Helen's baa-rilliant fundraiser

Helen’s baa-rilliant fundraiser

Helen on our learning and development team is taking on the Shear Drop this October. She tells us why she’s chosen this particular challenge to fundraise for Martlets.

“I’ve worked for Martlets for more than four years now. Although I don’t have direct experience of a loved one needing our hospice services, I am aware of the amazing care we offer to our community. If you’re working in a role that’s not clinical, it’s Schwartz Rounds and our films and blogs which show us that amazing care that we don’t necessarily get to see day to day. I’ve heard some moving stories at our Schwartz Rounds about patient care. (Schwartz Rounds are regular online sessions at Martlets which are open to all staff and discuss the emotional impact of patient care that care team members experience).

There are also a couple of short films I’ve seen about our patients and families which are really touching. I loved Marc’s story because there was a real creative and theatrical link that resonated with me. I have a huge personal interest in the Theatre Royal and I collect Theatre Royal memorabilia. It was fantastic to see Marc being able to get back on the stage and to keep doing what he loves thanks to the care Martlets provides.

I also love Ellis’ story where she talks about her mum. We show that film to new staff at our induction sessions and it makes me tear up every time. She talks about a Martlets nurse on the inpatient unit giving that bit of extra time to her mum and saying it’s ok to sit for longer in the bath and watch the fireworks through the window. That film helps us connect new staff with what hospice care is all about.

Helen smiling ready for the Shear Drop

It’s little things like that which make me realise how special the care is that Martlets provides. That’s why I’m taking on the challenge of the Shear Drop in October to fundraise for us.

When I was job-seeking it was so important to me to find an employer I connected with rather than just work for any organisation. I feel so fortunate to be working in my role at Martlets and now I just want to give back a little bit. There’s also been a lot of change in my personal life over the past year and I like the idea of taking on a positive challenge just for me.

I’ve lived in and around Brighton for 35 years and I love the city. There are so many different ways to fundraise for Martlets but taking on the Shear Drop felt like the right challenge for me; I’ll be descending on a cable from the top of Brighton’s i360 tower! I didn’t feel I could manage a trek or a marathon, but I love Brighton’s iconic buildings and wanted to find something I could physically do right in the heart of our city. No training required – I just need to turn up, keep my nerve and take that leap of faith from the top of the tower as I descend dangling above the beach.

I did walk past recently and thought ‘wow, that’s actually quite high’, but it’s something I’m looking forward to doing.

Family and friends will be there to cheer me on along with members of Martlets’ wonderful fundraising team. I’m asking everyone I can think of to sponsor me to do the challenge. I need to reach a minimum sponsorship target of £500 to take part, but I’m hoping I can raise way more than that with your help! So please do check out my JustGiving page to donate.

The Shear Drop is an evening event and as it’s in October I’m thinking it might be getting dark so I’ll be dropping into the dusk below! I think there will be two groups of 15 people taking on the challenge – I’m hoping I’ll be in the first group so I don’t have too long to wait. Apparently the most difficult part, when your legs go to jelly, is when you have to lean out and step over the ledge at the top. I’m sure it will be nerve wracking but I’m definitely up for the challenge

Shear drop

I’ve seen the ‘mood boards’ at Martlets and all the information about how our new Hospice will look and it’s absolutely fantastic. I wanted to do this challenge to support our fundraising for the future of the Hospice.

I went to visit the new Hospice very early on in the build phase and it was concrete, sand and rubble at that stage. So, it’s going to be lovely to go back in a couple of weeks and see the reality of how that’s come along now and how close we are to getting to moving back in this autumn. At Martlets, most of our funding comes from community fundraising. So, it feels particularly important to offer support with all that is going on to make sure we can keep providing hospice care to local people who need it.

The new facilities will mean our patients and families can be looked after with dignity and compassion. None of us know whether we might need Martlets one day to care for us or our families. It’s not easy to think about, but terminal illness can happen to anyone. It’s a comfort to know that the new Hospice will provide the very best care for many years to come. All the patient rooms will be ensuite and open on to the gardens. It will be so lovely to have access to beautiful gardens again. There will be a new physiotherapy gym too for patients and new counselling rooms for bereavement counselling. I can’t wait to see our Sanctuary space and our new café which will be open to the public as well as to staff, patients and visitors. It’s exciting times ahead!”

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Published 27/07/2023