Running for hospice care

Categories: Community Engagement.

Harriet Wainwright

Harriet started running in 2012 for multiple reasons – weight loss, a new hobby, a new challenge – but mostly, she says, “because I needed something, anything to help me get through the loss of my Mom in 2010 that had left me battling a crippling depression that I just couldn’t shake.”

Three years later Harriet is healthy and happy and, although the loss of my mom will always stay with her, running has helped her channel her feelings into something good, and healthy. Harriet has also completed her nurse training, something that she and her Mom had always hoped she would achieve. And it’s all down to running.

“I decided I wanted to run the marathon to show myself how far I’ve come, but I also wanted to raise money in memory of my wonderful Mom who I get my grit and determination from,” explained Harriet.

“My Mom died in Willen Hospice in Milton Keynes and she was cared for so brilliantly, it made those last few weeks of her life special and I have some lovely memories from there. So I wanted to give back, but there are so many hospices like them, I wanted to give to many hospices who help families like mine get through this. So I found Hospice UK and they were exactly the charity I was looking for, supporting all these fantastic hospices and their staff – including the extra special Willen Hospice!

“My training has been tough, more mentally than anything else, but the flood of sponsorships have kept me going. It has astounded me the amount of people sponsoring me, all my family and friends but also people who knew my Mom have found me somehow and sponsored me because of her and people who didn’t know either of us but have had a loved one in a hospice themselves have donated. So incredible! 

“I am now all packed and ready to go and earn all those lovely donations and make my Mom proud (even though she’d have told me I was bonkers!)”

Visit Harriet’s fundraising page on JustGiving.

Emma and Amy 

Sisters Emma Wilson and Amy Clapp or ‘Sisters got Blisters’ as they are now known, are also raising money for hospice care after their whole family was supported by their local hospice.

Emma explains: “Sixteen years ago our dad lost his battle to cancer. During his final weeks our local hospice were a great support, not only to dad but to the whole family, especially Mum, who was then widowed at 48 with four children. The hospice continued to support the family on our forward journey.”

The sisters have been training hard – neither were runners before they were offered a place in the marathon.

On top of this, they have been holding a range of fundraising events – including an auction, pub quiz, book and cake sale and even a mini marathon for local toddlers – to help raise more than £4,000 for Hospice UK and raise awareness of the work of the national charity, and hospices across the UK.

Visit the Sisters got Blisters’s fundraising page on Virgin Money Giving

Jim Wells

Jim’s dad Bill died from leukaemia in 2013, and the dramatic effect that the illness had on Bill has stayed with Jim: “I saw the fit, strong, and unbreakable man begin to feel the strain as the fatigue of the illness took hold. For the last few weeks of Dad’s life he was cared for in the Priscilla Bacon Lodge in Norwich. The care was extraordinary and gave my proud dad dignity, peace and even a few laughs right up to the day he passed away.”

Jim describes his dad as a fighter, who, supported by his mum Mary, achieved pretty much everything he set his heart on. His accomplishments include designing and testing Jimmy Clark’s championship winning Lotus Formula 1 car and designing the nose cone for the first Concorde and the casing of the first inter-continental ballistic missiles. He was a pilot in the RAF and then a managing director of his own successful business. He held a commercial pilots license, flew helicopters, rode motorbikes, owned planes, super cars and power boats. He was a skier, scuba diver, water skier, free falling parachuter, runner … 

“However, there was one thing he never achieved,” explains Jim.

“Every year my parents we would religiously watch the London Marathon, looking at the awe-inspiring masses running for good causes, and every year he would say the same thing: ‘I really must run a marathon before I get too old.’

“As far as I am aware this was the only thing left on his ‘bucket list’ that he never managed to tick off.

“I see it as an honour to run; firstly in the memory of my wonderful parents, secondly to finish off dads ‘bucket list’ and thirdly to help in the great cause of hospice care.”

Visit Jim’s fundraising page on Virgin Money Giving

On the day, Hospice UK will be live-tweeting, and celebrating the fantastic achievement of Team Hospice UK and everyone running in support of hospice care using #hospicerunners

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *