Northumbrian coastal hike raises over £3000 for St Oswald’s Hospice

“There is no price possible that I can put on the support they’ve had but it’s so crucial that kids who unfortunately have to go through this in the future get the same experiences my girls have.”

Keir Waugh 1

In September, Keir Waugh laced up his walking boots and took the first of many steps on his 27 mile hike, from Alnwick to Bamburgh.

“Rachelle always said it was a stupid thing for me to do,” laughed Keir, as he reflected on the response he received from his wife when he first took on a similar hiking challenge.

When asked how the challenge had gone, Keir said, “It was absolute hell. The first time I did this type of hike, I’d done loads of training but this year, that’s not been as easy to fit in.”

In 2022, Rachelle sadly died after a short battle with cancer. Since then, their daughters have received bereavement support from St Oswald’s Hospice, and it’s because of this invaluable support that Keir has embarked on fundraising for the Hospice.

Keir Waugh 3

“The love, care and support my girls get is the primary reason they’ve been able to rebuild their lives since we lost Rachelle in April”

“It’s not until you’re faced with this kind of situation that you realise just how vital this sort of support is, especially for children.”

Beginning his walk solo in Alnwick, Keir spent the time listening to podcasts and some of his favourite music, as well as remembering Rachelle. Upon reaching Craster, he met his cousin Andrew who walked with him for the remainder of the journey as well as other family, friends and daughter Everly, aged 7, joining in for the final stretch.

“Conditions were horrendous under foot on the way to Craster but thankfully, things improved beyond that point,” shared Keir.

“Within a minute of setting off, I’d trudged through a massive puddle so I was especially grateful to my mam, who was my support vehicle, for meeting me, keeping me going and providing a much needed change of clothes!”

“Knowing that there was friends and family waiting at points to join in really kept me going. And knowing by doing this ridiculous challenge was going to help two amazing charities who have helped us in our darkest times, really motivated me to get it done,” said Keir.

Keir’s daughters Willow (11) and Everly (7) both receiving ongoing bereavement support from the team at St Oswald’s, attending sessions with Beth and her colleague Sarah.

Reflecting on this support, Keir shared, “There is no price possible that I can put on it but it’s so crucial that children who unfortunately have to go through this in the future get the same experience that my girls have. It can’t disappear and we have to ensure it’s here for the future.”

To date, Keir has raised over £6,500 through this challenge which will be evenly split between Marie Curie, Newcastle, where Rachelle stayed, and St Oswald’s Hospice who continue to support the family.

“Despite the wet feet and the pain of walking up the sand dunes on Bamburgh beach, it was definitely worth it. I finished quicker than last year and the hugs waiting for me at the end was worth every single footstep.”

Find out more about our Bereavement Support here.

If you’re interested in taking on a challenge event in support of St Oswald’s Hospice, we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch by emailing:

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