Two years on from the death of his partner Marc, Lee Sharratt will walk 26 miles from Whitby to Filey in his memory. Lee has chosen a route with special memories for the pair, who enjoyed camping and walking, and he will also be raising crucial funds for Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice where Marc received end-of-life care. Lee is now a member of the hospice’s New Horizons bereavement group, which offers peer support to adults who have lost a partner.
“With everything that has happened this year I wanted to do something positive and good for Wheatfields to say thank you for all their hard work,” Lee said. Lee’s partner Marc started to feel unwell in September 2018 and was diagnosed with lung cancer a few weeks later. His health deteriorated rapidly and Marc was admitted to Wheatfields on December 20, 2018.
“We looked after him at home for about a month but it was very difficult. Marc was in the hospice for about a week and I was there every day. We had Christmas together and I even brought our dog Rita in to see him. He died on December 28.”
“New Horizons has been great for me over the last couple of years”
A few months after Marc’s death, Lee started attending the New Horizons Café at Wheatfields. The bereavement group is facilitated by the hospice’s Family Support Team and offers mutual support for younger adults – aged 50 and under – who have lost a partner. Although the group had to stop meeting for a few weeks during the first lockdown, it has been meeting online since May and now holds sessions every Saturday morning.
Lee said: “New Horizons has been great for me over the last couple of years. When I started going it was in a room at the hospice. It took me a while to go, to be honest. When I lost Marc I was aware of it but I think it took me about six months to find the courage.
“What I find really valuable is that different people are at different stages of their journey”
“It’s a great group and there are just so many people at different places in their grief. Not everybody goes every week, but it’s nice to dip in here and there and it’s great being able to listen to other people. What I find really valuable is that different people are at different stages of their journey.”
Lee, who works for LNER, is now preparing his own ‘marathon’ challenge to raise money for Wheatfields.
“This last year has been a bit of a shocker for everyone and in the depths of lockdown I was thinking, what can I do? I wanted to be outside in the fresh air and I wanted to do something meaningful.
“I’m planning to walk 26 miles from Whitby to Filey, which was our favourite place”
“Marc and I loved walking and camping and on our last trip we went to Whitby for the day, so that was our last day out. I’m planning to walk 26 miles from Whitby to Filey, which was our favourite place and is where Marc’s ashes are scattered. It will be the equivalent of a marathon, and I’m hoping to do it in seven hours and thirty minutes. Hopefully, there will still be some daylight when I get to Filey so I can sit and look out to sea.
“It would have been Marc’s 45th birthday on November 25 so I was originally planning to do it then, but obviously we have another lockdown so I now plan to do it on December 28 on the bank holiday. Charities are really struggling at the moment so hopefully I’ll be able to raise a few pounds to help Wheatfields out.”
Marc's memory seaside walk
Support Lee's 26 mile walk in memory of his partner Marc and help him to raise vital funds for Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice.