Kettering hospice gets fundraising boost with joy of socks inspired by Cransley founder Dr John Smith

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The hospice would like you to ‘fill a sock’

Cransley Hospice has asked people to put their feet into fundraising following the inspiration of the Kettering facility’s founder.

With their 25-year anniversary celebrated in 2023, Cransley Hospice Trust has been inspired by its founding consultant Dr John Smith.

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Whilst a consultant, he would randomly be given donations from the community to support patients receiving palliative and end-of-life care, donations he kept in a sock in his drawer.

Staff with their socks ready for the Fill A Sock! campaign /Cransley HospiceStaff with their socks ready for the Fill A Sock! campaign /Cransley Hospice
Staff with their socks ready for the Fill A Sock! campaign /Cransley Hospice

Cransley’s latest ‘Fill A Sock!’ campaign will see supporters dig deep to stuff socks with loose change in honour of the unusual way the hospice began.

Dr Smith said: “Overnight would be an exaggeration but only just. Whilst walking through St Mary’s Hospital with Linda Morrison, a Macmillan nurse, we spotted two half empty long stay wards – Cransley and Pytchley – strangely homely with wallpaper on the walls and flowered duvets on the beds. ‘That would make a nice hospice ward’ we said aloud pointing to Cransley.

“Within a week the ward sister was on the phone saying I could have four beds. It was wonderfully crazy, and a week later I admitted a patient and soon I was filling the ward. The nursing staff adapted and were magnificent, as they are today, because it is skilled care that matters and always will.”

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Sock stuffers can follow in the footsteps of Dr Smith by signing up to the challenge at – the only requirement is to use a clean sock.

Rev Dr John Smith/National WorldRev Dr John Smith/National World
Rev Dr John Smith/National World

A Cransley Hospice spokesman said: “Have a think about how you would like to fill it. The free inspiration guide can be downloaded from the website which contains lots of ideas to get you started. You could hold a bake sale, or organise a charity football match… or it could be as easy as searching the house for any loose change.

"Once your sock is full, simply pay your money to Cransley Hospice Trust via website, phone or in person.”

Supporters are being encouraged to share their fundraising ideas and plans with their friends and family, as well as on social media to help the charity spread the word about “Fill A Sock!”