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Daughter to join St Giles Hospice’s Solstice Walk in memory of her dad

A man who helped to run the Lichfield Friendship Centre will be remembered as his daughter takes part in a fundraising Solstice Walk through the city.

John Gordon died in June 2012 after losing his battle with cancer.

But now Julie Mathers will take part in the St Giles Solstice Walk to raise funds for the charity that helped her father remain in his own home towards the end of his life.

“The care and support Dad and the whole family received was simply amazing,” said Julie, who lives in Rugeley.

“When he was diagnosed, Dad was adamant that he wanted to remain at home when he got poorly, rather than spending his final days in a hospital.

“Thanks to St Giles Hospice, he got his wish and that meant so much to the whole family during what was a traumatic time for all of us.”

John was a well-known figure locally as he helped to run the Lichfield Friendship Centre, an organisation for retired people, plus he was an active member of badminton and walking clubs. He also volunteered for Mencap, where he joined fellow retired engineers in building specialist equipment for people with disabilities.

It is thought that exposure to asbestos when he was working at a power station caused John to contract mesothelioma, an aggressive form of cancer.

Julie explained: “Dad’s health started to deteriorate rapidly in April 2012 and he died in June.

“Having the St Giles nurses in the home to support him and us was invaluable – they knew exactly what was happening to Dad, and how they could help him.

“They arranged for Dad to have a wheelchair, they made sure he had the correct medication and so on, but alongside the practical support they were there to talk to us all and listen.

“They were also always on the end of the phone if we needed them and this support gave us total peace of mind that we were doing the very best for our Dad. They really cared.”

The St Giles Hospice Solstice Walk

The St Giles Hospice Solstice Walk

Julie is heading up an eight-strong team of women for the Solstice Walk on June 22, which includes her mum and John’s widow Val Gordon, her daughter Lucy Mathers, her auntie Linda Haines, cousin Pauline Tweedley and friends Paula, Louise and Maria Taylor.

“We can’t wait to take part in the Solstice Walk,” Julie added. “It’s our chance to show our appreciation for St Giles Hospice, to raise some money and to help raise awareness of how important the charity is to local people like ourselves.”

As part of its 30th anniversary celebrations, St Giles Hospice is aiming to smash a Guinness World Record at the 2013 Solstice Walk for the largest gathering of fancy-dress fairies in one place.

The event starts at 10pm and is a night-time walk covering two 4.5-mile circuits through the city of Lichfield. Entry is £15 per walker and is open to women aged 16 and over, and men are welcome to volunteer as stewards.

In order to be counted as a ‘fairy’ for the world record attempt, women taking part need to make sure they wear wings and a tutu. Magic wands will be provided on the night.

To sign up for the Solstice Walk visit

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