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Hospice calls on supporters to join challenge

Kelly Irodenko, a Community Clinical Nurse Specialist at St Elizabeth Hospice – Photo: St Elizabeth Hospice

St Elizabeth Hospice is calling on supporters to join its new virtual challenge, Steps of a Nurse, to raise funds for the independent Suffolk charity.

Every day the team of more than 50 St Elizabeth Hospice nurses each walk 15,285 steps while caring for patients and their families.

Whether working at the hospice’s inpatient unit in Ipswich, providing care at Beccles Hospital or visiting patients in their homes throughout east Suffolk, Great Yarmouth and Waveney, hospice nurses regularly go the extra mile to support members of the community who need their vital care.

Taking place between 1st May and 30th June, Steps of a Nurse will see the hospice challenge supporters to match the 190 mile distance its nurses walk every month through the virtual mission. Open to all ages and abilities, Steps of a Nurse allows participants to upload their walks, no matter what distance, to the mission platform as they work towards their end goal.

Joanne Rodger, Events and Challenges Manager at St Elizabeth Hospice, said: “After a difficult year due to Covid-19, we are delighted to announce the launch of Steps of a Nurse. As the government roadmap looks to lead to more positive times on the horizon, this is a great way for our supporters to show their gratitude for the work nurses do, while also staying fit and enjoying the outdoors in a socially distanced way.

“Steps of a Nurse is open to all abilities and you can split your total distance across as many walks as you like throughout May and June. Everyone who takes part, every sponsor and every donation will make a difference to the hospice and will help us to continue to provide vital care to people within your community.”

Since March 2020, hospice care teams have provided free services to improve life for more than 4,000 people living with a progressive or life-limiting illness, and their families, throughout east Suffolk, Great Yarmouth and Waveney.

While the St Elizabeth Hospice LivingGrief and therapy teams continue to deliver important emotional support to patients using its services as well as families who have lost loved ones.

This care is provided at a cost of £12.9m, of which 70% is raised by the community through St Elizabeth Hospice retail shops and fundraising activities; vital fundraising streams which have been negatively impacted by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns.

Steps of the Nurse provides supporters with an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors in a socially-distanced safe way, while also raising vital funds for the charity with each entrant required to make a donation of between £10-£20 and encouraged to have friends and family sponsor them as they take on their challenge, all of which will go towards helping the hospice continue delivering its care.

Kelly Irodenko, a Community Clinical Nurse Specialist at St Elizabeth Hospice who also worked as a nurse on the hospice’s inpatient unit during the pandemic, added: “The last year has not been without its challenges but like all my colleagues we have remained focused on supporting the patients and families under our care. We have all adapted to new ways of working due to Covid-19, such as increased wearing of PPE, in order to protect patients.

“Although the uncertainty brought by Covid-19 has been stressful at times, I wouldn’t change my job for the world. It has been one of the most rewarding and proudest moments in my career to be able to continue supporting people during difficult times in their lives.

“Throughout this time we have continued to receive ongoing support from the local community, which means everything to all hospice staff as it enables us to continue to develop our hospice services for the future. Good luck to all taking part in Steps of a Nurse, we really appreciate your support in helping us make a difference to the lives of people in your local community.”

For more information about Steps of a Nurse visit www.stelizabethhospice.org.uk/event/steps-of-a-nurse/ or to register visit www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/steps-of-a-nurse-tickets-142848099511 or email fundraising@stelizabethhospice.org.uk.

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