Mum and daughters step out for hospice in memory of grandad

10 April 2012

A Sheffield mum and her two daughters have a special reason to put on their hiking shoes and grass skirts for a charity walk.
 
Debbie Peckett’s dad Dick Hadfield died aged 82 at Barnsley Hospice last October. Debbie and her daughters Lucy, 17, and Emily, 13, were so impressed with the care he received they want to give something back to the charity at Gawber.
 
The trio, who live at High Green, are now in training for the hospice’s Midnight Walk, which this year has a Hawaiian theme.
 
They will be among 1400 women expected to take part in the 6th annual walk, which starts at midnight on Saturday June 23. Last year’s walk raised £100,000 for the hospice, which has to find £1.9m on top of its NHS grant of £1.6m every year.
 
Debbie’s dad Dick, who lived in Hoyland, near Barnsley, was diagnosed with lung cancer in May 2011 and his health deteriorated over the summer. He spent his last two weeks at the hospice.
 
Debbie said: “Dad was a real family man who liked nothing more than to spend time with his three children and four grandchildren.  He had a lively and enquiring mind and was always keen to learn new things.  At the age of 80 he bought a laptop and become a regular internet user. So it was really sad to see him go down hill.
 
“When he went into the hospice we expected the care to be good, but it was beyond our expectations. It truly was fantastic. They cared for us as much as him; they could not do enough for us.”
 
The hospice allowed Debbie and the rest of her family to visit whenever they wanted, 24 hours a day, and when her sister Janine came up from her home in Bedfordshire she was even able to sleep there.
 
“Nothing was too much trouble,” said Debbie. “When my dad was very ill he could only eat certain things at certain times and they would make food specially for him. The care was outstanding.”
 
The hospice costs nearly £8,500 to run each day. It has ten beds for inpatient care and provides day care in its Limes Unit. Care is free for anyone in Barnsley with a life-threatening condition, not just cancer patients, and is also available in patients’ own homes.
 
Barnsley Hospice services include specialist pain and symptom management, complementary therapies, counselling and support groups.
 
This year the Midnight Walk has a Hawaiian theme; last year it was cops and robbers and in 2010 Angels and Demons. There will be two routes, one of five miles and one of ten, both starting at Grange Lane at Barnsley. Debbie, Lucy and Emily plan to do the longer version.
 
Ecclesfield School student Emily said: “I am excited to be there and be part of it because I think it might be like one big family walking together, not just us as a family. So I am really looking forward to it.”
 
The trio are already preparing. Lucy, who is studying A-levels at Greenhead College, in Huddersfield, said: “Between all three of us we hope to raise about £500.
 
“To practise we are walking a route round where we live once a week and we have got up to five miles. Hopefully we can get up to the ten by the time the walk comes.”
 
For more information about the walk and to register go to www.barnsleyhospicemidnightwalk.org
 
 
NOTE TO EDITORS
 
Photographs available from Kate Betts.
 
Barnsley Hospice’s main aim is to achieve the best possible quality of life for patients while supporting their relatives and friends during the period of illness and bereavement. 
 
Its services include specialist pain and symptom management, complementary therapies, counselling and support groups. There is also a service for people who have lymphoedema – a build-up of fluid in the body which causes swelling. It can be a side effect of cancer or radiotherapy but it can affect people who do not have cancer.
 
For more information about Barnsley Hospice go to: www.barnsleyhospice.org
 
Media contact at the hospice: Laura Conrad on 01226 244 244 (ext 263) or 07787 408257 or email laura.conrad@barnsley-hospice.org
 
Alternatively, ring Helen Macintosh on 01226 323622 or at helen.macintosh@barnsley-hospice.org.
 
Additional media contact: Kate Betts on 01226 766900 or 07792 764891 or at kate@katebettsmedia.co.uk

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