A teenager has spoken of the importance of St Catherine’s after her beloved dad was cared for by the hospice – and has rallied family and friends to raise much-needed funds for the charity.
Sarah Boyes, an 18-year-old student at Runshaw College in Leyland, worked with her mum Karen and sister Keira, aged 12, to organise a sponsored bike ride around Preston’s Guild Wheel.
Around 50 riders raised more than £3,000 for St Catherine’s Hospice, and Sarah says it’s a small repayment for how much the charity helped her dad Steve.
“A lot of people have heard of St Catherine’s but they don’t necessarily understand how important it is for families like ours, who have experienced what it’s like,” she explained. “We will never be able to repay them for everything they have done for us. But if our fundraising helps the hospice to support someone else like they cared for my dad, it will make a huge difference to that family.”
The bike ride was held on 1st May to mark the anniversary of Steve’s death in 2014. The family, from Hoghton, arranged something similar last year and raised around £1,600, and have vowed to organise another ride in 2018.
Karen said: “We had so much support from family and friends, and it was a real family day out. We encouraged people to decorate their St Catherine’s t-shirts in bright colours, and it was amazing to witness a sea of hospice t-shirts as everyone cycled.
“It was a really fun occasion and was very family-orientated. We stopped at a Starbucks half way round and the Ancient Oak pub, and everyone was cheering each other over the finish line in Avenham Park.
“Passers-by were donating money as we went round, it was great. Everyone really made an effort and enjoyed themselves.”
She added: “I think Steve would be really proud of us. He always did things for others; he was that type of person who would always put others first.
“We wanted to give something back to St Catherine’s, because they gave us so much. You can’t put it into words really, but we so appreciate it.
“They were so accommodating and we could visit whenever we wanted – they allowed us that precious time together as a family. St Catherine’s is just invaluable.”
Hospice fundraiser Hayley Jackson said: “It is only thanks to the fantastic efforts of our wonderful supporters like Karen, Sarah, Keira and their team of cyclists, that we are able to continue providing our specialist end-of-life care to local people, helping them to have quality of life, to the end of life.
She added: “This month we’re working with national charity Hospice UK on their Open Up campaign, helping to raise awareness of the importance and value of hospice care, and encouraging as many people as possible to support the hospice movement.
“Whether it’s cycling, running, walking, holding a bake sale, or taking part in one of our sponsored events such as the upcoming Morecambe Bay Walk or Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge, there are plenty of ways to get involved and make a difference with St Catherine’s – click here or call 01772 629171 for more information.”