Sidcup-based charity The Joan Seeley Pain Relief Memorial Trust’s latest donation of pain relief equipment to the Hospice has brought the total they have given to us to an incredible £50,000- worth, over the last 39 years.
Colin Seeley, former Grand Prix sidecar racer and motorbike designer and maker (pictured above at Goodwood with his second wife Eva), founded the Trust after the death of his first wife Joan from bone cancer in 1979. As a tribute to her courage, he set up the charity to provide equipment for the relief of chronic pain. The Hospice was the first organisation to receive one of the Trust’s grants.
Colin, who runs the Trust with Eva, is proud to say: “Every £1 we collect is £1 spent, as we have no admin or Trustee costs. Forty hospitals and hospices in the UK have been supplied with £255,000 of pain relief equipment since the Trust started.”
“When Joan suffered her illness there was very little pain relief equipment at the time,” adds Colin. “She spent time in Greenwich hospital before moving home to Belvedere with the support of consultant anaesthetist Dr Frances Sorrell. I knew I could raise funds for Dr Sorrell’s clinic but wanted to do much more than that, so I established a memorial trust in Joan’s name with the support of Duckhams Oil Company and the sport of motor cycling.”
Colin raced in the British and world championship sidecar competitions between 1961 and 1966, winning the 1964 Dutch TT. When he retired from competition he started to successfully manufacturer and design his own frames for racing bikes, many of which have become seen as classics. At the age of 82 he still works with auctioneers Bonhams giving advice on vintage motorbikes.
Bostall Woods, where the Hospice is situated, is close to Colin’s heart, as it is where he used to play as a boy, five miles away from the AJS and Matchless motorbike factory where he met Joan and to which he would have a long and close connection during his adult years. Colin is also a former Hospice Trustee.
“Colin and Eva’s support of the Hospice has been an immense help to people with terminal illness over a near 40 year period,” says Kate Heaps, the Hospice’s Chief Executive. “They are such kind and consistent supporters and have helped so many. We can’t thank them enough and are immensely proud to be associated with the Trust and everything it stands for.”