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Alison Brown from Gateshead took on a walking challenge in honour of her dear friend Sheila, to raise funds for St Oswald’s Hospice

She said:

“I enjoy challenging myself, but in my own way. I chose to do a walk to raise money for St Oswald’s where my lovely friend Sheila spent her final days. By doing it alone I could do it at my own pace, on my own time and do it when I want to. It’s a time for me to think about Sheila, her wonderful life and reminisce about all the memories I have of her.

I loved walking through Newcastle town centre and finishing at St James’s Park. What made it more special was I met Karen, a fundraiser at the Hospice at the end of my walk and she made such a fuss. It made the walk feel very special, that I’d accomplished something and I was doing it to raise money for such an incredible place who helped such an incredible lady to me.

During Covid it was difficult to see her, we’d managed to go out for the odd meal together and to catch up, but the lockdowns were difficult. In January, 2021, she collapsed in her bedroom and went to the hospital. After a short period she was transferred to St Oswald’s which was almost bittersweet. Her husband and daughter could go and spend time with her in her final days. For me, it was heart-breaking as I couldn’t see her. It’s the one thing I can’t get over, is that I couldn’t go and say goodbye to the woman who meant so much to me. Covid has been cruel to many families and friends but I want to give back to the places who kept fighting throughout and kept their doors open.

St Oswald’s holds a special place in my heart and to raise over £390 for the charity really means a lot. I want to say thank you to everyone who donated and supported me along the way.”