“Hospice care was the one bright light in a sea of absolute darkness, it’s the one positive thing I remember from such a tough time. They are amazing places where so many people rely on the care, support and opportunities they provide.”
This summer, Nick, Conlan and Brandon, have been on a mission: a mission to find sheep. Scattered across Newcastle as part of the St Oswald’s Hospice art trail, Shaun the Sheep on the Tyne has inspired Nick to use his Great North Run to raise vital funds for the work of the Hospice.
Nick said, “I’m an own place runner and I hadn’t planned to make it a charity run this time around. We have thoroughly enjoyed getting out and about spotting Shauns across the city and visiting new places together. I was infuriated to read about the damage to some of the sculptures, so much so that I’ve chosen to fundraise for St Oswald’s because their money should be spent on the amazing work they do for the local community, not on fixing up sculptures that others have seen fit to destroy.”
Hospice care has been a cause close to Nick’s heart ever since his mum spent time at her local hospice. Reflecting on that time, Nick remembers fondly the impact of the staff, bringing energy and life, as well as empathy and support, helping him to understand and cope at a difficult time.
Nick shared, “Looking back to when my mum was ill, I can honestly say that the care and support she received was the one bright light in an absolute sea of darkness and it’s the one positive thing I remember from such a tough time.
The staff were angels and do not get the recognition they deserve. My mum had a pet budgie and we managed to convince the staff to let us bring the budgie for a visit – mum even persuaded them to allow the budgie to stay overnight, despite the nurse in charge disliking birds. We arrived the next morning to find a sign on mum’s door saying not to enter, as she’d let the bird out of its cage and hadn’t managed to get it back in.”
Having lived in Newcastle for the last 10 years, Nick has seen the benefits of St Oswald’s Hospice through the lives of some of his students.
Nick explained, “I work at a special school and some of the students go to St Oswald’s for short breaks, getting the chance to enjoy many different activities that otherwise would be inaccessible. They have a great time and I hear such wonderful feedback from parents about the Hospice and the level of care their children receive.”
Preparing for his Great North Run, Nick has queued up his favourite running tracks – reggae metal being his preference – and is looking forward to soaking up the atmosphere on the day, hearing the cheers of the crowds as he makes his way around the 13.1 mile distance with the promise of a pint or two in celebration of making it across the finish line.
We wish Nick, and all of our Great North Runners, all the very best as they take on this year’s half-marathon.
Thank you for helping to keep our doors open for all who need us across the North East.