Walkers rise to mountain challenge and top £25,000 for Hospice at Home

Date: Monday 12th June 2017
The Gin Suppers team are (back, left to right) Karen Hill, Heidi Batey, Rachel Johnson, Claire Hudson, Alice Robinson, Anna Beaty ad Sue Nicolson. Front: Karen Kirk, Maria Howe, Debbie Chambers and Steph Fidler.
The Gin Suppers team are (back, left to right) Karen Hill, Heidi Batey, Rachel Johnson, Claire Hudson, Alice Robinson, Anna Beaty ad Sue Nicolson. Front: Karen Kirk, Maria Howe, Debbie Chambers and Steph Fidler.

A TOTAL of 180 walkers completed the Hospice at Home 20 Challenge on Saturday, in aid of charity Hospice at Home Carlisle and North Lakeland.

The event, which was organised as part of the charity’s 20th anniversary year celebrations, is expected to raise more than £25,000 for Hospice at Home.

The day began bright and early at Braithwaite Institute, near Keswick, at 6am, where participants registered, had their breakfast, and then set off on the challenging route. The aim for the day was to either complete the 11-mile/five peak route or the 20-mile/10 peak route — both epic challenges with a great deal of ascent.

The first part of the day featured the conquering of Catbells, Maiden Moor, High Spy, Dale Head and Robinson before the walkers descended into Buttermere after more than 11 miles of challenging walking, for a well-deserved refreshment break. Participants were welcomed in to great cheers from the support team and snacks kindly provided by Greggs, McVities, Traybakes Ltd, Blakemore Foundation and Starfruits.

In the afternoon, participants climbed the peaks of Whiteless Pike, Wandope, Crag Hill, Sail and Barrow before their triumphant arrival back at Braithwaite Institute for a delicious cream tea provided by Hospice at Home’s Keswick volunteer fund-raising group.

The event saw participants of all ages, from all over the country, joining together to celebrate the charity’s 20 years of providing vital care for patients at the end stages of life.

The Harrison Hikers team, from Carlisle, entered the event in memory of Gordon Harrison, father of team members Ian and Graham, who was cared for by Hospice at Home in 2015. The team commented on their Just Giving page: “Gordon’s last few days at home were spent in comfort and with the dignity he deserved and we will forever be grateful for the support they provided.”

The Over the Hills team were also remembering a loved one who had been cared for by the organisation. A spokesman added to their Just Giving page: “In 2009 nurses from the charity looked after my granddad, Tom McQuillan, over a four-day period before he died.

“They stayed with him overnight and tended to his needs in a caring and dignified manner so that his family could have some respite. The sponsorship raised will go some way to helping the charity with the £20,000 they need to raise each week to continue providing this invaluable service.”

Another team, PRAM, from the Penrith area, included two team members who chose to take part in this event as part of their 40th wedding anniversary celebrations. Roger and Kay Leech commented: “Having spent our honeymoon walking in the Lake District it seemed to make sense to celebrate this milestone walking in the Lake District and ask friends and family to make donations instead of giving presents.” Their fund-raising page, to date, has raised £1,459.

The Boots, Brothers and Banter team drew family members together from all corners of the country. Team members travelled from Cumbria, Edinburgh, Milton Keynes and Buckinghamshire to take part the event.

Cath Coates, fund-raiser for Hospice at Home, said: “We would like to thank everyone involved for making this day such a huge success. The walkers were fantastic, always smiling despite the challenge they were faced with.

“We received wonderful support from local volunteers who marshalled, registered participants in and provided catering support — the event couldn’t have happened without these generous supporters and the charity would like to thank everyone for this amazing generosity.

“We would also like to thank Story Homes for sponsoring the event. With their financial support more funds can be allocated to provide care for patients with life-limiting or life-threatening illnesses who wish to remain at home.

“The efforts and commitment shown by everyone has been truly inspirational.

“Without doubt this challenge ‘Walk 20 Miles for 20 Years of Care’ will be an event that the poignant 20th Anniversary will be remembered for. Thank you to all.”