70-year-old nurse takes challenge to help Africa’s poor and raise funds for hospice

Categories: Community Engagement.

Ann Brady, who will celebrate her 70th birthday this December, is one of the first people to sign up for Malawi Challenge 2019, which takes place next April. The trip will include a two-day climb up Mulanje Mountain, visits to rural home-based clinics, and the chance to enjoy breathtaking scenery and wildlife.

Ann has 50 years’ experience as a nurse, and in 2006 she was named Marie Curie Nurse of the Year.  She is widely travelled and has trekked the Great Wall of China, but has never been to Malawi.

She explains she wants to use her nursing skills to benefit those living in the cripplingly poor country, where life expectancy is low:

“A good friend works at St Luke’s and having heard all about the fantastic care the team gives, I have been inspired to sign up for this amazing challenge.

“I am really looking forward to meeting people from all backgrounds with knowledge and skills they can use generously to make a difference, whether they are health-related or in another area.

“We will all come with different experience but share a common goal to help in whatever way we can. It is also a great opportunity to see stunning scenery, and I am looking forward to extending my stay so that I can enjoy a safari.”

Malawi is famous for being one of Africa’s friendliest and most beautiful countries, but it is also one of its poorest, with 60 per cent of the population earning less than 93 pence a day.

Participants in the challenge will see a different side to Africa and meet dedicated, passionate and inspiring people committed to delivering healthcare in this under-resourced environment. It is an opportunity for people from a wide variety of backgrounds and professions to pool their skills for the benefit of Malawians in need of their help.

Those from a medical or social work background can support or offer training workshops to Malawi’s Palliative Care Support Trust Blantyre, which provides palliative care for children and adults through clinics and home visits. People from other backgrounds can use their skills to support other organisations including those focussing on education, law and women’s rights.

Speaking about the challenge, Penny Hannah, Head of Fundraising at St Luke’s, said:

“This is a fantastic opportunity – not only for the amazing trip and all the wonderful memories it will create but for people to share their skills, any skills they have, and work with Malawians within the healthcare and community care system.

“Everyone who takes part will be pushing their boundaries physically and mentally, joining a team committed to supporting global hospice care, and really giving something back at home and in the warm heart of Africa as an incredible global compassionate citizen.”

Those taking part in the challenge have the opportunity to extend their stay and enjoy activities such as scuba diving and kayaking at Lake Mulanje, or simply relax in a hammock and take in the stunning surroundings. They can also travel into Zambia, Mozambique, Tanzania or South Africa.

For more information visit St Luke’s Hospice