A team of 22 registered nurses and nursing assistants from Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice are walking 1,240 miles this month, raising funds for local families needing their support and leaving remembrance pebbles along the way in honour of those they’ve cared for.
Mari Pittman, Ward Manager of the inpatient unit at the Gloucestershire Sue Ryder Hospice was inspired to organise the challenge to bring the nursing team together to reflect on the impact of the pandemic over the past year, which has been one of the hardest years in the hospice’s memory.
She said, “This past 15 months has been unbelievably tough for everyone, so to help positively restore our wellbeing and mind set, the nursing team of the Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice inpatient unit is coming together as a team to take on a virtual challenge.
“Throughout July we’re aiming to walk the distance from Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice here in Gloucestershire, to each of the Sue Ryder hospices and neurological care centres across the UK. This is 1240 miles.
“We will do this by walking, running or cycling these miles independently, or on weekly group walks sticking to the current pandemic restrictions and social distancing.
“As the only specialist inpatient palliative care unit in Gloucestershire we’re honoured to provide care to people from all corners of our county, so we hope to take in as many parts of our beautiful county as we can – from Forest of Dean to Cirencester, from Gloucester to Cheltenham and from Tewkesbury to Stroud.”
Poignantly, in a special tribute to all those who have been cared for by the hospice, the 22 Sue Ryder Nurses and Nursing Assistants will take time to pause and place remembrance pebbles along the routes they take, remembering all those they’ve cared for.
“During our walks we plan to honour those we have had the privilege of caring for by placing remembrance pebbles along our routes, so we’re asking the people of Gloucestershire to look out for them!”
The remembrance pebbles, are being painted in an array of colours with the words ‘Sue Ryder’ and ‘Miles for Memories’ etched on them, and are being lovingly hand painted by Mari’s two daughters, Izzy, 10, and Isla (photo), 6, in support for their mum and her work colleagues.
“I know I speak for everyone on the team when I say we all feel so proud to work at Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice,” adds Mari. “It truly is a special place, full of the most wonderful, caring people who have continued to work tirelessly throughout this pandemic.”
“Despite everything we’ve faced professionally and personally over the past year, the energy at the hospice has continued to be positive. We’ve continued to do all we can to help people in our care make memories, trying our absolute hardest to go above and beyond for our patients.
“During this time, we’ve received incredible support and understanding from our patients, their families, our volunteers and supporters. This is our opportunity to give something back.”
Mari hopes Gloucestershire residents will get behind them and show their support.
Mari added, “If you are able to support the work of the hospice in the way of a small donation to keep us motivated and moving, we would so appreciate it. Every donation will help us continue to be there when it matters for those in our local community, helping us fill people’s final days with love.”
To donate to the Sue Ryder Nurses’ challenge visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mari-pittman. And if you spot one of the Sue Ryder remembrance pebbles take a photo and share it on social media to show your support, tagging in Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice.
The national healthcare charity Sue Ryder, which runs Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice in Gloucestershire launched an appeal last month asking people to help them fill families final days together with love. By supporting their ‘Room Full of Love’ campaign, you can help Sue Ryder Nurses like Mari and her colleagues continue to go above and beyond, helping to give families a better goodbye. For more information visit sueryder.org/rooms
Sue Ryder currently has career opportunities in palliative care across a number of its palliative care hubs and hospices. If you’re interested in finding out more about joining the friendly, expert team at Sue Ryder to be there when it matters visit www.sueryder.org
About Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice:
Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice is the only palliative care inpatient unit in Gloucestershire and provides expert palliative care and support for people who are living with a life-limiting condition, as well as supporting their families.
Our 16-bed hospice is surrounded by beautiful, tranquil countryside which complements the specialist care and support we give to those with life-limiting conditions and their families.
In addition to our inpatient unit, our virtual day hospice service helps people living with long term conditions and our Hospice at Home service provides care for people in the local community who prefer to receive palliative care at home.
Our expert team includes doctors, nurses, care assistants, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and family support team. They all work seamlessly together to support people through the most difficult times of their lives.
Whether somebody is dealing with a terminal illness or the loss of a loved one, we’re there when it matters. Sue Ryder staff and volunteers provide people with the compassion and expert care they need, to help them live the best life they can.