A team of six St. Luke’s staff, including nurses and a doctor, are taking on a virtual 10K challenge

THIS month a team of six St. Luke’s Hospice staff will be running a virtual 10k in support of the local people and families they care for, as well as the hard work and dedication of everyone at the Hospice throughout the pandemic.

Dr. Melanie Piggott, nurses Emma Beale and Claire Ward, payroll supervisor Keeley Jones and two clinical directors Suzanne Sales and Joanne McCollum, are challenging themselves to complete the distance and hope to inspire much needed donations for the Hospice.

Joanne McCollum, Director of Commissioning, Integration and Development; “Much like our friends in the NHS and other frontline services, we have worked through many challenges and very difficult times in the last year. 

“The 10K represents hope. While there is still some way to go, we are hopeful that we are beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel. It feels like we can start to breathe again as we enter a period of recovery after a long period of constant change, reaction and uncertainty.

“We may not have a crowd to cheer us on, but what will undoubtedly help us along the way is knowing that we have the support of our wonderful community”.

The Hospice has set up a special web page where you can learn more about Dr. Mel, Emma, Claire, Keeley, Suzanne and Joanne – www.stlukeshospice.com/support-team-st-lukes.

Dr. Mel, Consultant in Palliative Medicine at St. Luke’s Hospice; “A major part of my role is providing advice and guidance on managing difficult symptoms and other medical issues to our teams in the community, visiting patients at home and supporting other healthcare professionals to provide the best possible care. I also mentor our nurses with advanced skills courses to enhance the care they provide.

“I love seeing patients and families face-to-face. It is hugely rewarding when I leave a patient’s home knowing that I have helped to manage their symptoms, or supported them to understand more about their situation so that they can make decisions and plans that are important to them.

“During the pandemic it has become even more important that we do all we can to prevent unwanted or unnecessary hospital admissions. It has been particularly challenging to see patients and families struggle with the added stresses caused by the pandemic at what is already a very difficult time.

“Working in PPE and with social distancing is also challenging. We’re very aware of the need to protect vulnerable people, but something is definitely lost when patients cannot see a smile or when discussing difficult issues behind a mask. However my colleagues are dedicated and continue to provide outstanding care to their patients.

“I have only been running for a few years. Being part of this group has been a great motivation and it’s also really inspiring to read stories of other people who have fundraised for St. Luke’s Hospice.

“My secret to a successful run is podcasts – often something funny or Desert Island Discs”.

To support the 10K runners and make a donation to the Hospice please visit www.stlukeshospice.com/support-team-st-lukes or call the Hospice team on 01268 524973.

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