Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice has had a big place in Holli Posnett’s heart ever since her mum Christine was cared for there in 1998. To mark the 20th anniversary of her Mum’s passing, Holli decided to raise as much money as she could for the hospice in a year. That date came and went – and Holli carried on fundraising – in fact, she has never stopped! This is her story.
My mum was the kindest person I knew, and would do anything for anyone. She always put me and my sisters Kayley and Jayde first. Her number one priority was to make sure we were okay.
She was the mum who was always at our ballet shows and competitions, doing not only our hair but all of the other kids’ hair too. We always had the best homemade birthday cakes and the neatest hair because nothing was too much trouble for my mum.
"If I had to describe Thorpe Hall in three words, it would be caring, amazing and calm"
In July 1998 when I was 12 years’ old, my mum passed away at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice. I just remember the nurses and staff being absolutely amazing. They really do everything they possibly can to make the patients and family members feel comfortable and at ease at some of the hardest points of their lives.
When you are inside the hospice, you get a real feeling of care and warmth. If I had to describe Thorpe Hall in three words, it would be caring, amazing and calm.
At the worst time of your life, it is the best place you can be. There will always be a big place in my heart for Thorpe Hall as it is where I have the last memories of Mum.
"I didn’t want to just let my mum’s 20-year anniversary pass by – I wanted to do something big"
Over the years I have done odd bits of charity work for Sue Ryder as I have seen how many people it helps, and how everyone I know has been touched by cancer in one way or another – either themselves or by family or friends being at the hospice.
So this time I wanted to do something big. I didn’t want to just let my mum’s 20-year anniversary pass by. So, in August 2017, I decided to raise as much as I could for Thorpe Hall by July 2018, which would mark the 20-year anniversary of my mum passing.
To kick-start my fundraising, I ran the Great Eastern Run half marathon in October 2017 with my two best friends Gemma and Lisa. It was hard as we had a strict training plan – we ran three times in the week and then a longer run at weekends. It helped having friends to run with as we helped each other through the tough times and then enjoyed celebrating together.
As the Great Eastern Run takes place in Peterborough, our local town, we knew a lot of people around the course, which was very motivating. There were also great teams of Sue Ryder volunteers around the route who definitely encouraged us along too. We raised just over £4,000 with my company the BGL Group fund-matching.
I also ran a tuck shop at BGL for my work colleagues with all the profit going to Sue Ryder, as well as a couple of work bake sales. I held two quiz nights at the Ploughman in Werrington, where I work part time as bar staff, which included raffles and fun money-making games.
By July 2018, the date of Mum’s 20-year anniversary, I had raised £5,000 for Thorpe Hall but just had to carry on!
"To date, I have raised £11,431 for Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice"
I trained and fundraised to run the Cambridge Half Marathon in March 2019 with my sister Kayley and best friend Lisa. I unfortunately had to drop out of the run due to injury, but still fundraised.
Earlier this year, I held an Easter coffee morning and bake sale at the Ploughman, which included a tombola-style raffle.
I plan to do the Great Eastern Run again in October 2019. I am looking forward to getting back into training, hopefully with a big group of friends and family. I also want to hold a summer quiz at the Ploughman. Plus my brother-in-law Jamie will be taking part in a physical challenge and we intend on helping him fundraise for this.
To date, I have raised £11,431 for Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice. I want to continue to raise as much as I can!
Why I fundraise in Mum's memory
I feel that, if my fundraising efforts in mum’s memory are just a small percentage of the efforts she put into us growing up as children, then I’m doing something right. I would like to hope she’d be extremely proud. I just hope that this money can help to continue the amazing support and care that the hospice currently gives.
I feel very proud that I can use my energy and skills to arrange events and fundraising activities in memory of my mum, knowing that the money I am raising is helping other people and families going through what we all went through as a family.
My advice to someone who is thinking about fundraising is to just do it. It doesn’t matter how much you raise, everything helps and is going to a great cause. If you’re anything like me, you’ll just enjoy it so much you won’t want to stop!
A huge thank you
I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported me, whether this is through sponsorship, attending my events, buying raffle tickets, baking or just general support.
A special thank you to my sister Kayley and my two best friends Lisa and Gemma for being my running buddies – we have trained hard together, run together and celebrated well together. They have also been a great support with helping to source raffle prizes and gaining lots of sponsorship.
Thank you to Andy (Simmo), the landlord of The Ploughman, for his general support and for letting me host three of my events there and providing food free of charge. Finally, thank you to the BGL Group for the amazing fund-matching they give; it’s a massive contribution to my fundraising.
I have shared my story on my Incredible Memories Fund webpage. I love this page because it’s not just for fundraising but for sharing pictures and stories; it’s like an online scrapbook I can look at and add to any time.
Join Holli and take on this year’s Great Eastern Run
If you are feeling inspired to lace up your trainers and take on a running challenge in support of Sue Ryder, why not try the Perkins Great Eastern Run in October?