Kathy’s going the extra mile for local hospices

Kathy Gore, Chair of Friends of Sussex Hospices, is walking all 200 miles of the Sussex Hospices Trail to raise money for the 13 hospice care providers serving East Sussex, West Sussex and Brighton and Hove.

Listen to Kathy talking to Tony Williams live when she was the guest on Monday 29th June

Hospice finances have been badly affected by the COVID-19 epidemic which has forced them to cancel fundraising events and close their shops. Sussex hospices receive an average of only 23% from Government. Although the recent Government cash injection was welcomed, they will have to draw on reserves to continue delivering vital care to patients and their families.

The Sussex Hospices Trail was created in 2016 as a circular trail to link the areas served by all the adult and children’s hospice care providers across Sussex. It has 26 sections, ranging in distance from three to 11 miles. Nine people – and one dog – have so far walked the whole of the trail. Kathy will set off on 1 July and is aiming to complete the walk by 31 July.

Kathy said: “I’ve always felt passionately about supporting hospice care and while I’ve been championing this for the past 25 years, I hadn’t experienced on a personal level, until recently, how very special that care is. 

“Two years ago my husband, Jack, was able to die peacefully at home with me thanks to the support of St Wilfrid’s Hospice in Eastbourne. In March this year, just a couple of weeks before lockdown, my sister, Mary, died in St Helena’s Hospice in Colchester.

“We, her family, were able to be with her round the clock, some of us sleeping there. Her pain and symptoms were controlled and her death was peaceful and just as she’d have wanted it. I can’t tell you how much that meant to us.”

Friends of Sussex Hospices is run entirely by volunteers and has raised more than £3 million towards hospice care.

If you’d like to support Kathy, follow her journey or send a message of support you can do so on www.friendsofsussexhospices.org.uk/kathy