Peterborough hospice staff take on 5k ‘real-life advent calendar’ to raise funds to support Sue Ryder’s vital work

Staff from Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice in Peterborough have been running, walking and jogging 5k this month as part of a real-life advent calendar to raise funds and fill people’s final days with love.

By Ben Jones
Saturday, 1st January 2022, 12:00 pm
Staff at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice have been each completing 5k to raise funds for the hospice's work.
Staff at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice have been each completing 5k to raise funds for the hospice's work.

Staff, who have called themselves Team Reindeer, each pledged to run, walk or jog 5k on a different day this December.

This not only included all of the days of a typical advent calendar up to Christmas Eve, but all 31 days of the month – including Christmas Day.

Colleagues from all parts of the hospice have been lacing up their trainers and taking part; including Sue Ryder nurses and nursing assistants, doctors, complementary therapists, administrators, fundraisers, chefs, and staff from the family support team and virtual day services.

Staff at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice have been each completing 5k to raise funds for the hospice's work.

Each member of staff has covering the 5k distance in their own way, in locations where they live and at their own pace, from walking the distance with family to running a favourite route. They have teamed up to raise vital funds for the compassionate care they provide, supporting people with life-limiting conditions and their loved ones.

Team Reindeer have also going head-to-head with Team Elves, staff from Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice in Moggerhanger near Bedford, who are also taking part in the festive fundraiser.

For some friendly competition, the two teams have been measuring their progress against each other. This is the second year running they are taking on the challenge.

Team Reindeer versus Team Elves is part of Sue Ryder’s December Daily Dash, which asks people to run, walk or jog 5k every day in December to raise vital funds for the charity.

Staff at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice have been each completing 5k to raise funds for the hospice's work.

Tracy Hamilton joined the hospice two years ago as a registered nurse on the bank register. She works on the specialist palliative care inpatient unit, caring for people with life-limiting conditions. She completed her 5k on 13th December in scenic North Wales, accompanied by friends and their dog.

She said: “We went up to a place called Aberffraw on Anglesey and walked out along a river estuary out to the sea. It was a bit drizzly but not too cold.

“I decided to walk this year to offer support to the team at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice, and to help to raise funds. We have cared for some patients recently who have young children. To help raise money to support families through a difficult time has really struck a chord.”

Vicki Lunn, Community Fundraising and Operations Officer, completed a 5k walk with her husband, son and black Labrador on 12th December. Vicki, who joined the hospice’s fundraising team in September, walked in the picturesque countryside around Spalding where she lives.

Staff at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice have been each completing 5k to raise funds for the hospice's work.

She said: “It was a lovely walk out; the sun was shining even though it was a little chilly. I wanted to get involved with the festive challenge as it was my way of giving back to Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice. I live locally and have seen the amazing work that Sue Ryder does for patients and their families in the local community.

“Raising funds at Christmas is vital so that the hospice staff can ensure a patient’s final wishes are fulfilled and their precious moments with family are filled with so much love. This is especially important at Christmas time when family love is so cherished.”

Joely Garner, Community Fundraising Manager at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice, added: “Staff from all parts of our hospice have signed up to do 5k on each day of December. From Sue Ryder Nurses to fundraisers, chefs to counsellors - we’ll all be getting involved! During the busy festive season, we’re really looking forward to uniting as one team for a shared purpose. We’ll be getting into the competitive spirit as we measure our progress against the team at Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice!”

“I’m really proud of my Sue Ryder colleagues, who are literally going the extra mile to raise vital funds for the families we support. This is on top of the dedicated care they provide on a daily basis, helping to fill someone’s final days with love. After a challenging year navigating our way through the Covid-19 pandemic, this is a great chance to celebrate the power of a real team effort.”

Staff at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice have been each completing 5k to raise funds for the hospice's work.

The team has raised £500 so far and you can support Team Reindeer in their challenge by visiting: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/thorpehall-december-daily-dash21.

With figures showing every 4.5 minutes someone in the UK dies without the specialist end of life care they need, national healthcare charity Sue Ryder, which runs Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice in Peterborough, is asking people to back an appeal to help them be there for more families when it matters.

Donations to the appeal will enable Sue Ryder to deliver the expert and compassionate palliative care they are so well known for. Helping to manage symptoms as well as give advice on the practicalities, so that patients and their families can place their focus on filling their final days together with love.

For more information and to donate visit sueryder.org/careatchristmas.