Gary Rushworth is an experienced long-distance walker and fundraiser, but he has set himself, and his nephew Andrew Thompson, a new challenge this summer. Having completed the Keswick to Barrow a grand total of 9 times, as well as several Wainwright routes, all for good causes, Gary has set his sights on a new goal.
Leaving at 8am on Saturday 15th June, Gary and Andrew will set off along the Cumbria Way, aiming to walk from South Cumbria’s St Mary’s Hospice to Carlisle’s Eden Valley Hospice before 8pm the following day. Gary’s mum / Andrew’s Grandma Edith Rushworth passed away at Eden Valley in 2003, and Gary’s wife / Andrew’s Auntie, who suffers from progressive multiple sclerosis, is currently receiving care from the St Mary’s team. The walk is intended to raise awareness of the important services provided across the county by both hospices, as well as their desperate need to raise several million pounds each year in order for them to be able to continue supporting their respective communities.
The 72 mile walk, to be completed in just 36 hours will be a ‘sprint’ compared to the previous challenges that Gary has undertaken, along with a new adventure of wild camping overnight for a brief chance to recharge the team’s batteries. With a fundraising target of £750 (each Hospice) for their endeavours, Gary and Andrew hope that plenty of people will think the challenge is worthy of their support.
Gary says “The care that each hospice provides is exceptional, not just for the patient but for the family too. At St Mary’s, for example, it’s not just my wife who feels cared for, I am given support and treated with real consideration. We want to show our gratitude and raise some money so that other people can be looked after as we have been and will be”.
Area fundraiser Clare Tonkin at St Mary’s adds “We try very hard to treat people as individuals and understand that when someone has a life shortening condition, it affects all those around them too. The breadth and depth of services we offer are all free to our users, but that doesn’t mean they are without cost. We rely on amazing people like Gary, Andrew and their team to raise funds for us, year in and year out. Without our supporters, we could not exist, so we are very grateful for all donations, and wish the Cumbria Way walkers the very best of luck”
Community and Events Fundraiser, Sam Johnston, at Eden Valley Hospice continued, “We cannot thank wonderful people like Gary and Andrew enough for their dedicated support. Eden Valley Hospice care for patients and their families and friends when they need it the most. This care would just not be possible without the support from the local community. Each year we rely on over £3 million of community donations. The team here can’t wait to hear how Gary and Andrew get on and they will have out very best wishes whilst they are undertaking this mammoth challenge.”
To show your support for your Cumbrian Hospices and Gary and Andrew, visit:
https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Andrew-Thompson92 – for Eden Valley