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City Cars driver Eddie has St Margaret of Scotland Hospice in mind as he takes on West Highland Way trek

Taxi driver Eddie McBride is well-used to clocking up big distances every day – but from tomorrow, he’ll be covering the miles on foot, rather than from behind the wheel, to raise funds of St Margaret of Scotland Hospice.

Eddie, who works for Scotstoun-based City Cars, will join a group of friends to walk the entire West Highland Way.

Ranging in age from 33 to 57, they will trek the 96-mile route over eight consecutive days, finishing on Friday 27 April.

Eddie said the walking group, which he recently joined, have trekked in places all over the world but being close to home this year inspired him to launch his appeal to help a good cause in the community he knows so well through his job.

He said: “The guys go on walking trips every year, all over the world. They were in the south of France last year and have done the Black Forest in Germany, South America and other places.

“Because this one is at home, I decided I wanted to do something for a local charity. I spoke to one of the girls at City Cars about St Margaret of Scotland Hospice. I’ve been aware of the Hospice for years from dropping off and picking up staff and patients.”

The Whiteinch resident says his admiration for Hospice staff is heightened by his experiences in his previous employment as a care worker.

And while the Hospice’s reputation in providing the highest standards of care to all are well-known, he believes it is important to do everything he can to raise awareness.

Eddie added: “A lot of people perhaps still don’t realise the Hospice is Open to All – it’s a local Hospice for everyone.

“I’ve been really impressed with the set up in the Hospice. All charities do good work. I was a care worker for eight years so I know about what goes into it, although not the palliative side of things.

“It takes special people to be involved in that kind of care. That’s what I’d like to give to. I know that all the funding it receives is very important and every single penny will help.”

Looking ahead to the trek, Eddie knows it will be anything but easy. But he is ready for taking on the challenge.

He said: “I have a condition that affects my back and neck and my knee ligaments are torn. I used to do boxing and play football, that’s how they got damaged. I was advised by my doctor to walk.

“France last year was stunning – I was taken aback by how much it reminded me of Scotland.

“I’ve heard the West Highland Way is difficult. You cover roughly the same distance – 11 or 12 miles – on most days but the terrain is different each day. I’ve prepared for it well and I’m really looking forward to it.”

Eddie had already raised nearly £800 on his JustGiving page, with friends and colleagues also pledging further cash donations.

To contribute, please go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/edwardmcbridewesthighlandwaytrek

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Jemma’s 23-mile Kiltwalk in memory of brother Lee to raise funds for St Margaret of Scotland Hospice

Jemma Wood

A Scotstoun woman has been racking up the miles to raise money for St Margaret of Scotland Hospice.

Jemma Wood is in training for this month’s Glasgow Kiltwalk, which she is completing in memory of her brother Lee Robertson.

Walkers have three options in taking on the challenge – the six-mile Wee Wander, the 15-mile Big Stroll or the 23-mile Mighty Stride.

Jemma, along with Lee’s cousin Gemma Morrison, 25, also from Scotstoun, will face down the most daunting challenge when they take on the big one on 29 April.

Walking from Glasgow Green to Moss O’Balloch Park, the pair aim to cover the 23 miles in less than six hours.

The Hospice is an official charity partner of the Kiltwalk and, for the first time this year, funds raised by walkers will be topped up by an additional 40% from the Hunter Foundation, founded by Scottish entrepreneur Tom Hunter.

Speaking on her donations page, Jemma, 36, said: “We lost someone very special to us all, my brother Lee Robertson, to pancreatic cancer and the Hospice was where he spent his final week. They were truly amazing with everything they did for us as a family and for Lee.”

To get ready for covering such a huge distance and being on their feet for a prolonged period of time, Jemma and Gemma have had to sacrifice hours of their time in training.

Jemma, who herself was diagnosed with cancer four years ago, tries to walk for six or seven miles most nights and on some occasions covers double that distance.

She hopes her experience of taking part in the Kiltwalk last year will stand her in good stead and will walk as part of a group of participants to help with motivation.

Lee Robertson

Jemma, who works at M&S in Braehead, told us: “Last year, I had a rough idea of what was needed but I got to the 18-mile mark and hit a wall. However, walking in a group carries you on.

“I’ve walked 13 miles in training on both Monday and Tuesday last week – which takes three-and-a-half hours each time.

“I was diagnosed in 2014 with thyroid cancer and for the last couple of years, the meds have not been working, which makes me all the more determined.

“When Lee was at the Hospice, the staff were so accommodating all week. Someone was always with him. I can’t praise them highly enough. The reason we’re doing this should help spur us on.”

There are further Kiltwalks around Scotland throughout the year – in Aberdeen on 3 June, in Dundee on 19 August and in Edinburgh on 16 September.

For more information, help with sponsorship, Hospice T-shirts to wear during the walk or any other information on the Kiltwalk, please call our Fundraising Team on 0141 435 7018.

To make a donation to Jemma’s Kiltwalk appeal, please go to:

https://glasgowkiltwalk2018.everydayhero.com/uk/jemma-1

 

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Grand Prize Draw winning numbers

We are delighted to share the winning numbers from our Grand Prize Draw:

1st Prize Suzuki Celerio – 131513

2nd Prize £1000 – 020434

3rd & 4th Prizes £500 – 128331 & 063549

Congratulations to our lucky winners, who have already been contacted. Thank you to all for your tremendous support for the Draw!

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St Margaret of Scotland Hospice Chairman Professor Leo Martin awarded MBE

Hospice Chairman Professor Leo Martin has been awarded the MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in recognition of his services to Healthcare and Education.

Sister Rita is absolutely thrilled for Leo and his family. She said: “Leo is a wonderful Chairman, totally loyal, steadfast, committed and always very active in standing up for the most vulnerable in our society.

“He has been entirely focused in his support for this Hospice, giving hours and hours of his time freely. Leo and people like him are those who deserve true recognition today.

“We wish Leo many Congratulations from all of us here at St Margaret’s.”

 

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Stephen’s heroic run in memory of “incredible” sister-in-law Amanda

East Kilbride man Stephen Connelly ran the Edinburgh half marathon last month in memory of his “incredible” sister-in-law Amanda Wright, who was cared for at St Margaret of Scotland Hospice.

We spoke to Stephen’s wife Emma – Amanda’s sister – to hear the heartbreaking and heartwarming story behind his momentous effort.

Since Amanda’s passing in 2014, the family have been involved in various activities to support the Hospice, including taking part in the Midnight Walk.

Emma, 38, said: “Amanda died at the Hospice in January 2014. She was in her early 40s. She’d had a brain tumour for six years and kept getting infections in her ear before she was taken in.

“The care she was given at the Hospice was wonderful. I couldn’t praise the people there highly enough. They made sure she was comfortable and that she was never distressed or upset.

“The way Amanda dealt with it… it’s just how she was. She was incredible.”

Stephen and Emma both work for ACCA, the professional accountancy body, and are originally from Milngavie.

They have a son Matthew, aged four, who played a vital part in the race day.

Describing the emotional occasion as Stephen, 34, approached the finish line on May 28, Emma said: “We were there to cheer him on. Stephen lifted Matthew over the barrier so that he could cross the line with him. Matthew was overwhelmed by it all – the crowds and the noise!

“It was all really emotional. Amanda would have found it really amusing.

“I was in tears and the end and I hadn’t done the run! I was so proud of Stephen. He worked so hard for it.

“Afterwards, Stephen was absolutely shattered. The race started at 8am, which is really early for a half marathon, so he had to be up at 5am to give him enough time to have something to eat.

“He had run one half marathon before, in Glasgow last October, before doing this one for charity. He’s been running for the last two years and has done a few 10Ks.”

Through his JustGiving page and other donations from friends and family, Stephen has raised more than £1200, which will go directly towards the care and support of patients at the Hospice and their loved ones.

And after the generosity shown by their family and friends for Stephen’s run – including from their employers, who Emma described as “very supportive” – they are determined to do even more.

If you would like to back Stephen’s fundraising effort, please go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Stephen-Connelly1

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The amazing family gesture behind our Grand Prize Draw

Like so many matters related to our fundraising efforts, our Grand Prize Draw came about because of a very personal connection to the Hospice and the work that is done here.

The fantastic first prize in the draw, a brand-new Suzuki Celerio car, was donated to the Hospice by the McKitrick family, in association with Phoenix Suzuki  in Paisley, in memory of their mother Mary McKitrick who spent her last days at the Hospice last year.

Tom McKitrick, who is the Car Dealership’s Sales Director, played a key part in arranging the fantastic donation, which will enable the Hospice to raffle tickets for the draw, with all proceeds going to the care of patients.

His sister Christina spoke to us to explain the family’s connection.

She said: “St Margaret of Scotland Hospice cared for our mother in the last few days of her life.

“The care and attention given by Professor Welsh and his team, the presence and prayers of Father Frank and the comfort offered to our mother and family gave us strength at such a sad and difficult time.

“We grew up with Mum telling us of the work of Sister Rita and the Sisters in Clydebank. We had been told of their dedication, compassion and care for those in need as death approached.

“We remember our mother’s words and we have been truly fortunate that Mum received such care and comfort.

“Our thanks and gratitude to Sister Rita and her team for caring for Mum and supporting our family when we were in need.”

We would like to invite you join us in thanking the McKitrick family for this truly amazing and touching gesture, and to support their effort by taking part in our Grand Prize Draw, which will be drawn on Friday, 31 March 2017.  If you already have tickets for the Draw, please return these as soon as possible to ensure your entry.

Tickets are just £1 and can be obtained in singles or in books – please contact our fundraising team on 0141 435 7018 or fundraising@smh.org.uk.

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Hugh and friends set to cycle all the way to Ireland in support of the Hospice

If you’re going to take on a challenge, you might as well make it a big one.

But even then, Hospice supporter Hugh Friel’s feat of cycling all the way to another country is an effort that really stands out.

Hugh, 54, will be joined by three friends on his bike ride from Clydebank to Kerrykeel in Donegal, Ireland on 1 April 2017.

The engineering firm manager, who lives in Glasgow’s King’s Park, is taking on the 270-mile trek to raise funds in memory of his sister Maureen Eileen Deeney, who passed away in the Hospice last June.

Hugh said: “It’s for a great cause. I can’t thank the Hospice enough for what they did for both Maureen and ourselves.

“Maureen had worked at the Hospice for 10 years as Ward Manager in the Mary Aikenhead Centre.  Maureen was cared for by her Hospice colleagues and friends and received the most overwhelming care. She was treated as if she was a queen, as every single one of their patients are.”

Looking ahead to the trip with pals Paul Stitt, Rui Rossa and Anthony Preston, Hugh admitted he will find the physical challenge of the cycle difficult.

But he will be spurred on by the emotional pull of their destination and the aim of pushing his fundraising total, which already stands at more than £1800, as high as possible.

Hugh added: “I hadn’t cycled in 35 years! We’ve cycled to Dunoon and back in our training.

“When we set off in April, we’re starting early in the morning and hoping to get to the boat in one day – it’s 90 miles.

“We’ll be staying in Belfast on the first night. The hardest bit will be the Glenshane Pass, which cuts through the Sperrin Mountains. We’ll be doing that on the Sunday.

“And by Monday we arrive in Kerrykeel. That’s the place where where my father and Maureen’s husband’s father are from.

“I want to raise as much as I can. The thing I’m looking forward to most is getting finished… and raising as much as we can for the Hospice!”

To donate to Hugh’s appeal, please go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/HUGH-FRIEL

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Clydebank and District GC committee member Brendan Dillon tells us about two fantastic club fundraisers in aid of the Hospice

Clydebank and District GC

The Hospice runs a packed and popular events calendar throughout the year, providing entertainment for our supporters and raising vital sums to allow us to continue to offer the highest standards of care.

In addition to events organised by the Hospice, we are also very fortunate to benefit from the proceeds of events organised independently by our friends and supporters in the local community and further afield.

One of the top event-based donations we received this year was from Clydebank and District Golf Club.

Through an Am-Am golf day and a speakers’ night, hosted by our Patron Peter Martin, the club raised the wonderful sum of £11,760.

We recently caught up with club committee member Brendan Dillon, who told us a little more about the two events, held on separate days earlier in the year.

Brendan is pictured here with club captain Hugh Gravel and West Dunbartonshire Provost Douglas McAllister, presenting a cheque to our Chief Executive Sister Rita .

Brendan said: “Clydebank and District Golf Club have an affection for the Hospice – we try to do as much as we can.

“Our last three speakers nights have all been in aid of St Margaret of Scotland Hospice. I know Peter Martin well, he hosted the night and runs the whole show.

“Our speakers Bill Copleand and Paul Reid were absolutely excellent.

“There were 36 teams in the Am-Am. It went really well. We ran it in conjunction with the Hospice and Prostate Cancer and split the funds evenly between the two charities.”

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Michael sets new PB in fundraising – and in his race time

Michael Conroy

As the end of the year approaches, it’s a good time to look back and show our appreciation to the people who have gone to great lengths to raise funds for the Hospice, enabling us to continue to offer the highest standards of care to our patients and their loved ones.

One of those supporters is Michael Conroy, from Alexandria. Michael, 41, raised more than £950 through sponsorship for his fantastic efforts in completing the Great Scottish Run.

Michael took six minutes from his PB to finish the Glasgow half-marathon course in a superb time of 1hr 48 mins.

We spoke to Michael, who works as an Occupational Therapy Assistant, when he came to the Hospice to hand over a cheque for the sum of £962.50.

He told us why he chose to run for St Margaret of Scotland Hospice – something he described as a “humbling” experience – and how he motivated himself to train so hard.

Michael said: “My wife’s friend’s mum passed away at the Hospice in June. I heard about the excellent care she’d received.

“I’ve raised money for CHAS in the past but this is the most I’ve ever raised. There were people who don’t know me who donated through JustGiving.

“I’ve made new friends through this and have been supported by my excellent work colleagues.

“The fundraising helped to motivate me for the training and on the race day itself. I was aiming for sub-1.50 so I was delighted with my time. I’m going to do it again next year.

“The best thing about the experience was making the most of the day and appreciating how good it was.

“When you see all of the other people running for charity, it’s humbling. It felt fantastic when I crossed the line – I was over the moon.”

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