Hospice nurses take on China trek to raise vital funds
By Matt Hall | 16th January 2020
Three hospice nurses are going on the adventure of a lifetime trekking along one of the Seven Wonders of the World to raise money.
Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice staff Cath Shatford, Bex Pearce and Heather Mitchell are swapping their nursing uniforms for sportswear and walking boots to take on a Great Wall of China trek in October.
The nine-day trek will see them travel to Beijing and hike through woodland and farm land as well as follow the contours of hills and mountains. They will walk sections of the spectacular Great Wall, which stretches 6,000km in a dotted line and dates back to the 5th century BC.
One highlight of the trek is climbing 'Heaven's Ladder' - a steep climb of over 200 steps leading up a cliff edge.
The kind-hearted colleagues are part of Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court's Hospice at Home team and care for people at their end of their lives in their own homes.
Taking on the Great Wall of China challenge was the idea of senior nursing assistant Cath, who enlisted her colleagues to sign up with her. Together, they will raise vital funds for the hospice.
Heather, a bank registered nurse, said: "No matter how hard the trek is going to get, it will pale into insignificance in comparison to what our patients and their families are going through.
"I know what will motivate us and keep us going - apart from our wicked sense of humour - will be the memories of all those people we have cared for, and all the people we have not met yet but we will be able to meet in the future because of the money that is raised."
Senior nursing assistant Cath, added: "We will be able to draw strength from each other when times get tough on the trek. With each other, we will smash it!"
Nursing assistant Bex, who joined the hospice last year, said: "I think it was only my second shift with Cath and I was talked into this challenge! It is for a great cause and we hope to raise lots of money for our beautiful and vitally important hospice."
Speaking about the trio, Caitie Ford, community fundraising officer at Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice, said: "Every day, as part of our Hospice at Home team, Cath, Bex and Heather help local people at the end of their lives to remain at home and be cared for in their own familiar surroundings; they fulfil final wishes. They will be taking on an incredible adventure to raise funds so we - and they - can carry on providing their compassionate care.
"While the care we provide at Leckhampton Court and out in the community is free of charge to those who need it, we need to raise £2.5 million this year to continue to provide it. We are really grateful to our terrific trekkers for their support and wish them lots of luck with their challenge! If their story has inspired you, there is still time to join them and take on the Great Wall of China trek in support of Sue Ryder."
Emma Wright, clinical lead of the Hospice at Home team at Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice said: "Our Hospice at Home team always go above and beyond. Cath, Bex and Heather taking on this challenge is testament to their passion and dedication to the families they help to care for."
Find out more about the Great Wall of China trek visit www.sueryder.org/support-us/fundraise/events/great-wall-of-china-trek-2020 or to sponsor the trio visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Catherine-Shatford.
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