Hats off in memory of Helen

WWL staff take part in Wear A Hat Day in memory of Helen Hand
WWL staff take part in Wear A Hat Day in memory of Helen Hand

Zany headgear was much in evidence as Wigan hospital staff celebrated and mourned a much-missed colleague.

Wear A Hat Day is the nation’s only national brain tumour awareness event that generates awareness of and funds for sustainable and continuous research into such potentially lethal conditions.

The event was organised in memory of Helen Hand, Board Secretary at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust.

Helen sadly passed away earlier this year at the age of just 57 having been diagnosed with a glioblastoma brain tumour.

A variety of hats graced the heads of staff from across the Trust’s sites.

Patients, relatives and visitors were also encouraged to donate or buy Brain Tumour Research badges and wrist bands in support of the charity.

Through the combined generosity of the staff, patients and visitors, the event raised more than £500 for the charity.

Chairman of the Trust, Robert Armstrong, said: “We are deeply saddened to have lost Helen to this disease and are pleased that we can remember her in such a positive and fun way.

“Helen had worked for the Trust for 15 years and had spent most of her working life carrying out many different roles in the NHS.

“Helen was a kind, loyal and much-valued member of the WWL family who is missed by many.”

Helen’s son Stephen Hand, who is the Trust’s Membership Manager, said: “I am very touched that colleagues have chosen to remember my mum in this way.

“Helen was always looking for any excuse to wear one of her hats - the bigger the better!

“I think this is a great way to raise both awareness and generate funds to further research into a disease that we as a family never saw coming, and yet was so devastating in its effect.”

Wear A Hat Day is the UK’s premier brain tumour awareness event, raising money to improve the lives of patients and help find a cure.

Now in its eighth year, it is inspired by the 16,000 people who are diagnosed each year.

It is dedicated to the memory of those lost to a cancer which hasn’t seen the same advancements in understanding and treatment as some other cancers and is now sadly more common than it was a generation ago.