On Sunday 30th September, 85 runners will take to the streets of Cheltenham in support of palliative, neurological and bereavement support charity, Sue Ryder.
Many of them are running for Cheltenham’s local hospice Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court in memory of loved ones or, in the case of the five staff taking part, in support of the very care they help give.
Meet Paul: Sue Ryder Consultant in Palliative Care
Paul Perkins is the Consultant in Palliative Care at Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice, and will be swapping his suit and stethoscope for a Team Incredible running vest and trainers.
“I decided to work in palliative care as I wanted to help people and families at a very important time in their lives," he says. "People are often scared about coming into a hospice, but when they do come in they often don't want to go home. People tell us that they feel safe with us because we are there when it matters.”
“It is hugely humbling and a real privilege to care for patients and families," he continues, "but the cost of our care is increasing and our patients require more specialist care. 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.”
Meet Julia: running in memory of a "dear colleague"
Running alongside Paul and the rest of Team Incredible is Cheltenham Primary School Teacher Julia Thom.
"I’m running because Sue Ryder is such an amazing charity," she says. "A dear colleague of mine passed away just before Christmas last year and she was at Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court to receive palliative care. It seemed a fitting tribute to her to take on the Cheltenham Half.
"My mum volunteers at the hospice too and she encouraged me to take part," Julia adds.
To help support its charity runners, our hospice launched its very own run club, the Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Team Incredible Run Club, earlier this year. Over the past 16 weeks they’ve come together at the hospice just outside Cheltenham to train, share tips and get motivated. Julia has been a regular. She added,
“Running on a weekly basis with the Sue Ryder Team Incredible Running Club has been a truly inspiring experience," she says. "It's been great meeting people who have also benefited from Sue Ryder's exceptional care too.”
Meet Catherine: Team Incredible Run Club Coach
Cheltenham-based Personal Trainer and Fitness Coach Catherine Hickey helped set up the run club and will be taking part in Cheltenham Half alongside the runners she has been helping to train. She has a very personal reason for doing so.
“My mum died six years ago and was cared for by Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice," she explains. "I was blown away by the care she received and we were all so well looked after.
“I will move heaven and earth to support Sue Ryder as I would like other people in our situation to be as well looked after as we all were," Catherine adds.
Join Team Incredible next year
If you feel inspired by these stories to join Team Incredible for the Still Moving Cheltenham Half Marathon 2019, where Sue Ryder will once again be one of the official charity partners, sign up now!
Sign up for the Cheltenham Half 2019