A determined team of doctors, nurses, admin and reception staff completed a gruelling 100km challenge in memory of their ‘dear friend’ and colleague, raising more than £7,000 for the charity which cared for her at the end of her life.Advertisement
Anne Astwick, 57, was cared for by St Catherine’s Hospice after she was diagnosed with breast cancer in March last year. The mum-of-two spent her final days on the Lostock Hall hospice’s inpatient unit earlier this year.
Her colleagues at Stonebridge Surgery in Longridge decided to take on a sponsored feat in fitness-loving Anne’s honour, whilst raising vital funds for St Catherine’s.
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Eighteen staff members each tackled their own 100k challenge over a month, and raised an astounding £7,204.45 including £944.75 through Gift Aid.
Advanced nurse practitioner Lesley Spall said: “Anne was sporty and liked to keep fit so we decided to do an endurance challenge to pay tribute to her. We wanted to involve as many people as possible, so everyone had the option of running or walking, or a mixture of both.
“One of the doctors ran on the local fells with her dog, another ran with the pram, one of the nurses ran alongside her children as they cycled, and a couple of staff met up and ran in a socially distanced manner.”
Practice manager Julie Grime said: “It was tough but when we saw that within a few hours of us posting about it on the surgery’s Facebook page we had exceeded our £1,000 target, it made us even more determined to cover the miles and raise as much as possible for the cause.
“I’d like to thank everyone who donated; without their generosity we wouldn’t have achieved such a brilliant amount.
“Anne worked as a receptionist at Stonebridge for 19 years. She was a very dear friend; we had some good times over the years and lots of laughs on our days and nights out.
“She was always smiling and her daughters and grandchildren meant the world to her. She was very caring in work too and was known by most of our patients, having lived in Longridge almost all her life.
“We all miss Anne terribly and it’s still not quite sunk in; it was such a shock to us all. I know she had very positive experience whilst in St Catherine’s and she said they had helped her so much in various ways. She especially loved the food which she said was amazing.”
Emily Bate, community engagement officer at St Catherine’s, said: “It means so much to us that Anne’s colleagues have gone to such great lengths to fundraise in her honour, and we’d like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to everyone who took on the 100k challenge and those who donated.
“It’s amazing that this fundraising feat has generated an extra £944 for the hospice through Gift Aid too! When people ‘tick the box’ to say they are eligible for Gift Aid when sponsoring someone or making a donation, it means we can claim back an additional 25% of the value of their donation from the government, at no extra cost to them. It really adds up and makes a huge difference to people’s fundraising totals.
“We simply wouldn’t be able to provide our care for people with life-shortening illnesses at the hospice and in people’s own homes if it wasn’t for the remarkable support of our communities, and the fact that Stonebridge Surgery surpassed their target by so much is fantastic!”
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