chesterfield charity news

Families invited to remember their loved ones this Christmas with Ashgate Hospice

A North Derbyshire man whose wife of 50 years died earlier this year is supporting an event to remember loved ones this Christmas.

Bernard Haigh’s wife Jeanette died from ovarian cancer in June this year, aged 72, after being cared for on our Inpatient Unit and at home by Ashgate hospice’s Palliative Care Specialist Nurses.

He is among hundreds of people taking part in the hospice’s annual Light Up a Life campaign in December.

Families are invited to dedicate a star in memory of their loved ones and make a donation to the hospice.

Supporters, along with their family and friends, will also be invited to join the hospice in a service of celebration and remembrance in December, in the grounds of its Old Brampton site.

The Light Up a Life service will include readings and songs, the switching on of Ashgate’s Christmas lights and a chance to reflect and celebrate the lives of loved ones.

Bernard said: “With Jeanette I experienced the incredible care that Ashgate provides.

“It was difficult to watch Jeanette become increasingly unwell, but Ashgate Hospice could not have done more to support us.

“From the excellent community team who supplied us with a hospital bed, stairlift, a bathing facility and more whilst Jeanette was at home, to the incredible Inpatient Unit staff, who treated her with so much kindness and compassion.

“As a result of the care Jeanette was receiving, we were able to spend the time we had left making precious memories as a family.

“Jeanette dedicated her life to helping others. She was a special needs teacher and volunteered with many community groups and cancer charities to help people in need.

“I can’t think of a better way to remember her than by dedicating a star in her memory and donating to help other people who need Ashgate’s exceptional care.”

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, those wishing to attend the ceremony will receive an invite after dedicating a star. They will also receive a special pin badge, a card with a personalised dedication on it to keep with them wherever they go, and two Light up a Life stars, which they can choose to hang on their tree at home or on the hospice’s tree at its Hasland Furniture Store in Chesterfield.

Those who dedicate a star via the Light up a Life website are also able to share a treasured photo of their loved one to feature on the star along with a special message that will appear in the virtual night sky.

Jack Wood, Head of Fundraising at Ashgate Hospice, said: “Although Christmas is a time to celebrate, we understand how difficult it can be for those who are missing someone special.

“Light up a Life gives families like Bernard’s the chance to come together to celebrate and remember the life of their loved ones.

“At the same time, it is an opportunity to support the hospice through another difficult winter to help us continue to provide our specialist, compassionate care to patients and their families across North Derbyshire.

“After last year’s virtual-only ceremony, we are pleased to be able to invite supporters back to the hospice to take part in our special Light Up a Life service at our Old Brampton site. Of course, this has been carefully planned to adhere to the hospice’s strict COVID guidelines and will be held outside with those attending encouraged to wear masks.” Following Jeanette’s death, thousands of pounds have been raised for Ashgate in her memory, thanks to the generosity of her family, friends and the people of Bolsover.

Her grandchildren, Florence and Samuel, aged 11 and seven respectively, cycled 16-miles across Birmingham, raising more than £1,600. And the collection at Jeanette’s funeral helped raise more than £1,700 for the North Derbyshire charity too.

Florence and Samuel will feature as special guests at the Light up a Life ceremony as they will turn on Ashgate’s Christmas lights this year in honour of their grandmother.

Now, Bernard is asking people across North Derbyshire to join him in dedicating a star in their loved one’s memory to support Ashgate through what the charity anticipates to be another difficult winter.

For more information about Light Up a Life or to make a dedication in memory of someone, go to: lightupalife.ashgatehospicecare.org.uk or call the Ashgate Fundraising Team on 01246 567250.

Alternatively, if you would like to make your dedication in person, you can do so from Monday to Friday at Ashgate Hospice on Ashgate Road in Old Brampton or in your local Ashgate Hospice shop.

Ashgate Hospice supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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Charity announces move into former Chesterfield register office

Derwent Rural Counselling Service, which supports people with mental health problems across Derbyshire, has invested in new premises in Chesterfield.

DRCS has bought the old Register Office in Chesterfield as part of ambitious growth plans for the charity which currently operates a team of 60 freelance and employed staff working from home and out of seven centres across the county.

Grand plans for the Beetwell Street premises include office space, consulting rooms, meeting rooms and relaxation space to help cope with an increased demand for DRCS services in the area plus other tenanted options.

Janette Smeeton, chief executive at DRCS said: “We have seen rapid growth and success in the last few years and expanded our services now treating people from the Amber Valley, Erewash, Chesterfield, Buxton, Matlock, Ashbourne, Derby, Swadlincote and the Peak District. Adding to our property portfolio in Chesterfield makes sense as were using rented meeting rooms in the town.

“One main aim for DRCS has been to create a local service for everyone in Derbyshire to make sure everybody can get the service they need, close to home.

“The new Chesterfield building offers the biggest property challenge to date with three floors to renovate, but will help us provide as many treatment appointments as possible for the local community. We have not yet begun renovations but hope these will start as soon as possible.”

Mark Serby, chair of trustees for the Bakewell-headquartered charity said: “This is an exciting project and another step in implementing the board’s strategy for growth.

“Now is the right time to invest in the future. Covid has changed how we do things and proved there is not only appetite, but there’s a need. By investing in the purchase and renovation of the property we will be in a position to scale active services and have capacity to introduce potential new ones to meet changing needs and have a real meaningful impact.”

Over the last 30 years, DRCS has become the largest voluntary sector provider of counselling services in the region offering help to individuals, via self referral or via a GP, with common mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, stress and long term conditions through counselling, CBT, guided self-help, and other forms of talking therapy.

Over the last eight years, DRCS has been in partnership with Derbyshire Healthcare Foundation Trust to improve access to psychological therapies throughout Derbyshire achieving above national recovery rates and shorter waiting times.

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Christmas Charity Appeal Launched by Rosewood Wealth Management

The team at Chesterfield’s Rosewood Wealth Management is once again hosting a Christmas charity appeal, with donations being collected by the firm in aid of Action For Children.

Action For Children helps disadvantaged young people, with support provided to 604,885 children, young people and families in 2020/21.

This year, Rosewood is putting together hampers for families who are struggling financially, as Independent Financial Adviser Donna Robertson explains:

“These hampers will help provide food for the festive period so families can look forward to Christmas and celebrate without the worry of putting food on the table. For the children involved it’s so exciting to receive some treats which they usually are not able to afford.

“The importance of providing support in the community has always been a part of our ethos at Rosewood from the beginning and this Christmas we could not pass up the opportunity to support a charity which can make such a difference to the lives of vulnerable children.

“More than four million children in the UK are locked in poverty. This is the equivalent of nine children in every school class of 30. Families are struggling to afford the basics, like food, clothes and services. The effects of Covid have only further compounded the situation for vulnerable families.

“We are asking our local community, people and business to come together this Christmas and help us to provide food for families who really need it and may go without this Christmas. It can be as simple as adding an extra tin of beans to your weekly shopping list.

“We will be collecting donations of tinned food, pasta, cereal, biscuits, cleaning products, crisps, toiletries, tea, coffee and any long shelf life items to make hampers ready for the families.”

Anyone who is able to donate to the appeal is asked to drop off donations at Rosewood Wealth Management’s offices on Brimington Road before Monday, 6th December ready to be delivered to the families later that week in time for Christmas.

Rosewood Wealth Management supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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Long serving Ashgate Hospice staff member marks 30 “incredible” years

One of Ashgate Hospice’s longest serving members of staff is marking 30 years caring for palliative and end of life patients this month – and her ‘desire’ and ‘dedication’ has been praised by charity bosses.

Pam Garvey, who as a Palliative Care Support Worker, cares for patients and their families in their own homes, celebrated her 30th anniversary at Ashgate on Thursday (21st October).

Over the past three decades, the 65-year-old has been there to provide compassionate and comforting care to thousands across North Derbyshire.

Before starting at the hospice, Pam worked in a role supporting people across the county with mental health problems.

She says although it wasn’t her first job when she started at Ashgate in 1991, she ‘knew quickly after starting that it would be her last’.

After reaching the milestone this week, Pam said: “The past 30 years have passed by so quickly, but I’m so glad that I followed my heart and joined the hospice team back in 1991.

“So much has changed at Ashgate over the years to meet the needs of our patients but our goal has always remained the same: to provide excellent, compassionate palliative and end of life care to the people who need us.

“I meet so many inspirational people, who make me feel so humble and grateful for everything I have. I have learnt something from all of them.

“I feel a sense of pride when I tell people I work at Ashgate Hospice; I still have the letter offering me the post from all those years ago. I just can’t believe it’s been 30 years!”

Pam initially started at the hospice as a volunteer in 1989, before being offered a permanent position on the hospice’s Inpatient Unit two years later.

After a short length of time supporting patients on the ward, Ashgate started caring for patients and their families in their own homes – and Pam instantly knew that was her dream job.

She added: “Two years after starting out on the Inpatient Unit, Ashgate extended our care offering to people in their own homes, and I instantly knew that’s where I wanted to be.

“The role has certainly changed since then, there were no mobile phones or sat navs; our matron, Jean, would wave us off, armed with just a map and the patient’s details – that’s where each day began!”

When Pam started at Ashgate, there were approximately 12 nurses, four health care assistants, a few doctors, three kitchen staff and three office staff.

Today, there are 340 members of staff and 600 volunteers at the charity, which last year cared for more than 2,500 patients across a range of different services.

Barbara-Anne Walker, Chief Executive at Ashgate Hospice, said: “On behalf of everyone at Ashgate I’d like to wish Pam a huge congratulations as she reaches her 30th  year caring for patients.

“From starting as a volunteer when we first started providing care on our Inpatient Unit to being involved with the launch of our community services – she’s achieved so much over the past three decades.

“She has helped and continues to help make a positive impact on the lives of so many families – she’s truly one in a million.

“I’m so grateful to Pam for her incredible service over the years and the desire, commitment and hard work she brings to work each day emulates everything Ashgate is about. Thank you, Pam – Ashgate wouldn’t be the same without you!”

Would you like to work alongside Pam and other Ashgate colleagues? The charity is currently hiring for Bank Registered Nurses to join its award-winning ‘Outstanding’-rated team on the hospice’s newly refurbished 21-bed Inpatient Unit.

To find out more about the role and other vacancies at Ashgate Hospice, go to: www.ashgatehospice.org.uk/vacancies

Ashgate Hospice supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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Kids Planet raises money for Prader Willie Syndrome in sponsored walk

Staff at Kids Planet North Wingfield took part in a 10-mile sponsored walk on Thursday 14th October to raise money for Prader Willi Syndrome.

The group of 11 members of staff were representing Jaxson, to help raise money for his expensive Prader Willi Syndrome (PWS) treatment.

Sophie Hoyland, Nursery Manager, said: “Jaxon is a close family friend of one of our parents at the nursery, and the cause is very close to their family. They reached out to us to help, and we were pleased to not only get involved but generate positive support. Lots of families sponsored and cheered the group on at the roadside and over £200 has been raised so far. It was a fantastic event to be a part of and great to give back.”

Jaxson was born early and was diagnosed with PWS when he was just three days old. The rare disorder can affect muscle tone, motor skills, sleep, and speech. Due to this condition, Jaxson has to live a very healthy and active lifestyle to stay in shape. He is currently receiving support from Physiotherapy and is doing extremely well and has recently started crawling and standing.

The walk started from the Nursery in North Wingfield on the corner of Chesterfield Road and The Green, through the surrounding villages in Chesterfield. One of Jaxon’s parents is also doing a sponsored 103-mile bike ride for the cause, from Manchester to Wales.

Kids Planet North Wingfield is a purpose-built nursery and opened in 2017. Split over two levels, the nursery has three large spacious rooms and two secure outdoor play areas. The company runs five centres across North Derbyshire – including Sheepbridge, Newbold, Brampton and Chesterfield.

Kids Planet supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 190 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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Chesterfield community and voluntary groups reminded to take advantage of local funding

Community and voluntary sector groups and organisations in Chesterfield are being encouraged to take advantage of funding, enabling them to play a key role in improving the health and wellbeing of Derbyshire residents during the ongoing pandemic.

The Covid-19 Community Response Fund allows formally constituted organisations to apply for a maximum of £2,000, while non-constituted organisations can apply for up to £250.

An extra £50,000 was allocated to groups in Derbyshire through the fund back in June 2021, with a total of more than £185,000 awarded to a diverse range of Derbyshire organisations including parents’ associations, ethnic minority groups, older people’s charities and churches so far.

Cllr Carol Hart, Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet member for health and communities said: “The response to the pandemic has seen many organisations across Derbyshire working tirelessly to ensure the basic needs of the most vulnerable residents are met.

“The COVID-19 fund was set up to ensure that community and voluntary organisations had enough resource to carry on with their vital work.

“This additional funding will enable more groups to carry out work within their local communities. We’ve already seen some amazing work being carried out including food parcels for vulnerable people, a community café being set up and support for students.”

The closing date for groups to bid for funding is 31st March 2022, however local authorities in our area are urging them to get their applications in as soon as possible in order to avoid missing out.

Applications must be linked to an existing Public Health programme, for example to support mental health and emotional wellbeing or to tackle social isolation.

Find out more about the Covid-19 Community Response Fund here.

There are currently plenty of other ongoing support schemes for local business and organisations across Chesterfield, including the Chesterfield Digital High Street initiative, along with the Vision Derbyshire Business start-up support scheme.

Find out more about all the different types of grants, advice and other business support available in Chesterfield here: Business Support | Destination Chesterfield

Support the Community

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Ashgate Hospicecare staff reunite with relatives of patients they’ve cared for

Ashgate Hospicecare has released three ‘emotionally charged’ videos reuniting its staff with the relatives of patients they cared for in their final days.

The videos, released during Hospice Care Week (4th – 8th October) and filmed in the hospice gardens, reveal the crucial support patients and their families received from Ashgate and how its staff care not just for its patients but for their families and loved ones too.

One of those people is 38-year-old Simon Birley from Clowne, who in October 2020, married his wife Lindsay in a special ceremony at the hospice where Lindsay was being cared for in Ashgate’s Inpatient Unit. Tragically, Lindsay died just one month later.

Simon said: “Throughout her short illness, she never once complained; it’s just awful that one minute we’d just welcomed our son Isaac into the world and were so happy, the next thing life comes crashing to pieces. All we ever wanted was our own family, and then cancer took it away from us.

“I’m just so grateful that Ashgate was able to be there for us all. Lindsay was so comfortable here and they did everything they could to offer the best care possible.

“She loved all the people that came around and supported her. She truly loved Ashgate and was so thankful that a place like the hospice existed.”

Simon breaks down in tears when he is reunited with Ashgate’s Ward Manager, Karen Walker, who supported the couple on their special day.

He adds: “Karen is just an amazing person. It’s hard to put into words the difference that somebody has made. When my life had been shattered and I was seeing my loved one changing due to the disease, Karen was there to support us all.

“On the wedding day, Karen was there to support Lindsay and having her there made us much more relaxed, she helped make our wedding day go as well as it possibly could have. Without her and everyone else at Ashgate, we wouldn’t have been able to get married.
“I look up to Karen as someone who made a positive impact on my life, and I’ll be forever thankful for that.”

In another video, 61-year-old Sheryle Scott, from Sheffield, pays tribute to Helen Harrison, an Ashgate Community Nurse Specialist who cared for her brother Mark Coley at home after he was diagnosed with MND.

Sheryle said: “Without Helen, I don’t know what we would’ve done. We felt like we’d known her all our lives.

“With Helen, her patients must all feel the same way, we felt that we were the only patients she had.

“She just pulled everything together for us in a matter of days. I could phone her whenever I liked, even during the lockdown it was never a problem.

“Helen became such a big part of our life and I’m so grateful for everything she did for Mark and our family. She just never stopped caring.”

In the final video, Graham Matthews, from Killamarsh, returns to Ashgate to reunite with Lucy, the physiotherapist who “helped to extend the life” of his wife Diane, who was diagnosed with Multiple System Atrophy, a rare degenerative neurological condition similar to Motor Neurone Disease.

Graham said: “We were so worried about how life would end for Diane, but fortunately, thanks to the support of everyone at Ashgate, it was very peaceful for her.

“Lucy was a big part of Diane’s life towards the end. She helped make a terrible situation much brighter and more cheerful.

“I remember when she couldn’t even stand up or get her head up, but through Lucy’s hard work Diane managed to get her head back up and even stood up a couple of times.”

The charity, which provides specialist end-of-life care to patients with complex palliative care needs across North Derbyshire, hopes the videos will provide an insight into the care and support they offer and raise awareness of their services.

Hayley Wardle, Director of Quality and Patient Care at Ashgate, said: “Hospice Care Week is all about raising awareness and challenging perceptions of hospice care. These videos help to do just that by highlighting the lasting impact that good quality hospice care can have.
“The stories shared in these videos are incredibly emotional and I feel a deep sense of pride that Ashgate was able to support those families when they needed us most.

“Our hope is these videos will help explain in a bit more detail the support we provide not just to our patients but to their families and loved ones too by bringing the reality of what we are all about straight into people’s homes.”

To watch the videos, go to: www.youtube.com/user/ashgatehospice or to donate visit www.ashgatehospicecare.org.uk/donation

Ashgate Hospicecare supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 190 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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Volunteers required for the 2021 Redbrik Foundation Chesterfield 10k

Charity partners of the 2021 Redbrik Foundation Chesterfield 10k are on the lookout for volunteers to get involved with this year’s event, which takes place on 17th October, beginning at 10am from Queen’s Park, Chesterfield.

Volunteer marshals will help to play a key role in the success of the event and will be stationed at various points around the 10k course, assisting and supporting participants, local residents and spectators.

John Timms, Event Director, said: “Due to the pandemic cancelling the 2020 event, we are eager to make this year’s 10k memorable whilst fundraising in support of the local charities; Ashgate Hospicecare, Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice and The Redbrik Foundation.

“We are calling on volunteers to support Ashgate Hospicecare and Bluebell Wood and all the runners, cheer them on and get them around the course safely.

“The 10k is also a great way to gather the local communities back together again after a difficult past year during the pandemic and what better way to come together than supporting these charities that provide extremely valuable services.”

Carl Jones, Fundraising Manager at Ashgate Hospicecare, added: “I would like to personally encourage individuals to take the opportunity to get involved.

“If you can spare a few hours, it’s such a rewarding experience to witness the determination of the runners, as well as the amazing community spirit of the supporting locals.

“Access to marshal points is very straightforward and all volunteers are well looked after before and during the race.”

If you are aged 18 or older and are interested in volunteering at the 2021 Redbrik Foundation Chesterfield 10k, contact the events team at Ashgate Hospicecare on 01246 233404 or email events@ashgatehospicecare.org.uk.

The Redbrik Foundation Chesterfield 10k will take in some of Chesterfield’s most prominent landmarks, starting and finishing in the famous Queen’s Park.

You can find out more about the event in a conversation with Event Director, John Timms and The Redbrik Foundation’s David Cooper on the latest episode of The Chesterfield Show Podcast, now available on Spotify.

Redbrik  supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 190 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

competition

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Citizens Advice chair of trustees to step down after 12 years of service

The Chair of Chesterfield’s Citizens Advice Bureau has announced she is stepping down from the role next year, after dedicating 12 years of  service to the organisation.

Linda Moore said: I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time as chair; I’ve found it challenging, diverse, interesting & rewarding. The team is amazing, but after 12 years it’s time for a new leader with new & refreshing ideas.

“I’m sure I will find a different role in order to continue my support of this vital, local charity.”

Citizens Advice supports people across the town with free, confidential, impartial, independent advice and information for the problems they face and works to improve the policies and practices that affect people’s lives.

The Chesterfield group is now looking for someone to  join the board, possibly as vice-chair in readiness to take over at the AGM in November 2022.

They are hoping to find someone who is passionate about making a difference in the local community, excited to support a leading local advice charity, and is a natural leader.

Applications for the voluntary role close on Friday, 22nd October 2021 at 5pm. Anyone interested in taking on the role is asked to get in touch with Julie Astell via email: julie.astell@chesterfieldcab.co.uk for an application pack.

Recently it was announced that Phoebe Sellars who works for fellow Chesterfield Champion, Bridge Help was appointed to the board as the youngest ever trustee at the age of just 22.

Phoebe explained why she decided to join the board: “I live and work in Chesterfield and feel passionately about strengthening the community that I live in, work in and love. Citizens Advice Chesterfield does such good work for so many people in my home town.”

Citizens Advice Chesterfield supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 190 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

champion of the week

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Schoolteachers and staff to swap classroom for Sparkle Night Walk in memory of much-loved colleague

More than thirty primary school teachers and staff are taking on Ashgate Hospicecare’s Sparkle Night Walk together in memory of their friend and colleague who died in the charity’s care.

The 31-strong team from Mary Swanwick Primary School are swapping the classroom for the sparkling streets of Chesterfield on September 25th as they hope to raise money to help fund Ashgate Hospicecare.

They’re taking on the fundraiser in memory of Claire Sivorn, a former Teaching Assistant at the school, who died in Ashgate’s care earlier this year, aged 55.

Claire had planned to marry her partner, Craig, in Edinburgh this month, but when her cancer made her progressively more ill, doctors advised the couple to cancel their special day.

However, Ashgate was able to step in to help arrange the pair’s wedding at an earlier date in April, so they got to tie the knot before Claire died just weeks later.

Her best friend and fellow Teaching Assistant, Becky Jackson, will join 30 others from Mary Swanwick in taking on the 10km route in tribute to Claire, whilst helping fund care for future families who need the hospice’s support.

The 50-year-old, from Woodthorpe, said: “We wanted to say thank you for everything Ashgate did for Claire and her family at the end of her life.

“Not only was the care she received outstanding, but the hospice went above and beyond to arrange her and Craig’s wedding. It was such a special day; something me, Claire’s friends and family will be able to cherish for ever.

“Claire was so caring, selfless and incredibly hard working. She worked for nearly 20 years at Mary Swanwick Primary School and was an incredibly talented artist; her artwork is still proudly on display throughout our school.

“She put everyone before herself, so we wanted to do something special in her memory. We all can’t wait to take part and are hoping to raise some much-needed funds for such a fantastic and worthwhile cause.”

Claire spent six weeks on the Ashgate’s Inpatient Unit before receiving the hospice’s support at home when she died on 6th May with her family by her side. Meanwhile, Craig and her children have received counselling from the charity’s Supportive Care team in recent months.

The team from Mary Swanwick Primary School are among more than a thousand participants to have signed up for the return of Ashgate’s Sparkle Night Walk this September.

Previously, the event, sponsored by Vertu Toyota, has taken place in July, but the charity has pushed back the date this year in light of the ongoing roadmap out of lockdown.

Ashgate hopes the new September date will allow the hospice to hold a socially distanced event while ensuring the safety of its supporters, volunteers and the local community.

Carl Jones, Fundraising Manager at Ashgate Hospicecare, said: “It’s so wonderful to hear Becky and her team from Mary Swanwick Primary School are coming together to take on our Sparkle Night Walk in memory of Claire.

“I’m glad our incredible team was able to be there for Claire and her family at the end of her life; it’s thanks to fantastic fundraisers like Becky and the team from Mary Swanwick that we’re able to be there for the families who need us most.

“We are really looking forward to welcoming back our supporters and seeing some familiar faces, as well as those new supporters taking part for the first time. We hope you’ll consider joining the team from Mary Swanwick Primary School along the route this September!”

Ashgate is encouraging their local community to sign-up to the Sparkle Night Walk and help raise much needed money to fund the specialist end-of-life care they provide.

Like last year, a virtual option will also be offered, for those who would prefer to choose their own route and complete it separately.

The charity is asking those taking part virtually to walk, run, cycle or dance their way through the streets to raise money for charity’s care.

To find out more about Ashgate Hospicecare’s Sparkle Night Walk and to register go to: www.sparklenightwalk.org.uk or call 01246 568801.

Ashgate Hospicecare supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 190 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

sparkle night walk

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Ashgate Hospicecare director raises more than £6,000 in incredible marathon challenge

An Ashgate Hospicecare director who set himself the challenge of running 12 marathons in as many months has finally crossed the finish line – two months ahead of schedule.

Peter Stone, Director of Income Generation at the North Derbyshire charity and Destination Chesterfield board member, was inspired to fundraise having seen others go above and beyond to help fund Ashgate’s vital care.

Starting last October, the 60-year-old challenged himself to run 12 marathons in just one year – a remarkable 314.4 miles in total.

And on Saturday, Peter was delighted to complete his final marathon of the challenge, finishing at Ashgate’s hospice site in Old Brampton, Chesterfield, where family, friends and colleagues applauded him as he passed through the gates.

Thanks to the generosity of Peter’s supporters, the challenge has helped raise an incredible £6,200 towards the charity, smashing his target of £1,000.

Following the final marathon, Peter said: “My final marathon was one of the hardest yet – it included 3,500 feet of ascent and a lot of off-road navigation in the area around Tansley and Ashover.

“That, combined with hot weather, made for a tiring trip out. I am delighted to have completed the 12 marathons and I am so grateful for all the support I have received.

“I am responsible for the fundraising and retail teams at Ashgate who every year must generate around 70 per cent of the organisation’s income. I was keen to raise some funds myself – to help with fundraising and to remind me how hard our fundraisers must work to generate the money we need.

“Even as a keen runner this challenge has been difficult. The older I get, the longer it takes to recover from a marathon so trying to cover one every four weeks has been tiring. Plus, there’s been runs in the rain, sleet and snow which haven’t helped matters at all!”

From a double marathon – with no stopping– in Northumberland to a 50km run along a disused railway line in Shropshire, Peter has taken part in marathons across the UK.

He’s averaged around one marathon every four weeks – a task he admits was “tough”, but now he’s got into the routine of it he’ll find it difficult to stop.

Peter’s efforts will help Ashgate in continuing to provide caring and compassionate palliative and end-of-life care to people all over North Derbyshire.

He added: “I wanted to fundraise for Ashgate because the charity undertakes such amazing work – offering specialist palliative and end of life care to patients with a life-limiting illness and their families across North Derbyshire.

“Ashgate is so loved by the community, and this has been apparent by the level of support I have received to date. I couldn’t have asked for more from everyone who has supported me and made donations – thank you all so much.”

Have you been inspired by Peter’s fundraiser? You can run for Ashgate Hospicecare at the Redbrik Foundation Chesterfield 10K on 17th October.

To support Peter following his mammoth marathon challenge go to his JustGiving page at www.justgiving.com/peterstoneag

Ashgate Hospicecare supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 190 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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