Christmas charity appeal

Local Hospice encourages residents to take part in ‘Ashgate to the North Pole’ challenge

People from across North Derbyshire are being invited to collectively run, walk, cycle or swim  the distance between Ashgate Hospice and the North Pole, to help the charity be there for the families who need its support most this Christmas time.

The mammoth fundraising challenge, called ‘Ashgate to the North Pole’, will see participants race more than 2,167 miles before Christmas Day.

Whether you’re setting yourself a target of running a couple of miles a day or heading out on a weekly cycle across the Peaks, taking part in the challenge will help fund the charity care for patients and their families living with a life-limiting illness.

Those who sign up to the free virtual event can compete against friends, family and colleagues in the online league table.

Savannah Redhead, Events Fundraiser at Ashgate Hospice, said: “We’re delighted to be able to launch our brand-new virtual Ashgate to the North Pole event!

“We’re inviting you to join us on our collective trip to the North Pole so we can bring some festive cheer to our patients both at the hospice and in the community.

“Whether you’re an avid runner or prefer to take the bike out for a Sunday cycle, your efforts will mean so much to us and the families who need us.

“We rely on the generosity of our community to raise millions of pounds each year to help fund our specialist care. And at Christmas time that means helping our patients and their families to create precious memories together.

“So, what are you waiting for? Come and help us achieve our collective challenge of reaching 2,167 miles over the festive period – we know we can reach the goal with your support!”

Everyone who raises £50 in sponsorship or more will receive a festive treat that will be available to collect from the hospice.

Ashgate is hoping that fundraisers who take part will help fund a special gift on its Christmas list to Santa this year:

  • £6 could pay for a Christmas dinner with all the trimmings for a patient.
  • £15 could pay for a counselling or creative therapy session, to help guide a bereaved person through the darkest of times
  • £18 could pay for a one-hour visit from a Community Nurse in a patient’s home over the festive period.

Participants can choose to use the mobile phone app Strava to track their activity or manually input their miles themselves – it’s entirely up to each individual.

Taking part in Ashgate to the North Pole will help families like Elaine Clarke’s, whose mum, Sheila Clarke, received Day Services support before spending her final days on the hospice’s Inpatient Unit.

Sheila died in October 2015, aged 78, after being diagnosed with vulval cancer the year before.

Elaine said: “I had a really hard time accepting my mum’s diagnosis but was able to receive support from Ashgate Hospice, who helped me through the whole experience tremendously.

“The care my mum had really was second-to-none; she was so well looked after, and I don’t know what we would have done without the support of the team at Ashgate.

“I’ll never forget my mum made a special friend with a lady in the next room to her.

“Over the weeks the friendship became so special between them both that the staff moved them out of the rooms and into a ward area where their beds could be placed side-by-side.

“That’s just one example of how everyone at Ashgate goes above and beyond for each and every family it cares for.”

To find out more about the Ashgate to the North Pole fundraising challenge and how you can take part go to

Alternatively, you can contact Ashgate’s Fundraising Team by calling 01246 567250 or by emailing

Ashgate Hospice supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 200 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

Posted in About Chesterfield, Christmas, Home, Leisure, Love Chesterfield, Uncategorised, VisitingTagged in , , , , ,

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: 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.

Posted in About Chesterfield, Christmas, Home, Leisure, Love Chesterfield, Uncategorised, VisitingTagged in , , , , ,

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