Martlets’ massage therapist, Keith Turner, is not able to offer this therapy at the moment due to the coronavirus pandemic. But, determined to help out one way or another, he’s borrowed a rowing machine and is planning a rowing marathon of 26.2 miles to raise money for us!
Martlets’ massage therapist, Keith Turner, is not able to offer this therapy at the Hospice currently due to the coronavirus pandemic. But, determined to help out one way or another, he’s borrowed a rowing machine and is planning a rowing marathon of 26.2 miles to raise money for us!
Keith say he is a keen runner rather than a rower. However, he hasn’t been able to do his usual training runs since the beginning of lockdown. He is blind and needs a guide runner to accompany him.
“The gyms are beginning to open, but I probably will not attend myself just yet,” he explains. “As a blind person it will be very difficult for me to maintain social distancing. I haven’t been able to run outside because when I do I require a guide runner and that could be unsafe in the light of Covid-19.”
Rather than run on a treadmill at home, Keith has borrowed a rowing machine from a friend. He plans to row the marathon distance of 26.2 miles. The challenge is likely to take three to four hours and Keith admits it’s a daunting prospect. However, he has been training for it for some time and is determined to raise at least £1,500 for us. The marathon will take place on Saturday 12 September.
“Martlets is a wonderful place full of loving, caring people,” he continues. “I am just one of the many complementary therapists that have been treating patients and their carers. I have been offering massage therapy at the Hospice for more than five years. Eva, my guide dog accompanies me in the treatment room and sometimes we go on to the ward.”
Eva is enjoying being ‘on furlough’ at the moment, as Keith hasn’t been out and about as much.
“She is still getting walks and free runs off the lead,” he says. “But we used to go to the gym, the shops and to my sister’s, as well as coming into Martlets. We call her Eva the diva because she’s very clever and crafty. Sometimes, if she fancies an adventure, she’ll try and take me on a different route to the one I have planned. Eva is very quick at working a situation out. If she is feeling tired or bored with a particular route, she will endeavour to get me on a bus! She definitely has character and, above all, there is no doubt we are best of friends.”
Our patients and their families loved seeing Keith and Eva around the Hospice. At the moment we are not providing complementary therapies on site due to our social distancing measures. (However, we are offering wellbeing services including meditation and yoga online via Zoom which has proved popular).
As Keith can’t come in at present to offer massage, he was determined to find another way to support patients and their loved ones.
“It is a real privilege to support the patients and their families and friends,” he adds. “During the Covid-19 pandemic, raising funds has proved difficult for Martlets. Because of social distancing they’ve had to cancel many of their big fundraising events. I think this will be the case for the foreseeable future. So, if you can, please make a donation via my Just Giving page so that Martlets can continue its vital work.”
Any amount, large or small, will help Keith reach his fundraising target and support Martlets in keeping essential services running. £10 helps us share our wellbeing services with patients and carers online. £20 makes sure one of our community nurse specialists is available to deliver essential pain relief to patients at home. And £50 means we can install vital mobility and rehabilitation equipment in a patient’s home, helping them live more independently.
Thank you for your support.
Listen to Keith’s interview on Alison Ferns’ show on BBC Radio Sussex. (Listen 11.52 mins into the show)