to such a wonderful cause. I wish you all the best for the future, make sure you take care of yourself as well as everyone else :)

  15. Sorry to hear that this is the final challenge, thank you for all your hard work and of course I am proud to say that I was a winner here :-)
    Take care and well done for creating such a great challenge blog.
    Laura xx

  16. It's so true what others have already said - it's been fun and all good things come to an end. Well done for all your hard work, and to the DT as well. I'll still be following to see what happens. Oh - if it would raise money then any cards of mine could be sold for whatever they can raise through the Hospice shops - every little bit helps - I bet if you asked others they would say the same. We gave freely and with love - so wouldn't need to have feedback on amounts raised.

    Hugs, Di xx

  17. I am sorry to hear the news. You have had so many wonderful challenges and for a worthy cause. Thank you and may God bless you.

  18. I entered my last card for the challenge, sigh :( Hugs, Di xx

  19. Tara, I haven't played here for awhile and now I hear your news that you are stopping. I totally understand. Just wanted to pass on a couple ideas before your stock of cards goes to waste or stresses you out too much. I participated in Splitcoast Stampers Hope You Can Cling To this year for the first time - making cards for cancer patients in TX. Also sent a bunch of cards to Vera Yates Caring Hearts card drive for Christmas cards for seniors in nursing homes. I bet there are other similar drives, maybe even in the UK. St. Luke's wouldn't benefit, but someone would.