30th Anniversary Feature – Carole Geary

Carole Geary has been a volunteer fundraiser for Francis House for more than 25 years.

Graham Baxendale with Carole Geary on a train

Graham Baxendale and Carole Geary raising funds on the Northern Belle

Former HR manager for Marks & Spencer, Carole took early retirement and was introduced to Francis House in the mid-1990s.

She joined a committee, led by Judy Bailey, organising sell-out summer concerts at Arley Hall and Tatton Park, greatly raising the profile of the hospice throughout the North West.

In 2001, Carole, Judy and Millie Llewellyn, published a book ‘Posh Nosh’ which invited almost 100 celebrities to put together a collection of their favourite recipes.

After calling up Raymond Blanc, she took Sister Aloysius, Sister Austin, and Father Tom Mulheran to meet the world-famous chef at his Manchester restaurant. Raymond agreed to promote the book and write the foreword and the book went on to raise a lot of money.

Posh Nosh book cover

'Posh Nosh' book of celebrity recipes.

Inspired by Sister Aloysius, Carole from Alderley Edge, began to organise her own fundraising events, using her skills to help spread the word of her beloved Francis House.

Countless Ladies Lunches, Carol Concerts, Fashion Shows, Christmas Balls and even a VIP Train Journey filled a packed calendar of events.

Carole’s infectious enthusiasm for fundraising combined with the support of her family, friends, and a voluntary committee of women from Alderley Edge and Prestbury, has seen her contribute to raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for Francis House.

“We need to give Francis House our support. We are so fortunate to have these facilities and so many of my friends and family have bought into it, it is part of our life and a real privilege to be involved."

Carole Geary

Kind-hearted Carole says volunteering her time is ‘addictive’ and she spends immeasurable hours on the telephone talking to venues and businesses, always keen to give her guests a memorable fundraising experience.

“I’ve found that with a lot of the support that I get from businesses, once you’ve got a nice rapport with them, they just want to do more. We’ve got this wonderful contact now with Rolex and it raises so much money.

“People like the fact that I have followers that I can go to, not just to come to the event but to provide prizes, as well as their time,” she says.

People at black tie dinner ball

L-R Graham Baxendale, Pauline McGuinness, Carole Geary, Tony McGuinness and Liz Cooper-Mitchell. Image: Courtesy of Cheshire Life.

Above all Carole is keen for the public to know the difference that Francis House makes to the lives of hundreds of children and families from the local community.

“It’s our hospice in our area and I want people to know that. Everyone can show their support by giving their time or buying a ticket, they can give a raffle prize or anything to help generate some income that I can then pass over to the hospice.

“I feel just as passionate about Francis House now as I did 25 years ago. I can’t wait for things to get back into full swing after COVID, because it put the brakes on everything.

“I don’t feel guilty about asking for things to support Francis House. It empowers me, and once people are on board my passion becomes their passion.”

Visit our fundraising ideas page

More posts