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BLOG: Taking on an epic challenge in aid of local hospice care

Taking on an epic challenge in aid of local hospice care

Six big-hearted adventurers from Devon and Cornwall are going further than the extra mile to raise money for St Luke’s by taking on a challenge like no other – they’re going over 5,000 miles!

On Friday 1 July, Jackie Giles and Lewis Philips from Plymouth, Claire Lemasurier from Tavistock, Sophia Wilson from Torpoint, and sisters Chloe Reeves and Holly Fulford from Looe set off on the trip of a lifetime to Malawi in eastern Africa, having already raised more than £28,000 between them for St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth, thanks to sponsorship from family, friends and colleagues.

The group – all of whom are covering the cost of their trip themselves – are determined to raise even more money to help St Luke’s continue its specialist service for local families affected by terminal illness. Pushing themselves mentally and physically, they are doing this by taking on the epic challenge of climbing Malawi’s highest peak, 10,000ft (3,000m) Mount Mulanje, in just three days.

While in Malawi, one of poorest countries in the world, the group will learn about its culture and use their skills to help make a difference by volunteering with local communities, including in schools, children’s centres and hospices.

For Holly Fulford and Chloe Reeves from Looe, taking on the Malawi Challenge for St Luke’s is their way of saying thank-you to us for looking after their mother Beverly with such compassion before sadly, she died in December 2018, aged 59.

Holly said: “Our mum was such a special person, who meant the world to us. She spent the last 11 days of her life at Turnchapel, where not only was she given amazing care, the team made sure we always felt welcome as a family, even letting us stay over with mum.

“St Luke’s helped us all at an unbelievably difficult time so when Chloe and I heard about the Malawi Challenge in aid of the hospice, we leapt at the chance! Doing something epic is our way of giving back to St Luke’s and helping families like our own.”

To raise sponsorship, the sisters organised a dance-a-thon, a jazz day and a collection on the Torpoint Ferry. Chloe said: “I don’t think there’s anything more important than end of life care, and we don’t talk enough about how amazing hospices are.

“Thank you to everyone who has sponsored us. When we reach the top of Mount Mulanje, we’ll be thinking of our wonderful mum.” Sponsor Holly and Chloe

For Sophia Wilson from Torpoint, the Malawi Challenge appeals to her sense of adventure and desire to support a really worthwhile local cause.

Sophia, 33, said: “I’ve always been passionate about Africa, and the opportunity to raise money for St Luke’s by taking on a tough mountain climb was too good to miss!
“As a dietician at University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust, I work alongside the St Luke’s team that ensures patients with terminal illness receive the bespoke care they need at the end of their lives. It’s given me insight into the vital work of the hospice.

“I’ve put lots into training for the Malawi Challenge, so a huge thank you to everyone who’s got behind me. Every penny of sponsorship raised will help keep St Luke’s doing what they do so well for families across the community.” Sponsor Sophia.

Our thanks to Sophia, Holly, Chloe, Claire, Lewis and Jackie for taking on such an epic challenge, and to every person who has sponsored them. Your kindness counts more than you may ever know!

Sponsor our incredible adventurers:

Claire Lemasurier, Tavistock

Sophia Wilson, Torpoint

Holly Fulford, Looe

Chloe Reeves, Looe

Lewis Phillips, Plymouth

Jackie Giles, Plymouth