KAREN Lloyd was rarely seen without a steaming hot cup of Costa coffee in hand.
And now her chain of choice is poised to honour its most loyal customer by furthering her charity work in a fundraising day in aid of Prospect Hospice, coinciding with the Adver’s 160 Appeal for the Wroughton organisation.
Karen, or Moosie as she was lovingly nicknamed by husband Alan, died at Prospect Hospice on Tuesday, February 4 – six months after being diagnosed with stage three cancer. She was 51.
The latte enthusiast, of Freshbrook, could always be found enjoying a drink at one of the branch’s coffee shops. Her infectious laughter and huge personality earned her fast friends among Swindon’s Costa baristas.
The mother-of-two’s obsession with the cafe led her loved ones to bury her in a custom-made Costa coffin bearing the firm’s logo – a quirky move which made headlines as far as America.
To celebrate Karen, baristas will hold a fundraising day, complete with raffles, on Saturday, March 29, at six of Swindon’s Costa shops: the Drive Through, Havelock Street, The Outlet, The Station, The Parade and Next@Home.
Matt Burt, manager of the Next@Home branch, said Karen had made such a lasting impact on employees they had all jumped at the chance to pay tribute to her.
“Staff were affected by the fact that she passed away so quickly,” he said.
“She was such a lively character. They all said ‘let’s make sure we do something in her memory and raise money for her favourite charity’. Staff in the town centre shops were especially close to Karen. They are all so keyed up to do the fundraising.
“We are hoping to raise between £500 and £1,000.”
In June last year, Karen was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer after a mass half the size of her breast was spotted by specialists at the Great Western Hospital.
Always the optimist, she treated her diagnosis as an opportunity to raise funds for the hospital’s breast cancer unit.
On December 12, she discovered the cancer had spread to her spinal fluid and was given between two weeks and two months to live. A week later, she was admitted to Prospect Hospice where she died on February 4.
Her close friend Lynzi Barrett approached Costa in a bid to collect funds for the hospice which cared for Karen in her final moments.
“She would come up with any excuse for a coffee,” said Lynzi, 53, of Rodbourne Cheney.
“I decided to contact Costa’s head office, who provided flowers and cups for Karen’s funeral, to see if they may like to make a donation to the Prospect Hospice. A month later Costa have organised a fundraising day for Prospect in honour of Karen.
“All the staff will be dressed in pink and they will be having raffle prizes donated by many of the Swindon stores. Karen would have been so pleased. She would really want Prospect to benefit. The family are chuffed to bits.”
To donate to Prospect Hospice in memory of Karen, visit www.prospect-hospice.net