Dr Paul Perkins has worked for Sue Ryder for 14 years, spending 11 of those at Leckhampton Court Hospice, the closest Sue Ryder hospice to the Cheltenham Half route. Here he explains why he's proud to be taking part in the event once again for his patients.
"I am proud to be part of the Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court team and I want to make sure our hospice is always there for families who need us," says Paul. "When people are referred it is because they have illnesses which may be very serious, but there is still so much that we can do to make a real difference to them and their families.
“We look at the whole person and their needs," he continues, "and we help them manage any symptoms or worries they may have. Our care is medical, physical, psychological and spiritual.”
More than just a job
Working as the hospice’s Consultant in Palliative Care is more than just a job for Paul, and it is this commitment to the hospice, his colleagues and the families they care for, which encouraged Paul to lace up his running trainers for the Cheltenham Half.
"Every year the cost of our care is increasing and our patients require more specialist care," he explains. "Put simply: we need more money to make sure we can continue to provide the high standard of care our patients need and deserve. That's why I'm lacing up my running trainers to run the Cheltenham Half, for those patients who need us.
“This is the third year running (no pun intended) that I have taken part in the Cheltenham Half and there is always an incredible atmosphere. I hope this year will be just as special, and that we will have lots of support on the way around and at the finishing line from friends, supporters and colleagues at Sue Ryder," he says.
"It is hugely humbling and a real privilege to care for patients and their families at Leckhampton Court. Cheltenham Half is a great challenge, but it doesn't come near to the challenges that our patients and families face," he adds.
"Our hospice is here for life"
"I decided to work in palliative care as I wanted to help people and families at a very important time in their lives," he adds. "People are often scared about coming into a hospice, but when they do come in and see and experience what we are about they often say they wish they had come here sooner. People tell us that they feel safe with us.
“Collectively Sue Ryder’s runners are known as ‘Team Incredible’ as they’re helping to raise funds for our specialist hospice and neurological care. The team is pretty impossible to miss in their matching blue ‘Team Incredible’ running vests and I am really looking forward to running alongside the rest of the team on the day.
“Our hospice is here for life as long as families need us, but our care can only continue with fundraising support of people taking on challenges like Cheltenham Half to help raise funds for us,” Paul concludes.
Join Team Incredible
We've given the supporters who take on our events the name of 'Team Incredible' because they do the legwork (literally!) to raise the vital funds that we need to continue the care and support we provide.
From marathons, to muddy obstacle course and memorable walks, we've got something for everyone.
Dr Paul Perkins is Chief Medical Director at Sue Ryder and Consultant in Palliative Medicine.