Weldmar’s ‘Mighty 17’ staff members raise more than £3,200 with their double October challenge
Members of the team braved the rain for one final walk on the last day of the month
Late in September, Mish Holmes, Weldmar Hospicecare’s Housekeeping Supervisor, woke up in the early hours with an idea – to raise money for the charity by staying sober throughout October, and taking on a fifty mile distance challenge.
She wasn’t going to do it alone – by 11am that day, she had sixteen colleagues signed up to join her, and they have ended up raising in excess of £3,200 during the month.
Dubbed ‘The Mighty 17’, members of the group came from a number of different Weldmar departments, including Admin, Housekeeping, Maintenance, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Catering, Bereavement Support, Nursing, Workforce Development, and Complementary Therapy.
Each member completed the fifty mile distance in their own way by either walking, running, or cycling, and eleven of them met for a socially distanced final walk on the last day of the month (pictured above).
Mish, who was up at 5am most mornings to go for a run, says thinking about their achievement makes her quite emotional. “I am so proud of everyone. They are an amazing group to be with, and the amount of money we’ve raised is brilliant. It was exhausting though, I’m looking forward to a week off next week to relax and enjoy a glass of wine!”
IPU Receptionist Ros Ross sponsored herself a pound a mile and ended up doing 100 miles on her bike. “I live in Piddletrenthide, and it’s quite hilly round there, which was challenging! The weather hasn’t been great, so I got soaked a few times too!”
Senior Sister Emma Mills says giving up the booze wasn’t too bad. “It was easier than I thought, actually! It was the walking that was tougher, but I will admit I’m looking forward to a glass of wine this weekend.”
As well as being passionate about Weldmar as employees, a number of participants also did it for more personal reasons. Maintenance Engineer David Whiles cycled his fifty miles in memory of his father, who was cared for at the hospice, and also whilst thinking of a dear friend who is currently being cared for there too. “I hadn’t been on a bike properly for about ten years,” says David, “but I actually really enjoyed it and will probably carry on cycling. Everyone’s been really supportive of each other, and it’s brought out a lot in all of us.”
Clare Bradbury, Specialist Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy Lead, also took on her challenge to remember her Dad, who was recently supported by Weldmar at the end of his life. She took on her fifty miles in one go, facing fifty miles on an assault bike at ReLuCo gym in Dorchester. “I surprisingly loved it,” says Clare, “and was kept motivated with plenty of encouragement and jelly babies! I’ve really enjoyed finding the motivation to keep fit again, and also seeing and hearing about what everyone else has been doing.”
Keeping up the healthier lifestyle is something a number of the team say they will do, not least Christy Doyle from the Maintenence team. “I’m not looking to start drinking again anytime in November. It was a little bit tricky at first missing a glass of wine on a Friday night, but I’ve been sleeping better, and mentally I feel a lot better. I think this has been really good for mental health, especially this year with Covid, being out and about and getting exercise is really important.”
It’s been a similar story for Occupational Therapist Emily Curran. “I have always been an enthusiastic walker, however after sadly losing my dog Daisy in September I also lost some incentive so this couldn’t have come at a better time for me. Not only has it proved to be an incredible motivator to get more active, stop drinking alcohol and put my walking boots on again (even when the weather has been less than inviting), it has also pushed me to go one step further and explore footpaths and routes around my local rural area, which is especially beautiful in autumn. These new adventures led to a few humorous and ill-fated scenarios, including losing my trainer to a muddy bog, navigating through a maze of cows and unsuccessfully landing a long jump over a river! The positivity and support from my co-participants throughout the challenge has been a real asset, and it’s great that we all know each other that little bit better now. The public support we have received for this challenge has been incredible and being part of this fantastic achievement, raising much needed funds for Weldmar whilst helping my own physical and mental wellbeing, has been a positive, rewarding experience.”
Thank you to all members of the ‘Mighty 17’ team – we are proud of them all!
The ‘Mighty 17’ for Weldmar are:
Jane Askew (Bereavement Counsellor), Clare Bradbury (Specialist Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy Service Lead), Paul Browne (Maintenance Technician), Emily Curran (Occupational Therapist), Louise Curtis (Senior Chef), Christy Doyle (Maintenance Admin Assistant), Arpi Gyorfy (Housekeeping Assistant), Peter Halliwell (Housekeeping Assistant), Mish Holmes (Housekeeping Supervisor), Emma Mills (Senior Sister), Jo Pasker (Lead Complementary Therapist), Ros Ross (Receptionist/Administrator), Angela Sherry (Workforce Development Lead), Jane Smith (Occupational Therapist), David Whiles (Maintenance Engineer), Chloe Wiseman (Clinical Admin Team Manager), Leila Wykes (Housekeeping Assistant)
We’d love to hear about your fundraising challenges that you might be doing to raise money for Weldmar Hospicecare! Get in touch and let us know what you are doing, and why.