Dolcie-Ann to walk in memory of dad on Father's Day
By David Wood
An incredible nine-year-old girl from Gloucestershire has raised over £1,000 by doing a special walk in honour of her dad who was cared for at a Sue Ryder hospice.
In a touching tribute, Dolcie-Ann Collins will lace up her trainers this Father's Day (Sunday, June 20) and walk three-and-a-half miles from Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice to Cheltenham Cemetery and Crematorium, Prestbury.
Dolcie-Ann has chosen to raise funds for Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice to say thank you for the care her late dad Chad Collins received there in 2013.
At the time of writing, through donations and sponsorship, Dolcie-Ann had raised more than £1,000.
This isn't the first time the inspiring young fundraiser has raised money for charities in memory of her dad. She has previously held cake sales and also completed a 5k sponsored walk.
Dolcie-Ann, who is one of Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice's youngest-ever fundraisers, said: "I am going to walk from Sue Ryder up to my dad's resting place with my Auntie Sue. I was nearly two when my dad passed away at Sue Ryder. I don't remember much but my family told me they helped my dad when he got very poorly.
"The reason why I chose to raise money for Sue Ryder is because it's a way of thanking all the doctors and nurses who helped look after my dad. Helping them to get more money will help them look after other poorly people now and in the future."
Dolcie-Ann's mum, Charlotte Collins, volunteers for Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice. Before the lockdown restrictions, she gave up her free time to serve drinks and chat to patients and their loved ones on the hospice's specialist inpatient unit.
"My husband Chad was only 24 years old when he passed away and the hospice was absolutely amazing," said Charlotte.
"I stayed with him throughout the week he was cared for there and they were amazing, not just to Chad but to me, Dolcie-Ann and all the family.
"All the staff were just so friendly. Right down to the last minute of his last breath, they were just so professional and caring. Chad received all-round care. He was in hospital for about eight weeks before he went to the hospice, and it felt very different. At the hospice, he said: 'Char, it feels like a hotel in here'."
She added: "Dolcie-Ann wanted to do this walk on Father's Day in memory of her dad and to support Sue Ryder. She loves to help and we are really proud of her.
"She can't remember her dad, as she was only coming up to two years old when he passed away. Bereavement charity Winston's Wish used to take her to the Sue Ryder hospice and she would sit outside and learn that it is a lovely place and nothing to be scared of. Since then, she has wanted to raise money and help people who are poorly as well as their families so they can be looked after."
Grace Noble, junior community fundraising officer at Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice, said: "From all of us here at Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice, we want to say a huge thank you to Dolcie-Ann for her incredible and inspiring support.
"She is one of our youngest-ever fundraisers and we are so impressed by her dedication and determination to raise vital funds, to help other people when they need it most.
"The money she is raising will enable us to continue offering our compassionate care and being there for patients and their loved ones. We wish Dolcie-Ann all the luck in the world with her very special walk in memory of her dad."
You can support Dolcie-Ann's fundraising through her JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/dolcie-ann-collins
You can find out more about Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice at sueryder.org/leckhamptoncourt
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