Charity water polo match makes a splash for Sue Ryder hospice 

Categories: Fundraising and People & Places.

Brothers Luke and Carl Smith have raised more than £1,100 for Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice after organising a charity water polo match in memory of Julian Dawson.

Julian, or ‘Jules’ as he was also known, sadly passed away in 2018. Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice, based in Headingley, supported Julian throughout his illness, with physiotherapy and reiki sessions and offered counselling and support to his family and friends.

Inspired to do something in his memory and to raise money for the hospice who supported him, the brothers and other club committee members organised the first charity match in 2018.

Over the course of the last five years, the water polo fundraiser has raised an incredible £4,400 for the local charity.

Luke explained:

“Julian was a valued and popular member of Morley Swimming and Water Polo Club. In addition to serving on the committee as membership secretary, he was also a member of the men’s senior team. A charity water polo match seemed like the perfect way to remember him.

“Back in 2018, it was just a contest between the men’s team and old club members. It’s grown significantly since then, so more people can take part and raise more money!

“Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice were amazing for Julian. Many people think of a hospice as a place that you go to die, but it’s so much more than that.”

The memorial event, which took place at Morley Leisure Centre in Leeds, consisted of three separate matches and was attended by nearly 100 people, including spectators. A trophy presentation followed at a separate venue.

Luke continued:

“I think Julian would be really pleased to see everybody coming together and to see how well the club is doing. We’re delighted that Julian’s widow, Sue, comes along to watch every year too.

“It’s not a sad event – it’s very much a celebration of Julian’s life. Julian lived life to the full and made the best of every day.”

Clare Humphreys, Community Fundraiser at Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice said: “I’m blown away by Luke and Carl’s impressive fundraising over the last five years – it’s an incredible achievement to have raised over £4,400 for the hospice.

“From all of us at Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice we want to say thank you, the money raised means we can keep supporting people at the most difficult times of their life.”

For more information about Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice, visit: sueryder.org/wheatfields

To find out more about fundraising for Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice, including joining or setting up a fundraising group 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.

About Sue Ryder:

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 support for anyone living with a life-limiting illness or grief.

Dying and grief are universal experiences, but too many people face them alone. We are a safe and reassuring hand you can reach for. From providing 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 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.

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