Hospice hike heroes raise £ 35,000 for Sue Ryder hospice on Icelandic trek


Sue Ryder, Nurses Jacqui Ackroyd and Dawn Hawes

Heroic Bedfordshire nurses traded thermometers for hiking boots last month when they embarked on a frigid Icelandic adventure to raise funds for Sue Ryder’s St. John’s Hospice in nearby Moggerhanger.

Dawn Hawes, Sue Ryder St. John’s Principal Nurse and Inpatient Jacqui Ackroyd, teamed up with five other intrepid fundraising heroes for their epic £ 35,000 quest.

Seeing the difficulties of the patients she cares for motivated Dawn’s adventure.

She said: “The trek was a fantastic experience that will stay with me. I am inspired by my patients all the time.

“I see people go through the most difficult times of their lives, and I’m in awe of how they continue to face their challenges – they never give up. This trek was to give something back and to pay homage to them.

The other five intrepid explorers included hospice volunteers, friends and family members of patients.

Dawn’s friend Charlotte Hurst and colleague Sue Ryder, nurse Viccy Cullip, were to join the hike. Unfortunately, they were unable to participate.

Ellie Burke, community fundraiser at Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice, praised the “great hikers for braving the snow, wind and rain” for their “incredible Icelandic challenge”.

She said the £ 35,000 would ensure continued compassionate care and ‘make room for the things that matter to patients’ and fill ‘their last days of love’.

During the trek, Dawn and Jacqui traveled through mountainous landscapes and snow-covered terrain.

Although she described Iceland as “one of the most beautiful places” she has ever visited, Dawn said: “The trek was a challenge for everyone and it tested us all. in different ways. Everyone was very supportive of each other.

“I’m proud to have finished it – it made me realize that I can do a lot more than I think I can.

“It was very cold, wet and windy – I was wearing three layers of thermal gear! The second day was the hardest. We started our hike in the mountains with a geothermal station and passed a volcano.

“I knew there would be hills, but I didn’t expect hills like this! “

Dawn thanked everyone who supported them, including her “friend who made beautiful crafts for sale” and “the fantastic teams” at her two local pubs, The Three Horseshoes in Graveley and The Bell in Great Paxton.

Cash was also raised ahead of the hike through cake and craft sales, table sales, and a virtual race night.

Dawn also praised her colleagues at the hospice, saying, “They really strive to go above and beyond the expectations of patients and their loved ones, even in the most difficult times.”

Dawn, who has worked at the hospice for three and a half years, was inspired by a personal connection to work there.

She had previously planned to be a nurse, but witnessing the “care and respect” a dying friend received at the hospice sealed the deal.

After working as a district nurse for several years, she always said she would come and work at Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice.

The hospice provides specialized palliative care, counseling and support to people living with conditions that limit life expectancy, as well as support for their families.

They provide 24-hour specialist care for inpatients and community services for those who prefer to receive palliative care at home.

They are now looking for other Super Fans to complete other fundraising challenges, including a Trek Transylvania Winter Wilderness in early 2023.

Anyone interested in this or any other fundraising activity should visit here, call 01767 642424 or email [email protected]

To donate, visit Sue Ryder’s website here. .

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