Severn Hospice launches fundraising campaign as pandemic continues to take its toll

A Shropshire charity has thrown down the gauntlet and is asking people to challenge themselves and raise much-needed funds.

Jess Druce, area fundraiser for Severn Hospice
Jess Druce, area fundraiser for Severn Hospice

Over the years, supporters of Severn Hospice have raised thousands of pounds for the charity, which cares for people living with incurable illness in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Mid Wales, by walking up Snowdon, doing tandem skydives and running hundreds of miles.

Others have walked, run or cycled from Land’s End to John O’Groats or completed feats of endurance some of us can only imagine, such as climbing hills and mountains in the UK to the equivalent of summiting Everest.

Now charity bosses are organising socially-distanced events under their new Challenge Yourself campaign for 2021.

Jess Druce, area fundraiser, said: “We are so lucky with our fundraisers and over the years they have raised an amazing amount of money for us.

“With lockdown, many people can’t do their usual fundraising events, but perhaps they would consider doing one of their own.

“The Snowdon daytime trek is in mid-May and there is a sunrise trek in September. We have three skydives booked, one in April, one in June and another in October.

“Then there is also the London Marathon which is planned for October too.

“But equally, they could choose to do their own challenge.

“We already have a few people who have started their challenges. We have one man who admits he is not a natural runner, but he has so far run and walked more than 600 miles. There is a little 10-year-old girl who is walking the equivalent of Land’s End to John O’ Groats with her dad in memory of her mum who received our care.

“We also have accumulative runners who are running either for January or Lent and increasing their distances each day depending on the date.

“All of these are great challenges, and the people taking part get so much out of them. They really do sum up ‘challenge yourself’. During the first lockdown everyone wanted to do something that would stretch themselves and this has continued with this lockdown. We really are humbled by the support we have received.”

Three of the hospice’s nursing team will do a tandem skydive later this year.

Sharon Phaisey, Sarah Barton and Sarah Duff all work together on the hospice’s wards.

They are firm friends and agreed to do the jump when Sarah Duff said it was on her bucket list.

“If we can do something like this to raise funds for such a worthwhile cause, then we will,” said Sharon. “It will definitely be a challenge, but it is one we are all looking forward to.”

Severn Hospice has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. It has been forced to close its shops – twice – its supporters have had to stay at home and its 2020 fundraising events were cancelled.

Prior to the second lockdown which came in to force at the start of January, the charity was already predicting it would end the financial year with a £500,000 fundraising deficit.

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