Riffington Manor, David Black’s prominent home in Uplands, is a prime location for film production – and Black is putting it to charitable use. Fees he collects for renting his home to production companies get donated to Victoria Hospice, a charity close to Black’s heart. While Black was losing his late wife Annabeth to cancer, Victoria Hospice provided necessary and compassionate care.
”They looked after my wife when she died. It takes a lot of work. When you’ve got a terminal cancer, that pain is moving and the pain relievers that work this week, don’t work next week. You need to have a nurse or doctor work it out,” said Black. “These people were brilliant. They would come into the house, figure out what they needed, and make it easier for her.”
Black’s stories of his life with Annabeth – from the moment they met to raising their four children to many adventures with their mutual love of sailing – puts in perspective the importance of having support while navigating the difficult path at the end of a terminal illness. Having health professionals focus on giving one’s loved one the best physical and compassionate care, allows one to focus on saying goodbye.
“I think most of us prefer to avoid thinking about death. We tend to think about quantity of life, rather than quality of life and the care we might want when dealing with terminal illness like cancer, heart disease, kidney disease, etc. That’s why support from Hospice champions like David Black is so critical to our ongoing operation,” said Tom Arnold, director of Fund Development for Victoria Hospice. “Through his personal experience, David understands the value of Hospice care, and by donating the fees for films shot at his home, he’s brought much needed funds and awareness to our work.”
Victoria Hospice gets half of their annual funding from the donations of the community.
“We’ve got to help pay for it, so this is one simple way of doing it,” said Black. “I know the cast and crew are keen to do it too. They like the thought of giving back.”
Black started renting out his manor to production companies about 20 years ago. The last few, including Once Upon A Prince which is currently filming on his property, have been Hallmark movies. Black loves both the hustle and bustle of a production happening in his manor and the opportunity to give back.
“Wouldn’t it be great if we could start a bit of a tradition, that if you don’t really need the money, then let’s have it go to a great charity, like Victoria Hospice,” said Black.
“His generosity has helped Victoria Hospice provide care to many more families in the Victoria area, and we’re truly grateful for all that he has done,” said Arnold.
Victoria Hospice is a not-for-profit with a mission to “enhance the quality of life for those facing advancing illness, death and bereavement, through skilled and compassionate care, education, research and advocacy.”
Donations help to provide the very best possible round-the-clock care, support, and pain and symptom management for patients nearing end-of-life, whether at home, in the community or at the Inpatient unit. Community donations support all Victoria Hospice services and programs that are not funded through the health care system, including counselling, spiritual care, bereavement services, volunteer coordination and training, and a significant portion of the Palliative Response Team.
Last year, more than 7,000 individuals contributed by way of one-time, monthly, or annual donations, sponsorships, grants, special events, and legacy gifts. The 7th Annual Hike for Hospice is coming up on May 6th.
Another way to give is by volunteering. Nearly 300 volunteers play an essential role at Victoria Hospice, supporting the programs and services and ensuring patients and families receive quality end-of-life care.
Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.