THE death of a loved one at Prospect Hospice has inspired Tim Willis to support the charity’s bid to raise £1 million this month.

Hugh Emmans, a food microbiologist who developed motor neurone disease in his early 40s, was supported by Prospect Hospice in the last two years of his life and died in 2007 in the inpatient unit when he was 45.

His partner Tim felt so strongly that Prospect had a positive impact on Hugh’s quality of life, that he joined the board of trustees and was elected its chair.

He said: “I know from our experience the difference it makes, having Prospect Hospice there.

“The best thing for us was that they knew what to expect next as Hugh’s MND progressed, so we were as prepared as we could be for new step of the way.

“I also know that once you are being cared for by Prospect Hospice anything’s possible, and the crucial thing is, it’s all completely free.”

Tim set up his own page to raise money for the charity as part of Prospect’s campaign Thanks a Million, which aims to fill the funding gap caused by the pandemic.

The charity, which has been providing end-of-life care for four decades, has had to close its shops and cancel its fundraising events because of Covid-19.

He said: “I think the Thanks a Million fundraiser is an amazing idea, and I have singed up to take my own page. I’m asking friends and family to forgo giving me presents for my birthday in June, but to support my Thanks a Million page instead.

“When things were normal, I used to have people round on my birthday and lay on all the catering and insist on no presents – Prospect Hospice provided a fundraising bucket that they could put cash or cheques in if they wanted – last time I did that it raised £700, which was fantastic.

“Obviously, a million pounds is a huge ask by Prospect Hospice, and it’s not something that’s going to happen every year, but this past year has been unprecedented. In times of challenge, we look to our community to get through it, and Prospect is a much-needed focus for our community.”

The community is being challenged to raise as much money for Prospect Hospice as possible over the course of 36 hours between April 25 and 26.

Tim said: “I’m asking my friends and family to help me hit a target of £1,000 over the Thanks a Million weekend. I know that’s ambitious, but it’s been a testing year for the whole community.

“I’m sure we’ll all rise to the challenge and help Prospect Hospice fill the fund-raising gap that has resulted from the pandemic, so the wonderful staff there can carry on making such a difference to people like Hugh and me.”

The charity hopes to raise £1m by the end of the summer. Visit