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 “As a nurse I know raising money is important”

Our biggest fundraising event of the year, Midnight Walk, is just over a week away now! Nearly 900 people have already signed up for the event which is taking place in Horsham on Saturday 8 June. And there’s still time to make your steps count by joining them!

Here, Carol Stimpson, a Nurse Practitioner in our Mid Sussex and Crawley community team, explains what she enjoys most from St Catherine’s fundraising events, and why she thinks it’s important we all help raise funds for the hospice.

“I’ve worked here for nine years. Before that I worked as a District Nurse alongside St Catherine’s, but it wasn’t until I worked here that I realised the hospice was a charity and very different from the NHS.

My Dad died here and since starting here, I’ve got involved in fundraising events. I’ve taken part in the Midnight Walk, Firewalk (I’d do it again!), and the Dragon Boat Festival and I attend the Tree of Light each year for reflection at what can be a difficult time of year.

The best thing about the hospice’s events is the atmosphere. Every event is fun and I particularly love taking part in the Midnight Walk. One year I remember two guys merrily coming out of a pub we were walking past. We were all dressed in pink T-shirts and one of them grabbed the other and said “I see angels – loads of them.” They looked completely confused but it made me laugh.

After I’ve taken part in an event I feel a sense of achievement. I often ache but it’s a good feeling – it shows I’ve done something worthwhile. I also see relatives of patients I’ve cared for at events. Sometimes they come up to me and say hello, but for me, it’s just nice to see them supporting us after the care we gave their loved one. The events are a great reminder of why I do what I do.

At the hospice, we do all we can to help as many local people as possible but there’s still a lack of awareness about what we do. Only recently I had a call from a lady who said ‘You’re Macmillan.” I was clear that there’s no Macmillan service in our community but people mistaking St Catherine’s for them has a big impact on our charity as donations can go to the wrong place.

As a nurse I know that raising money is important. As well as taking part in events, I have two monthly chances on the Lottery and I tell people about our hospice coffee shop too. It’s a simple thing to drop into conversation, but if we all do it we’ll raise awareness.

I’d encourage you all to think about how you can raise awareness or to consider taking part in a St Catherine’s event too. Many of you probably are and for that I thank you. By supporting us, you’re helping provide care to people in our community when they really need it. And for me personally that’s my biggest motivator. And I’ll continue to do as much as I can to support the hospice and fundraise – so more people can have the end of life care they deserve.”

Sponsored by Gatwick Airport, this year’s walk has a brand new 2 mile family friendly route alongside existing 7, 13 or 20 mile walking routes, so everyone can join in. 

You can walk as an individual or a group, in memory of someone you love, or for a personal challenge. But whatever your reason for walking you’ll be guaranteed a great night!

Ready to join this inspiring night? Sign up online here, or call St Catherine’s Events Team on 01293 447355. Entry costs £15 and all entry fees include a free T-shirt, finisher’s breakfast and medal.

Let’s go further, together – sign up now.

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