Sue Ryder staff go the extra mile to raise funds for families needing their care

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Big-hearted staff at Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice are running, walking or cycling more than 1,000 miles to raise funds for the expert palliative care they provide.

Staff from all parts of the hospice have got involved, including Sue Ryder Nurses, doctors, therapists, family support, domestic, kitchen, administration and fundraisers.

Together, they planned to cover 508 miles in a month – which is the distance from Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice in Moggerhanger near Bedford to their Sue Ryder sister hospices across the country, and then back to St John’s again.

The staff first started their challenge several weeks ago and enjoyed doing it so much that they decided to cover the distance for a second time. They aimed to complete 844 miles – and have already exceeded that by clocking up more than 1,400 miles so far.

They have pledged to each cover a part of the journey by running, walking or cycling in and around their local area – many with the help of their four-legged friends!

They want to raise £1,008 through their challenge, which is enough to help pay for 48 hours of their expert care, helping local people live the best lives they can.

Sue Ryder Nurse, Rachel Gilbert, has cared for patients at the hospice for nearly 18 years. Rachel and her team on the inpatient unit have pledged to walk 225 miles, many of them accompanied by Rachel’s beautiful dog Brian.

“I know how important fundraising is to our hospice and without it we could not deliver the amazing care to our patients and their loved ones,” she said. “We cannot change the outcome for people, but we can make such a positive difference at that stage of their lives.”

Nursing Assistant and keen runner, Jo Bettles, has pledged to cover 60 miles. She added: “I love working at Sue Ryder as a Nursing Assistant; I feel very privileged to provide care to patients during their final stages of life and help support families going through some very difficult times. It’s an extremely rewarding job and I am very proud to be a part of it.”

Tori Ablard, Head of Hospice Fundraising at Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice, said: “Our staff regularly go the extra mile caring for local people with life-limiting conditions. Now they have physically gone the extra mile too – running, walking and cycling to raise vital funds for the families they support. Thank you and well done to everyone involved; it’s been a real team effort.

“If you are inspired, why not take on your own challenge in support of our hospice? It’s not too late to lace your trainers, sign up for our Summer Series and take on a virtual running, walking or cycling challenge. We are also searching for local people to take part in our new event, Walk to Remember 2020.

“You can walk any day throughout October or join hundreds of others across the country for our official walk day on Saturday, October 17. Choose your distance of 5K or 10K, your start and finish line and a route that means something to you.”

You can find out more about Sue Ryder’s Virtual Summer Series at: sueryder.org/summerseries

There is more information about the Walk to Remember 2020 at: sueryder.org/walktoremember

You can support the Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice staff in their challenge through JustGiving: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/stjohns508