If you’re a fan of reality TV, you may know Ben Blackwell as a contestant from Married at First Sight NZ. As well as being a charismatic guy who graced our screens in 2018, Ben also has a heart of gold. Ben has organised a group of family and friends to participate in the upcoming Auckland and Wellington Round the Bays in memory of his grandfather Gordon and to raise funds for Mary Potter Hospice.
In October last year, my grandfather Gordon Copeland was diagnosed with cancer, his health quickly deteriorated and within a month our family ended up using Mary Potter Hospice’s service in his final days. Their work and support of our family and other families brings a great deal of comfort in an otherwise very difficult time, says Ben.
Grandad was a father to five, grandfather to ten and a great grandfather to six. He spent his career as a chartered accountant for BP petrol and later became a politician in Wellington. Although he was incredibly driven in his work, his passion was his faith. Grandad was a devout Catholic where he worked tirelessly for both the Catholic and Anglican Church, and in his retirement spent most of his time raising funds to save St Gerrard’s Monastery from demolition after the Kaikoura earthquakes.
Although the public will mostly read about his career achievements, they probably haven’t read much about him as a grandfather. He was devoted to us and would take us on private tours of the Beehive, he’d show up to our sports matches, take us for long walks around Wellington or dance with us in his living room to his Johnny Cash records. He’s left a big gap in our lives.
A group of us will be running and I’d love for you to donate to Mary Potter Hospice, so other families like my own can continue to use their invaluable services during very stressful and sad times, say Ben.
You are able to make a donation on Ben’s Givealittle page here. If you are donating in memory of Gordon or a loved one, in appreciation of Hospice care, or simply because you believe in the work we do – thank you so much. And thank you Ben!
Mary Potter Hospice has a proud history of care, compassion and commitment to the people of Wellington. Our hospice care services are free of charge and available to patients with life-limiting illnesses living in Wellington, Porirua and the Kāpiti Coast. Together, let’s keep hospice care free.