AN employee at a Kidderminster firm and his new wife have donated £1,100 to St Richard's Hospice by asking guests to make a donation instead of giving wedding presents.

Dave Hill, who works at Smethwick Drop Forge (SDF), married Deanne Yarnold, of Worcester last month.

The couple asked for donations to the hospice in memory of both of their late partners.

Mr Hill's first wife, Joanne, lost her battle with cancer and died in hospital in Wolverhampton. She was due to be cared for at home by Mr Hill and her family with support from specialist nurses.

Ms Yarnold was working at St Richard’s Hospice as part of her social work degree when her husband of 20 years, Andrew, died from a heart attack after completing the Droitwich half marathon in 2011.

Mr Hill, 53, said: "We asked family and friends to donate money to St Richard’s in lieu of wedding presents and in memory of Joanne and Andrew.

"The money raised will go towards supporting other families going through the traumas we have been through and the dark days of bereavement.

"We are delighted that so much has been raised and are very grateful to all those who donated to help make a difference.”

The pair met after Ms Yarnold got in touch with Mr Hill, who was an old friend of Andrew’s, to let him know about a widows and widowers support group she had joined.

St Richard’s Hospice director of fundraising Tricia Cavell said, “This was very generous of Deanne and Dave and a lovely way to remember their loved ones.

"We are finding that more and more people are supporting St Richard’s in this way instead of receiving wedding gifts and we are very grateful for such a kind gesture.”

St Richard’s Hospice provides free specialist palliative care for patients with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses and supports their families.

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