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Avid runner Chris Pilkington, from Penworham, is taking to the fells in his quest to raise vital funds and awareness for St Catherine’s Hospice. He has just completed three races in seven days in testing weather conditions – on Saturday 13th October he did the Hellvelyn 15k and on Sunday 14th October he tackled the […]

Avid runner Chris Pilkington, from Penworham, is taking to the fells in his quest to raise vital funds and awareness for St Catherine’s Hospice. He has just completed three races in seven days in testing weather conditions – on Saturday 13th October he did the Hellvelyn 15k and on Sunday 14th October he tackled the Ullswater 14k challenge! What’s more, on Saturday 20th October Chris ran a half marathon in Langdale. Here’s how he got on…

At the end of 2017 after having a bad year, I didn’t run, and my training was based on if I could be bothered due to studying and other commitments. I then decided to book all the Lakeland Trail series 2018 so I had something to focus on both mentally and physically.

This year I have surprised myself up the hills and off the hills! There is no stress in the hills, and whatever you have on your mind gets left behind.

Recently a work colleague was cared for by St Catherine’s. The Helping Hand Charity at Leyland Trucks took part in the Manchester half marathon and dedicated this to him, raising funds for the charity. I couldn’t make this run as I had already made plans to run in the Lake District. Therefore, I have dedicated my final Lakeland Trail runs to Chris who I worked with for nine years. It’s the least I can do. This one’s for you lad.

Helvellyn 15k

Day 1. To finish off the series they decide to make is a ‘dirty double weekender’; Helvellyn and Ullswater. I haven’t seen weather like it for a long time! Me and my dad prepared ourselves to be kipping in the car in case we got stuck, and this was only on the way there!

As we got to the event we parked up and went to register and had a brief walk about before going back to the car to dry off, eat Haribo and prepare myself for the run. When my race started it was wet, during the race it was wet, and after the race it was horrendous! Proper wet, but warm, and most probably one of my favourite runs of the series – I loved every minute.

After the race me and my dad made it back to the car and made a shelter, so we could both dry off and get changed without getting wet again. Proper mission getting from the back seats to the front; well my dad thought so anyway, or he may have just made it look hard work! Highlight of the day.

Ullswater 14k

Day 2. Today my mum and sister come to support me, which is their first time at one of my trail races. I woke up feeling ready; my legs felt good and ready to run. Had beans on toast and my bag of Haribo on the way, sun was shining, you couldn’t have planned it.

The feeling when you get across the finish line is the best feeling ever. No matter how low you are, no matter how tired you are, you will still smile. This was a perfect end to a brilliant year with all my family and friends supporting me on the hills and off the hills. This all makes it for me and makes my runs more enjoyable.

To conclude my Lakeland Trails this year, I have covered Cartmel, Hawkshead, Staverley, Coniston, Ambleside, Keswick, Helvellyn and Ullswater which total 95.5 miles, ascending 13,812 feet. To complete 100% of the races is a massive achievement after committing myself to doing all nine, and managing to stay injury-free.

My friends and family have witnessed me enjoy my running this year and due to this they are booking on runs next year and pushing themselves to get fit and focus on doing a few events in 2019. To get people close me involved in my journey makes me look forward to 2019 even more.

Langdale Half Marathon

I had transferred this event across from last year after it was cancelled due to horrible weather conditions. This is my last race in 2019 in the Lake District. After running Helvellyn and Ullwater five days before I realised I hadn’t really planned it well, but I turned up and gave it everything. It’s all about ‘mind over matter’ and this ended up being my best race of the year; I felt good all the way around. There was 1,700 feet of ascent over 13 miles for this road race, and I did it in 1hr 49min.

After three races in seven days, covering 30 miles and 4,170 feet ascent in 4hrs 37 min, there’s no more running for me now until the Trough of Bowland half marathon on December 15th with a few mates to finish the year off.

So, I am proud to end the year for St Catherine’s and to go into 2019 with a good following and bigger challenges ahead. My next and final blog of the year will consist of my new year’s resolutions and goals for 2019 which everyone can follow and incorporate into their lives. Fitness, health and hills!

To keep up-to-date with my progress and to donate to St Catherine’s Hospice for my efforts, please click here.

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A team of intrepid trekkers are set to embark on an adventure of a lifetime in India, as they take on our very first overseas charity challenge! A group of 23 supporters are taking on the iconic Dalai Lama Trek this month – a fantastic five-day hike through the foothills of the Himalayas. Retired teacher […]

A team of intrepid trekkers are set to embark on an adventure of a lifetime in India, as they take on our very first overseas charity challenge! A group of 23 supporters are taking on the iconic Dalai Lama Trek this month – a fantastic five-day hike through the foothills of the Himalayas.

Retired teacher and grandma-of-three Celia McDonnell , age 71 from Penwortham, is taking on the once-in-a-lifetime challenge with her friend, and has relished fundraising and training for the trip this year.

My friend Gill Hallam, who I sing with in the One Voice Community Choir, encouraged me to join her on the Dalai Lama Trek when she first heard about it in January. After doing some research and asking advice from a few people, with trepidation I decided to apply. 

I’ve always been a friend of St Catherine’s as my best friend had been nursed and spent her last days there.  They made her so comfortable and even allowed us to have her granddaughter Christened in the chapel, followed by a party, a couple of days before she died.  I also think that I’m pretty old, but go to the gym regularly, so if there’s an opportunity to do something I’d better take it and lastly I’d been to India before and loved it.

It also seemed totally daunting to raise so much money to take on the challenge, but I thought I’d better give it a go. I have lots of really good friends so thought that I could ask them to have coffee mornings, garden parties etc and their friends could make donations. 

I helped at all events and often gave a little talk about why I was raising money.  Fortunately we have had such a brilliant summer that virtually every event was held in brilliant sunshine.  We’ve all had a really good time and raised so much money.   

Gill and I started having regular long walks mainly on the Guild Wheel which we were really enjoying.  I also did the hospice’s 10-mile Moonlight and Memories Walk.  And after a meeting we had with everyone taking part in the Dalai Lama Trek, some of us decided that a Tuesday night walk would be fun, would enable us to get to know each other and improve our fitness.  That worked really well and we even started going up some hills which I’m not too good at!

It’s getting close now and I’m trying to up the training a little. Obviously I’m anxious about whether I’ll be able to manage the terrain, I’m scared that I might get injured and hold everyone up, but equally I’m excited about taking on such a difficult challenge and about visiting a part of India that I haven’t visited before.  The group of people that I’ve already got to know are all kind, helpful and fun so I feel sure it will be amazing.

To follow the Dalai Lama Trek team’s progress throughout their journey, follow us on social media @stcatherinespre – and if you’d like to support the group, you can leave good luck messages and sponsor them here.

We’re working with Global Adventure Challenges to host this exciting trip and places are now full, but please email fundraising@stcatherines.co.uk to let us know if you’re interested in hearing about any future exciting overseas challenges with St Catherine’s.

Our Next Event

Upcoming Events

Become a Volunteer

St Catherine’s Hospice relies on the hard work and support of its team of more than 700 dedicated volunteers. They are at the heart of the Hospice and play an essential role in enabling us to provide the services we do.

Register your interest

Join Our Lottery

For just £1 you could win the jackpot of £2,000! And the best bit? All profits raised through the lottery are spent directly on patient care delivered by St Catherine's at the hospice in Lostock Hall and in communities across Central Lancashire.

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A team of intrepid trekkers are set to embark on an adventure of a lifetime in India, as they take on our very first overseas charity challenge! A group of 23 supporters are taking on the iconic Dalai Lama Trek this month – a fantastic five-day hike through the foothills of the Himalayas. Dad-of-two and […]

A team of intrepid trekkers are set to embark on an adventure of a lifetime in India, as they take on our very first overseas charity challenge! A group of 23 supporters are taking on the iconic Dalai Lama Trek this month – a fantastic five-day hike through the foothills of the Himalayas.

Dad-of-two and business owner Jared Noblett has signed up for the challenge after promising his beloved wife Caron he would live life to the full and travel the world in her honour. Caron, who ran a Leyland-based aerial and satellite installation company with Jared, was diagnosed with lung cancer three years ago, and was cared for on our inpatient unit in March 2017.

Jared, 42, from Leyland, has since taken part in a number of fundraising feats for the hospice, including our Moonlight and Memories Walk and the Morecambe Bay Walk – and says the Dalai Lama Trek will be the most poignant and special of them all. This is his story:

Caron spent two weeks in St Catherine’s Hospice, and her final days were made all the more better and superior because of the wonderful care she received, and how amazing the staff were to her, me and our family.

Spending her final days in St Catherine’s, where she was comfortable and where her pain was under control, gave us chance to say everything we wanted, and she told me to make sure I looked after her daughter, our grandchild, and myself.

She told me to do exciting things, and go to the places we had planned to visit together. She was 55 and was aiming to retire in five years and see the wonders of the world. So when I saw the India challenge advertised on Facebook, I just instantly thought ‘this is something I need to do for her’.

I’m going for Caron, and I’m looking forward to the experience, but more than anything I’m doing it to raise money for St Catherine’s so that other people can have the same opportunity we had to spend that precious time together at the hospice. I’d do this every day to give people the experience we had in my wife’s final days.

The walk will be a challenge but I feel ready for it – I’ve been doing a lot of walking over the last couple of years since Caron was diagnosed.  I was advised that walking and getting some fresh air is a good way of coping with grief, and it does help.

I imagine I’ll get quite emotional at seeing the Taj Mahal – it’s going to be out of this world. It was one of the wonderful places Caron wished to visit, and it will be at the end of the trek so it will be very meaningful and emotional for everyone I think.

There’s a good mix of personalities but we’re all doing this for similar reasons; we’re all there to spur each other on and help each other out. We’ve been on some training walks as a team already, which has been a good way to get to know each other.

I’m excited about seeing different parts of India and experiencing how people live there. To be honest my biggest concern is being without a signal on my phone during the five-day hike in the Himalayas! I’m used to waking up and checking my emails straight away, so that will be weird for me, but I’m sure it will do me the world of good.

To follow the Dalai Lama Trek team’s progress throughout their journey, follow us on social media @stcatherinespre – and if you’d like to support the group, you can leave good luck messages and sponsor them here.

We’re working with Global Adventure Challenges to host this exciting trip and places are now full, but please email fundraising@stcatherines.co.uk to let us know if you’re interested in hearing about any future exciting overseas challenges with St Catherine’s.

Our Next Event

Upcoming Events

Become a Volunteer

St Catherine’s Hospice relies on the hard work and support of its team of more than 700 dedicated volunteers. They are at the heart of the Hospice and play an essential role in enabling us to provide the services we do.

Register your interest

Join Our Lottery

For just £1 you could win the jackpot of £2,000! And the best bit? All profits raised through the lottery are spent directly on patient care delivered by St Catherine's at the hospice in Lostock Hall and in communities across Central Lancashire.

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Dad-of-two Stuart Cooper, 43, and his nephew Alex Davies, a plasterer and part-time firefighter from Euxton, are taking on an epic cycle ride across Vietnam this winter, tackling rugged terrain, bustling cities, scorching climates and jungles! The duo have chosen to raise sponsorship for St Catherine’s through the gruelling challenge, and Stuart – a property […]

Dad-of-two Stuart Cooper, 43, and his nephew Alex Davies, a plasterer and part-time firefighter from Euxton, are taking on an epic cycle ride across Vietnam this winter, tackling rugged terrain, bustling cities, scorching climates and jungles!

The duo have chosen to raise sponsorship for St Catherine’s through the gruelling challenge, and Stuart – a property developer from Hutton – is writing a series of blogs to record his training and experiences throughout the mammoth endurance feat.

In his first blog for St Catherine’s, he explains what the challenge will involve, where the incredible idea came from, and why they’re backing the hospice from the other side of the world.

On November 8th myself and Alex will set off from Hanoi on bicycles for an epic 2,000 kilometre ride down the length of Vietnam to Ho Chi Minh City. We’ll be cycling for around eight or nine hours each day for 23 days, plus a rest day in Hue about half way through. It’s a well-known route so I’ve been reading blogs about it, and we should finish the ride on 1st December.

The cycling trip will be entirely unsupported and we will not be taking any camping equipment, we’ll just have a couple of bags on the back of our bikes – we’ll need to travel light with just a couple of changes of clothes which we’ll need to wash and dry as we go along. We intend to stay in guest houses, hotels or even local family homes but nothing is booked, so every day will be different.

The route we intend to take is along the scenic Ho Chi Minh Highway which runs north to south through some of the most breath-taking scenery and jungle of Vietnam. There will be heat, rain, everything – I’m looking forward to experiencing the unknown, including the food!

Why are we doing this? We are both keen cyclists and want to challenge ourselves by doing something completely different to what we are used to. I like cycling and we wanted to do something epic, and I’ve always wanted to visit Vietnam, so I thought why not cycle the length of it and experience the whole country in this way?

We also thought it would be a good opportunity to raise money for St Catherine’s, which is our local charity and cares for people with serious illness such as cancer, heart failure, and motor neurone disease. We know people who have received care from the hospice, and we know people who have worked or volunteered for the charity. It’s a great way for us to combine fitness, travel, culture and charity.

I’m really excited about the trip and I’m up for the challenge. I’m used to cycling long distance; I’ve been doing about 200km a week, training in the Lake District and doing the Guild Wheel back-to-back. I’ve done a few cycling holidays in Europe but I’ve never done a sponsored challenge before. It’s going to be an exciting adventure!

Our Next Event

Upcoming Events

Become a Volunteer

St Catherine’s Hospice relies on the hard work and support of its team of more than 700 dedicated volunteers. They are at the heart of the Hospice and play an essential role in enabling us to provide the services we do.

Register your interest

Join Our Lottery

For just £1 you could win the jackpot of £2,000! And the best bit? All profits raised through the lottery are spent directly on patient care delivered by St Catherine's at the hospice in Lostock Hall and in communities across Central Lancashire.

Play Lottery

Take a look around

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