“The land where the hospice stands is home” 

News and Blog

Billie Bridges has an incredibly close connection to our new hospice. The land it stands on was once her family’s farm. Her father generously gifted us the land to build our new home, which proudly stands on Grace Holland Avenue, named after her grandmother.  

In November, Billie is taking on our 40-mile trek to Petra. She tells us why she’s signed up for the challenge and how she’s feeling about the new hospice. 

“I was looking at how I could support St Catherine’s and I have always wanted to go to Petra. I thought I could combine the trip with raising money and I don’t have to organise it either!  

“I’ve never done anything off road so the stony landscape will be a challenge. As you get older, you need to keep challenging yourself and keep fit. I’m not a sun lounger holiday person – I have to keep moving. 

“I’m not a good flyer, so getting there will be tough, but doing it for St Catherine’s will get me on the plane.”  

A keen walker already, Billie is taking part with three friends and has recently attended a Petra training walk: 

“It was a great walk with lovely people. There was a volunteer who came along who we persuaded to sign up afterwards!  

“I think walking brings out the best in people because you’re out in the fresh air and it reminds you that phones and everything else don’t matter. You are away from the mad world.” 

Living in Pease Pottage, Billie hopes her fundraising will increase awareness of St Catherine’s in the village: 

“I’m funding the trip myself and then raising as much as possible. We’ve already hosted an afternoon tea and a lunch, but it’s not just about Petra – I hope to run ongoing community events a few times a year and encourage more people to help on a regular basis. We’ve got a ladies group and a newly formed WI in Pease Pottage, so I’m keen to encourage them to get involved too. 

“My family is so thrilled with the new hospice, and now that it’s built, we need to make sure the fundraising continues. I want to take that mantle from my dad and get my siblings involved because it’s precious to all of us.  

“St Catherine’s remembers the boy scout who gives £1 and the person that gives £1 million with equal sincerity. I just want to keep supporting it.” 

Billie used to run car boot sales on the hospice land every Sunday and says that the location is very special.  

“For us, the piece of land where the hospice stands, is home. It’s so special to us because our farm was here. My Dad has been in Pease Pottage for over 70 years, so the whole place is important to him. 

“When my grandmother passed away, we witnessed that St Catherine’s don’t just take care of the patient, they take care of the whole family. It’s special to know my family helped such an impressive facility to be here and if any of my family ever need the hospice in the future, it will be like coming home.” 

Tempted to take part in a fundraising event for us? Just email events@stch.org.uk or browse our events pages