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A cyclist whose father was cared for by St Giles Hospice is urging people to take up a charity challenge to support the charity.
The Whittington-based hospice has launched the Miles 4 St Giles challenge after seeing a number of fundraising events cancelled due to the coronavirus.
The 30-day challenge is designed to be carried out while taking your daily exercise.
IT sales and marketing manager Jonathan Miller, 48, said it was crucial people continued to support St Giles.
“Charities like St Giles Hospice have really been hit hard by having to cancel or postpone fundraising events, so innovative initiatives like Miles 4 St Giles are a real lifeline to help them get through the current crisis.
“As a keen cyclist I know the physical and mental benefits of getting daily exercise – the break from routine, fresh air and the feeling of the sun on your head can make such a difference to your health, especially when you have to be cooped up for so much of the day.
“Since the lockdown started I’ve noticed more cyclists and runners out and about than ever so it’s a great idea to combine your exercise with fundraising – where you can do it responsibly – and at a time when we are all forced to be a bit more insular it’s good to remind ourselves that there are other people out there who still need our help.”Jonathan Miller
“The whole family is so grateful”
Jonathan saw the care of St Giles Hospice at first hand when his father, David Miller, attended the day hospice before his death in 2018.
“My dad had motor neurone disease and he found that visiting the day hospice gave him a massive lift.
“It broke up the routine, gave him something to look forward to and he was able to get a bath and shower there and even have a haircut! It also gave my mum a break so she could go out as well.
“St Giles was always a very welcoming, warm, friendly and positive place. He got brilliant, high-quality care and there was such an attention to detail.
“I had already taken part in Cycle St Giles a couple of times but once they started looking after my dad it gave my fundraising a real relevance and I’ve now taken part in the ride half a dozen times.
“The whole family is so grateful. At Christmas my in-laws had a get-together in their village and my young daughters raised £100 for the hospice by running a pampering session for the ladies.”Jonathan Miller
“Looking after some of the area’s most vulnerable patients”
Elinor Eustace, director of fundraising at St Giles Hospice, said she hoped that people wanting to get some fresh air each day would embrace the challenge of taking part in Miles 4 St Giles.
“While many people in the community have been told to remain at home to stay safe, our dedicated care teams at St Giles are still working in their hospices and out in the community to look after some of the area’s most vulnerable patients.
“They are covering miles and miles to keep the hospice going and we’re asking local people, can you do the same?
“We’re inviting people to give their exercise a purpose by joining Team St Giles and clocking up Miles 4 St Giles.
“You can walk 30 miles, run 60 miles, cycle 90 miles or even take on a triathlon by combining all three.
“Alternatively, you can set your own distance and do it your way – indoors or out.
“We’ve had people clocking up their miles by going up and down their stairs, and heading into the garden or out on the allotment as well as running, walking and cycling.”Elinor Eustace, St Giles Hospice
Miles 4 St Giles has been launched as part of Katie’s Appeal, the charity’s urgent response to the coronavirus crisis.
To find out more about Miles 4 St Giles visit www.stgileshospice.com/miles4stgiles.
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