Neil Annis, a Senior Nursing Assistant at Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice, is lacing up his trainers again after thirty years and taking on a virtual 10k this September to help support the services he’s played such a vital role in delivering for the hospice since 2009.
With the Cheltenham Half Marathon, 10k and Community Mile sadly cancelled this year, Neil has joined Team Sue Ryder to take on one of our three virtual distances. We’re inviting anyone of any ability who’s up for a challenge to join Neil and take on their distance across weeks, days or on Sunday 20th September itself.
Neil has cared for hundreds of patients and supported their families and friends since 2009 on the Leckhampton Court Hospice inpatient unit and then as part of the Hospice at Home team out in the community since 2017, so knows how vital the services are in Gloucestershire.
Taking on the challenge
Taking on this challenge will be Neil’s Mount Everest given the lifestyle change he’s been working so hard on since last year. After being diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat, Neil had a minor operation in July this year. He said:
“I needed to reduce my working hours and do something to improve my health after I’d become a couch potato and ballooned up to 18 ½ stone. The virtual challenge came at the right time as it meant I was able to complete 10k and still push myself even if I needed to run it over multiple days and through a combination of walking, jogging and running.
“By May 2020 I’d managed to get down to 16 stone, but found myself stuck”
“I went on a calorie-controlled diet in November 2019 and by May 2020 I’d managed to get down to 16 stone, but found myself stuck. Exercise was the obvious next step so I started walking every day until I was thrown the challenge by our hospice at home clinical lead Emma to set myself a realistic goal. I'm now down to 15 stone!
“After 30 years of doing no running I was away!”
“I wasn’t prepared to back out so took on the challenge. This suddenly became the Cheltenham virtual 10k in September and the sudden realisation of 'oh what have I done!'
“Emma then badgered me in to setting up a JustGiving page knowing full well that once I did this there is no backing out. Next, I downloaded the couch to 5k app and off I went. After 30 years of doing no running I was away! Training is hard but I’m really not bothered how long the 10k takes me, I just want to complete it.
“Working as part of the Hospice at Home team really does give me all the motivation I need, seeing the difference our care can make to patients and their loved ones”
“Working as part of the Hospice at Home team really does give me all the motivation I need, seeing the difference our care can make to patients and their loved ones at the most difficult time of their lives and helping to provide the dignity everyone deserves is what will drive me when I need to dig deep. If I can raise a few pounds on the way to support even more local patients and families then that’s even better.”
Raise vital funds for Leckhampton Court Hospice
You can help motivate and support Neil to achieve his £1,000 target by donating to his JustGiving page.
You can join Neil and Team Sue Ryder by walking, jogging or running this September, too. Grab (or dust off) your trainers and take on the Virtual Cheltenham Half, 10k or Community Mile for FREE to help us raise vital funds.