9-year-old Harry walks a mile a day to remember Nanna

Categories: Fundraising.

9-year-old Harry from Leeds has completed an epic challenge for charity by walking a mile a day in February in memory of his great grandmother Freda.

Harry has raised more than £1030 for Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice who provided care for Freda, or ‘Nanna’ as Harry fondly called her, in her final days.

Harry’s mum Natalie, 37, said: “Growing up, we were always at Nanna’s. After my Dad died when I was 21, we spent even more time with my Nanna and Grandad. She and my Grandad were married for 62 years!

“Nanna was caring, funny and witty. Easy going. We had a very close relationship. Harry loved Nanna too. He used to love going down to see her. They used to bake together when she was well. Buns, things like that. She liked to make a good Cornish pasty!”

Natalie continued: “Nanna had been ill with COPD for a long time – around 16 years – but she became very poorly in September and was taken into hospital.

“Nanna wanted to be cared for at home in her final days; that was one of her wishes.

“Jenny, one of the nurses from Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice, came out from September to help care for her at home. Jenny gave us all such comfort – especially my Grandad. She sat and held his hand and talked him through everything. She was amazing with all of us.”

Struggling to witness his nanna’s worsening health, Harry came up with the idea of a walk in her honour. Natalie explained:

“This walk was all Harry’s idea! With Nanna being poorly, he said: ‘I’m going to walk a mile every day Mummy, just to make Nanna proud.’ And that was it, she loved that.

“When Nanna died earlier this year, he was still determined to carry on. He said: ‘I’m doing it and I’m going to raise £1,000!’ We set £500 as our target and raised that before the day of the funeral.

“We do feel very proud of Harry. He’s amazing. He really is.”

Choosing a different route in the Horsforth area each night, Natalie and Harry completed the walk together. Natalie continued:

“This walk, at night-time, it was just me and him that went normally. It’s done him the world of good because he took losing Nanna very hard. It’s lovely, he’s really opened up to me. It’s been very therapeutic for me too. Just having a bit of time in the day to get away from everything, to reflect on memories.”

Natalie and Harry were joined by their family for the final mile of the fundraising walk, with Harry riding his nanna’s electric scooter all the way home.

When asked what Harry’s fundraising walk meant to her, Natalie replied:

“It means a lot to know that the money raised will help Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice. The care and the love the staff have for people, it’s just amazing. They went above and beyond for us every single day.”

Clare Humphreys, Community Fundraiser at Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice, said: “We are so grateful to Harry and Natalie for their incredible fundraising walk; what a fantastic achievement!

“The funds raised mean we can continue to be there during the hardest times for people who need us the most.”

You can find out more about Harry and Natalie’s walk and fundraiser via their JustGiving page here.

For more information on Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice, visit www.sueryder.org/Wheatfields

To find out more about fundraising for Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice, contact wheatfields.fundraising@sueryder.org

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About Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice

At Sue Ryder, we can’t make life’s most difficult moments easy, but we can carry some of the load. For more than 70 years we have been a source of strength and specialist support for anyone living with a life-limiting illness or grief.

Dying and grief are universal experiences, but too many people face them alone. Here at Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice located in Headingley we provide a safe and reassuring hand for the people of Leeds to reach for.

From giving specialist care and support for someone at the end of their life to helping someone manage their grief, we know there is no one size fits all when it comes to how we cope and the help we need. We campaign for everyone who is approaching the end of their life or grieving to have access to the right support, at the right time and in a way that is right for them. We seek to break down the barriers to talking about dying and grief – so we can all be better prepared and better equipped to be there for each other.

We can make a positive difference during even the darkest of times. Whether in the last months, weeks or days of life, or living with grief, we help people live the best life they possibly can. We are there when it matters and work inclusively with our diverse community in and around Leeds.

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