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/

#TeamWirralHospice: high hopes to beat Mo Farah’s time in Wirral #halfmarathon on Sun 12 Oct #justkidding

team_wirral_hospiceTeam Wirral Hospice are running the Wirral Half Marathon on Sun 12 Oct in aid of Wirral Hospice St John’s. The team is made up of experienced runners and first timers, all with the aim of crossing the finish line no matter what as a matter of pride… Not a chance of anyone beating Mo Farah’s incredible time in the Great North Run this weekend!

Our team is made up of Hayley, Kerry, Carl, Teresa and Lynne:

Hayley and Kerry are the events team at the Hospice, so the shoes will be firmly on the other feet as they cross the start and (hopefully!) finish lines!

Carl, our Hospice’s lottery admin co-ordinator, is adamant that he will be in good shape come race day. He’s done a lot of walking in preparation and the odd bit of running!

Teresa, our Head of Fundraising at the Hospice, was an ok runner previously. But she is (very) slowly getting back into her stride after having a baby and turning 40 in the last 14 months.

Lynne is a Hospice supporter and has been ‘volunteered’ into running by Hayley. She’s sportingly going along with it all despite being quite nervous!

If you’d like to join Team Wirral Hospice in this or any other running event or challenge, email hayley@wirralhospice.org or call 0151 343 0778.

Please sponsor the team if you are able to. Even £5 can help make a big difference to our Hospice’s work. And all those £5 can really add up!

Team Wirral Hospice’s JustGiving page is here or please text WHSJ99 followed by your donation to 70070.

On behalf of our patients, carers and families, thank you for any donation you are able to make!

Author: Teresa Nightingale

Claire McLaughlin on why she loves volunteering at the Hospice #volunteersweek #hospiceheroes

wirral_hospice_volunteer_claire_mclaughlinClaire McLaughlin decided to become a volunteer at Wirral Hospice St John’s six years ago. She was already volunteering at Claire House and for the Katie Piper Foundation but wanted to help something she was really passionate about.

Claire’s mum was an oncology nurse at Clatterbridge. “She is the most caring person I have ever met in my life and adored her job. She had to retire due to ill health and I wanted to carry on her good work by giving something back to help people who are critically ill and need extra support.”

Claire works full time as a PA to a Headteacher / Clerk to Governors and Human Resources for a school.

“I volunteer for as many shifts as I possibly can for the Hospice, helping out on the main reception and with general duties. I adore my work at Wirral Hospice and have met the most amazing people ever. I would do more if I could!

Read the rest of this entry »

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

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