Heading up the highest mountain in England was always going to mean fundraisers for St Mary’s Hospice hit new heights.
None of the 126 brave souls who scaled the peak could have predicted that, as well as bagging England’s highest height, they’d also smash the fundraising record for the Hospice — but that’s what they did, raking in an incredible £60,000.
Events and Challenges Manager Mel Dixon said: “We have completely smashed the previous best, it really is remarkable.
“It always takes a few weeks after an event to know what you’ve raised, because you have to wait for all the sponsorship money trickling in. I knew we would do well this year, but this has gone beyond even my wildest hopes.”
Every single penny from the event goes to help provide Hospice services for people in Furness and South Lakes. This includes paying for those using the hospice’s In Patient Unit or Hospice at Home services, and also the recently re-launched Living Well services.
Mel added; “We really are more than just a hospice; we provide care via a number of channels to people across the area. That might be by providing therapy to help someone manage pain or a life limiting illness, or the support of our Family and Bereavement Support team, who’ve had their busiest year on record.
“Our help is always free to our patients and their families — always — but we get less than a quarter of our funding from Government, so we have to raise the rest. Obviously in the last 18 months that has been difficult, with most of our events cancelled or moved online because of the pandemic, which is why it’s so important that we did so well with this challenge.
“I’m so proud of everyone who came along on the walk, and the friends, families and colleagues of our walkers who have dug deep to support them, and us. Thank you all so much.”
The £59,282 raised is over £20,000 higher than the previous best but, far from basking in the success, Mel is already planning how to do even better next year. “We had a mix of people who are serious fell walkers, and some complete novices who’d never taken on a challenge like that in their lives,” Mel said.
“So next summer we’re going to have two events — a three peaks challenge for those who want to push themselves to go higher than Scafell, and a gentler yet still challenging walk up Grizedale Pike for the rest of us.”
There is also the return, later this month, of the most popular St Mary’s event — Walk to Remember — a family friendly walk from Ulverston to Barrow where participants celebrate the lives of loved ones lost. All of St Mary’s events are sponsored by Ørsted.
Mel added: “There is just about time for people to sign up for W2R. It’s our most popular event each year and we were absolutely gutted when we had to cancel last year. Anyone who’s interested can check our Facebook page for details or sign up here on our website.”