The ‘Virtual’ Clatterbridge to John O’Groats Run with 15 old school pals of Calday Grange Grammar. #hospiceheroes #fundraising #running #wirralhospice #marathon #thankyou

Run - graphic -Text 1 (01)When former Calday Grange Grammar School friends Paul Parry and Dave Raven bumped into each other recently (they didn’t literally ‘bump’ as they were socially distancing of course) they had a chat about how they were staying fit during the coronavirus lock-down. (Paul is pictured above Dave from a Zoom meeting – the full picture of which is below*).

They concluded that it would be even more motivating if they had a target to achieve, maybe raise some sponsorship and wondered whether they could get a bunch of their old pals involved. They’re all in their mid-thirties now and have all stayed in touch since school.

So, after contacting their whole group via WhatsApp, and then arranging a Zoom call (all on the picture below*), they chose Wirral Hospice St John’s and Maggie’s Merseyside, both based at the Clatterbridge Health Park, to share the sponsorship monies they were hoping to raise. During the chat it emerged that a number of the chaps have family knowlege of the hospice and of the cancer support centre.

Some were willing to write a line or two about their own experiences and, with their permission, we have shared their recollections.

Dan Burns: “The hospice looked after my dad, Bob Burns, for respite at the back end of last year. They were absolutely amazing with the care and love they gave to him, and my mum. He passed away on the 14th of March, but he runs alongside me every step of this challenge. It’s so fresh for mum and I and we  would love as many people as possible to hear about it. I’m doing this in his memory and for what Wirral Hospice meant to him. x.”

Mike HellerMike Heller (Pictured left here, after a run): My dad, Steve Heller passed away at the hospice 8 years ago. I can remember that my dad really needed that special care as his illness progressed. Nothing was too much for them to do for him. I just remember how good and how nice they all were and how many volunteers they had supporting the nurses and doctors.”

Adam Simpson and Wife, Jo: “Jo’s friend Tricia was cared for at the hospice last year. It was clear to see what a caring special place St John’s Hospice is. Tricia also got so much support from Maggies Merseyside, which really helped her during her hardest times.”

Giles Pullen and Wife, Emily: “Emily’s Grandad, Bernie, spent the last few weeks of his life at Wirral Hospice St Johns, five years ago. I presumed it was a place where people just go to die when the hospital could do no more for you. It was the complete opposite. It was a cheery, happy place with lovely nurses, doctors and volunteers. He died there peacefully and was so content. That’s why it has a special place in our hearts.”

Martin Jones:My dad, Richard (they all referred to him as Dickie while he was in) went into the hospice on 8th April this year. He had just had the worst weekend health-wise. From going about his normal activities, his cancer had spread and he became bed-bound. The hospice stepped in and took control. They were fantastic. Communication throughout was great. They were clear about Dad’s illness but very sensitive to our feelings   Due to the coronavirus pandemic visiting had had to change, but they went out of their way to allow my mum, sister and I as much time as we needed with Dad. They supported our needs and gave the best possible care and relief for my dad. When he passed they were there for us explaining step-by step with thoughtful guidance. We can’t thank them enough. Every nurse was caring and fully up to date with his situation throughout the process. (Around the time my mum was also given the all clear from her bowel and liver cancer). They got to know know my parents really well and have continued support for my mum which has been great during this difficult time.”

And, right now, another runner, Trev Fisher, visits his dad, Roy,  who is with us at the hospice getting pain management treatment associated with his cancer condition. Roy is expecting to go home very soon and wanted everyone to know how proud he is of Trevor and all the lads for raising money for the hospice and Maggie’s. (Roy has been a keen athlete himself having chaired the Pensby Runners for years and having completed hundreds of runs and 13 full marathons in his time, including a sub 3 hour time!) Roy said,

Wirral Hospice St John’s has been a real boon for me. I’m so delighted that Trevor and the lads chose it as one of their charities. I also know of the great work Maggie’s does too. It’s so inspiring as I know that many events and challenges have had to be cancelled because of the current crisis, but people are still finding unique ways to support their favourite causes.

So the fifteen men are now completing a ‘virtual’ 7-day Clatterbridge to John O’Groats running challenge between them! It started on Monday 25th May and will run through until Sunday 31st May. They’re each tracking how far they can run in an hour each day, within the coronavirus guidelines, to get to the total distance of 810 kilometres. Between them they have to average 7.7 kms per day for 7 consecutive days (just under 5 miles a day each!)

Paul Parry (2)Paul Parry (pictured left here, following a run) owns a Heswall business, The Way Fitness, where he is a personal trainer and fitness instructor. His wife’s uncle, Sam Lavin, a fit and strong rugby man in his time was also cared for at Wirral Hospice St John’s for which he and their wider family wanted us to know they are eternally grateful.

Paul is himself, obviously, ‘ever ready’ for challenges but, whereas some of the friends are also members of Paul’s private gym, there are a couple who say they haven’t ‘run properly’ since school. Paul summarised the effort,

Dave and I started talking about getting the lads together for a challenge and we were thinking about maybe doing 100km between us. On the ‘lively’ Zoom call that followed this became much more ambitious and the idea of Clatterbridge to John O’Groats came to fruition. As we chatted it became clear we should raise funds for Wirral Hospice St John’s and Maggie’s as it was eye-opening the number of people who had a personal connection.

Martin Robinson. DubaiWe’re all completing our runs around various Wirral neighbourhoods, although one of the chaps, Martin Robinson (pictured right), lives in Dubai and, while we were all complaining that Monday was a searingly hot day to start the challenge, he reminded us that he was having to get up at 6am to do his hour as the temperature is hitting 38 degrees there just now.

Many pics of the sweating, and sometimes exhausted, lads are adorning social media as they complete their daily challenges and people are sending sponsorship monies to support their endeavour, hurtling them towards their £5,000 target.

There is a link at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Team/TheLads2 if you would like to show your support.

It really is a welcome fundraiser for Wirral Hospice St John’s (and Maggie’s) right now as many of this year’s larger participation events are now cancelled. Charity finances will inevitably take a hit but, as usual, our Wirral Community have rallied around to help us to continue to provide our specialist care and support services.

And, not least, the lads from Calday Grange Grammar School, still friends after 20 odd years. To them we say, Sirs, you are you are certainly Gentlemen and Scholars and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts….

*The full 15 below are (from l-r)

Paul Parry, Dan Burns, Stu Gosling, Mike Heller, Mark Leyland,

Dave Raven, Matty Roberts, Adam Simpson, Michael Mounsey, Giles Pullen,

Trev Fisher, Martin Jones, Martin Robinson, Matthew Kelsey, Alex Wade.

Run - graphic -Text 1

Author: Billy Howard

If you’d like to help Wirral Hospice St John’s during the coronavirus pandemic crisis, some of the ways you can are outlined at http://www.wirralhospice.org/urgentappeal 

Thank You for always thinking of us.

Paul Parry (2)Dan BurnsStu GoslingMike HellerMark Leyland

Dave RavenDave RavenMatty RobertsAdam SimpsonMichael MounseyGiles Pullen

TrabsKnees in paddling Pool (ice added)Martin Dubai 2Matthew KelseyAlex Wade

“My crazy journey in memory of Bernie” #ironman #hospicehero

As a charity, we rely heavily on the generosity of the local community and are extremely thankful to those who support us. We are blown away by their kindness and the hard work they put in to raise vital funds to support our work – sometimes even, by the adrenaline-inducing ways in which they choose to fundraise!20150415-Army_Cycle_Race016_RSA_TIC-O - Copy

Wirral Hospice supporter Paul Robinson, who has raised £895 to date, started his ‘crazy journey’ in December 2014 when he began training for a challenge that is widely considered as one of the most difficult one-day sporting events in the World.

Ironman‘ consists of a 2.4 mile swim (equivalent to 158 lengths in a standard pool), a 112 mile bicycle ride (equivalent to Liverpool to Cheltenham) followed by a full marathon (26.2 miles). Each part of the challenge is raced in that order, without a break and must be completed within a strict 17 hour time limit. (We’re exhausted just thinking about it!) But for Wirral Hospice supporter Paul Robinson, this challenge is both an exciting and important journey.

“I’m racing in memory of my wife’s mother, Bernie Hudson after Wirral Hospice played a key role in supporting Bernie and her close, loving family before she passed away. To complete the challenge, I started working on my general fitness, progressing to become more powerful and more of a triathlete. It’s going to be an exciting, if not painful journey to become an Ironman”.

Also adding to the challenge will be the temperature. Ironman events are held all over the World, including in Nice, France (Sun 28th June) where Paul will be swimming in the Mediterranean Sea, biking in the Alps and running along Nice’s historic waterfront – all in a 28C degree heat. Now that’s a challenge.

Best of luck Paul. We’re all rooting for you!

To support Paul through this incredible challenge visit his online fundraising page: www.justgiving.com/IronmanFRANCE15/

Hospice nurse takes on 3 challenges to raise funds for care #hospiceheroes

One of our very own nurses here at Wirral Hospice St John’s will take part in a trio of challenges in 2015 to raise vital funds for patient care.

Lucille Buttery’s [centre in photo] first challenge – a zip wire at Zip World Velocity in Bangor on 25th April, will see her fly across Penryhn Quarry down the longest zip line in Europe and fastest in the World.

“I signed up to this challenge as I imagine it to be the closest thing to flying – I’ve always been a bit of a dreamer!”

But Lucille’s dreams don’t stop there – she has also set her sights on a tandem skydive and a marathon too! Lucille’s decision to take the plunge and sign up for a skydive was inspired by one patient in particular whom she helped to care for at Wirral Hospice last year.

“He was always planning his next adventure, even during his illness. One night we chatted about how fantastic it would be to do a skydive and from there, I knew I had to do it. Sadly this patient is no longer with us”.

Lucille’s trio of challenges will come to a close in October when she will run 26 miles in the MBNA Chester Marathon. Although her feet will be firmly on the ground, Lucille reveals that this will be the hardest challenge of them all.

“The marathon is my most dreaded challenge because it requires the most mental preparation and dedication. I’m hoping my determination will get me to the finish line though – I’ve got the time to really commit and will work hard to finish on a high!”

Friends of Lucille, Sarah Orchard and Pauline Lawrence will also be taking on the zip wire challenge to offer their support. Like Lucille, Pauline also understands how important the Hospice is to patients and their families through her work as a bank nurse.

“The Hospice is an amazing place that gives patients some control during a very difficult time in their lives, in a place where they feel safe and have full support”.

Sarah adds, “I hear from Lucille about the amazing work that goes on at the Hospice and I am in awe of the staff every day for making a huge difference to people’s lives. With this in mind, I couldn’t say no when Lucille asked me to join her on this fundraising journey. I may not be able to help in the way that Lucille and Pauline can, but I can help by doing this”.

If you would like to support Lucille, Sarah & Pauline’s zip wire challenge visit:

Lucille’s page: www.justgiving.com/LUCILLE-BUTTERY

Sarah’s page: www.justgiving.com/Sarah-Orchard1/

Pauline’s page: www.justgiving.com/Pauline-Lawrence1/ 

If you would like to take part in a challenge event for Wirral Hospice, please call 0151 343 0778, email kerryt@wirralhospice.org or please visit our website to find out about the exciting events we have planned for 2015/16!

Do something amazing in 2014!

Do something amazing and make 2014 your year to get fit and get involved. This year there is a race for everyone, from the Port Sunlight 5K to the Liverpool or Chester Marathon. You may be an experienced runner looking to enter the toughest event or a beginner tackling a 5K.

If you have ever thought about taking up running to become fitter and stronger with increased stamina, then signing up for an event and having a goal is a fantastic way to progress and keep motivated. Running for charity is a great way to get fit, meet new people and make a difference. Like thousands of others, you too could make 2014 a year you will never forget.

Make it the year you achieved something you didn’t think you could. Make it your year to make a difference. Make it for Wirral Hospice St John’s.

Local Running Events:

btr Liverpool Half Marathon – 23rd March
Port Sunlight 10K & 5K – 11th May
Chester Half Marathon – 18th May
Rock ‘n’ Roll Liverpool Marathon & ½ – 25th May
Mersey Tunnel 10K – 8th June
Tour of Merseyside – 6th-12th July

To run in support of Wirral Hospice St John’s contact: Hayley 0151 343 0778 / hayley@wirralhospice.org

We are waiting to hear from you! Join our team!

Marathon-running

Wirral Hospice supporter prepares for London

One race isn’t enough for Marc Roberts – he’s now secured a place in the Virgin London Marathon. His various challenges have included the Wirral Half marc_roberts_halfords - CopyMarathon and with cousin James Murphy and friend Thomas Munro, did a stint on the static bike and rode 150 miles in Halfords, Bromborough.

“From the very first moment I decided to run the London Marathon, there was only ever one charity that stood out to me and one that is so close to my heart. Wirral Hospice cared for my late ‘Nan Dolly’ and my wife’s ‘Grandad Ray’. Raising money and running the marathon is the very least I can do to show our appreciation to such a wonderful charity”.

From now until the marathon, which takes place April 2014, Marc has plans for more challenges to continue to raise money for Wirral Hospice.

“We should all be so proud to have such a fantastic Hospice right on our doorstep”.

Visit Marc’s Just Giving page to see his progress – http://www.justgiving.com/MarcRoberts25

[Image: Marc (central) with James, Thomas and work colleagues at Halfords, Bromborough].

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