Your stories

The Pear Tree Fund

The Pear Tree Centre

Hear from the families we have helped

The Pear Tree Fund is all about helping those in the local community with serious and life limiting illnesses. We welcome all your stories and thank you for sharing them with us.

Pat Rennie, Holton

“The Pear Tree Fund (formerly HCNCF) came into my life about nine years ago when my husband Bud first became unwell, and continued to support us throughout his illness.

“Being given a life-changing diagnosis is shattering and bewildering, and it is very hard to get your head around all that it entails. To have an organisation that you can talk to and which can guide you through the practicalities while supporting you mentally is everything.

“Over the years, we had many ups and downs, but the charity was always there for us and even more so in the last weeks of my husband’s life. Bud’s wish was to stay in his own home, and when I couldn’t manage anymore on my own, everything was put in place to care for my husband in the final weeks within seven days of us asking for help.

“They did all of the organisation, including arranging the extra aids which were needed and nursing support throughout the day and evening, and on several occasions arranged for a nurse to stay overnight so I could have a rest.

“Halesworth is extremely lucky to have such a caring organisation and I cannot thank them enough for the help we received throughout my husband’s illness. I will always support them in any way I can.”

Pat and Bud Rennie
Jane Dekker square

Jane Dekker

“When you’ve received a life-changing medical diagnosis and are going through some of the toughest moments possible, asking for help from those close to you seems like an added burden. That’s why the team at the Pear Tree Centre are so amazing. They are lifesavers.

"With no judgement or bias, they open up space in the midst of your trauma to simply allow you to breath again. Breath and let out the anger, breath and let out the pain, breath and work out a next step in a world where there’s a mountain to climb or marathon to run with a destination that is scary and unknown. And they’ll continue to be there to pick you up time and time again, whenever you need it. 

"I found a large tumour and was diagnosed with breast cancer in late 2021. My world shattered. I lost all sense of direction. In a single moment, I had become a dreaded cancer statistic, with no idea of what the outcome would be apart from that I wouldn’t give up. Overnight, my husband’s and my life changed from being relatively relaxed and enjoying time with family and friends to having our days determined by an intense medical schedule. My cancer never made me feel ill, but the treatment to get rid of it almost broke me. It stripped me bare both physically and mentally.

"Before my diagnosis, I’d not really heard of the Pear Tree Centre. After I’d received my cancer news, a wonderful friend suggested that they might be able to help me – and they did.  Throughout 2022, I called in unannounced when I didn’t know where else to go, often dazed and confused and simply needing a calm space away from my new everyday life of cancer treatment. I also went back for “check-in” chats when I was feeling more in control simply to say I was OK. Wherever I was at on my journey, the team supported me, offering guidance, signposting me to other services and resources, or simply chatting over tea and cake.

"I still continue to put a brave face on my illness, finding it hard to share how the experience really made me feel. The team at the Pear Tree offer their time and space wherever you are on the journey, knowing that by simply being there, they are integral to the coping and healing process.

"We are so incredibly lucky to have the Pear Tree Centre on our doorstep. The staff and volunteers are some of the true unsung heroes in our world. They quietly work in the background until we need them. They support us, give us strength and capacity and then help us on our way again. How can we thank them enough?"

Dot Booley, Holton

“When my husband Peter was diagnosed with prostate and bone cancer, the community nurses became part of our lives.

“At each stage of his illness, his needs were recognised and provided for with equipment and care, and a stairlift, oxygen, hospital bed, commode and ripple mattress all helped to make our lives easier.

“As Peter’s cancer progressed, so did the care he received. The charity also arranged for carers to come in twice a day to wash and dress him. Peter also had reflexology for his swollen feet and legs, and the charity paid for me to have treatment too which helped me immensely.

“I wouldn't have coped with Peter’s illness without the constant care which the Pear Tree Fund (formerly HCNCF) provided. I will always be grateful to them.”


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The Pear Tree Fund's latest news

Learn what's happening in and around our fund.

Dedicated duo bid farewell

A husband-and-wife team who have helped raise tens of thousands of pounds for the Pear Tree Fund are retiring after together clocking up nearly 45 years’ service with the charity. Ted and Jane Edwards will step down as trustees of ... Read More

Generous grant to help the community get cooking

People who have lost a loved one can now socialise with others and boost their wellbeing by taking part in special cooking classes organised by the Pear Tree Fund. The ‘cooking for one’ sessions will give people who have recently ... Read More

PTF’s thanks for golfers’ support

Generous golfers have presented the Pear Tree Fund with a cheque for £2,000 to help the charity continue its vital work supporting local people with life-changing illnesses. The donation comes after Rob Sherington, men’s captain at Halesworth Golf Ltd, selected ... Read More

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