We’re called Softwire and we make bespoke software for a range of clients including the BBC, Channel 5, Anthony Nolan and several government departments. We’re based in Kentish Town but also have satellite offices in Manchester and Bucharest. With only 150 employees, we are a really close-knit community, so it affected us all hugely when our Technical Director, Matthew Richards, was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour in 2017. Matthew had worked at Softwire since its founding in 2000 – he was our fourth ever employee after the three company founders – and was an absolute pillar of the Softwire community.

The Hospice gave Matthew and his family support throughout the end of his life, and we are incredibly grateful for the compassion and care he received there. We’re especially grateful he was able to spend so much time at home with his wife and kids, supported by the Community Palliative Care Team

After Matthew’s death in September 2018, his family started up an online collection in his memory, 50% of which was for the Hospice. Many Softwire employees contributed personally, but we felt the company itself should add something too. So, we used our budget to match all donations on the collection. We also held a Charity Saturday fundraiser event, where employees volunteered their Saturday to work a normal day, and Softwire donated all that day’s earnings to charity.

Traditionally that money goes to a charity of the volunteer’s choice, and near unanimously, people felt that St Raphael’s should receive their share – so overall one day’s work raised slightly over £2,000.

In January, Sarah and Usman, Softwire’s Charity Officers, visited the Hospice for a cheque presentation, ceremony and tour. It was brilliant to get to meet everyone on the team, who were incredibly welcoming and truly generous with their time (and with their cake). The Hospice is very well-equipped with everything from hi-tech bathtubs to top-notch baking; there’s art on every surface and a real sense of life runs through the place.

We’re chuffed that Softwire has been able to help other people receive the top-class care that Matthew received. Our donation is made in memory of Matthew and we wish the Hospice staff and volunteers all the best.