Hiking for Lancaster hospice to raise money for special 'cuddle bed'
Josie Curtis undertook a 13 mile hike along the Ullswater Way to raise money for a specialist ‘cuddle bed’ at St John’s Hospice in Lancaster.
Josie was able to use a ‘cuddle bed’ being trialled at the hospice when her husband, Steve, spent time there earlier this year.
Seeing the campaign launched by St John’s to buy one of these specialist beds, she got in touch and offered to help in any way she could, as she found the experience really beneficial, and was keen for others to be able to spend that precious time with their loved ones while receiving care in the hospice.
Josie and Steve realised that access to a bed like this was special, and Josie promised Steve that she would help St John’s Hospice raise the money to buy it.
Josie said “The Ullswater Way was something we’d always wanted to do but we never got the chance to do it. Steve loved walking the Lakeland fells, windsurfing and kayaking on the Lakes” so, in his memory, I embarked on a hike, starting at Glenridding, following on to Patterdale, walking along the shore to Howtown then on up to Askham Common, stopping off at Steve’s resting place along the way to ‘say hello.’
Josie was joined by her brother, Paul, his wife, Alyson, and their children, Holly and Jack, and Steve’s family in Saffron Walden, Leeds and Worcester joined them in heart and spirit as they couldn’t be there in person because of Covid-19 restrictions.
They set off later than planned as they tried to avoid the heavy rain, but gave up waiting and set off anyway.
Josie said “It was still fun and exhilarating despite the horrible weather, and no one complained, we were singing, laughing and smiling all the way.”
Around half way the rain finally stopped and 6 hours, 13 miles and 37,000 steps later, they completed the walk; in beautiful autumn sunshine.
Josie’s friends, family, and people she hasn’t met have helped her to raise over £1,400, nearly three times her original target.
St John’s Hospice shared Josie’s ‘cuddle bed’ story online, and their reaction was fantastic.
Josie said “I’m overwhelmed and my heart is warmed by the amount of people who donated who don’t live in the area so wouldn’t benefit from the bed.
"We shared a link on Facebook and friends I’d lost touch with, old school friends and even relatives of relatives donated, I was so moved by their messages of support and generous donations.”
Maddy Bass, Director of Nursing at St John’s Hospice said: “We are so grateful and impressed by Josie’s fundraising, and her passion is testament to how much of a difference a ‘cuddle bed’ can make to patients and their loved ones while receiving care in the Hospice.
"‘Cuddle beds’ have all the features and functionality that make beds practical and comfortable for hospice patients, but can also expand to safely and comfortably fit two people.
"Being able to buy one of these beds for St John’s is really important to us, as the comfort that being close to your loved ones provides is so beneficial to patients and their families.”
While Josie has far exceeded her original target, the overall total for the Cuddle Bed Appeal stands at £7,500; just over halfway.
You can donate by visiting: justgiving.com/campaign/CuddleBedAppeal.