On Friday 15 May, more than a hundred people completed 5,000 sponsored steps to raise over £14,500 for local charity, Treetops Hospice Care.

‘Starlight Steps’ took place on the original date of the charity’s largest annual fundraiser, the Starlight Strut, now postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Starlight Steppers, old and young, walked, jogged and even bounced their 5,000 steps in their homes, gardens and on their lockdown walks.

Treetops, which provides nursing care and emotional support for adults with life-limiting conditions and their families, is doing all it can to continue to support those in need during the Coronavirus pandemic. The hospice is providing weekly Cake and Care packages for local patients self-isolating and Treetops Hospice at Home nurses are caring for patients at the very end of life in their own homes.

Frances came to live with me when she couldn’t care for herself anymore

Pat Shirra, 77, from Beeston, took part to support the hospice who helped care for her mother in law, Frances Jones:

“Frances loved all her grandchildren when they came along – five boys and one girl – and especially her first and only granddaughter, Alison.  She was very proud when Alison followed her into nursing, especially nursing cancer patents.

“All her working life, Frances had been involved with nursing and when she retired she became a Marie Curie Night Nurse for Derbyshire. When she was 90, she was awarded a Gold Award for her services, and her fundraising, for Marie Curie.

“Frances came to live with me when she couldn’t care for herself anymore and was on end of life care.  She had stomach cancer and was always very positive about her diagnosis.

She loved the nurses who came

“During the three months she was with me, we had nursing care from several places, including Treetops. I was very impressed with the care she received.  She loved the nurses who came and found them very easy to get on with, especially when talking about nursing!”

Treetops also provided care for Pat:

“I was very surprised one day to receive a phone call from Treetops asking me if I would like to have some complementary therapy sessions.  I was told that the hospice also looked after the person who was caring at home.  It really touched me and made me cry!  I really enjoyed my massage sessions and a nurse would sit with Frances whilst I had the sessions. I have supported Treetops Hospice Care whenever I can since.

I really enjoyed it and was amazed at the sponsorship I got

“Treetops Hospice Care is one of our church’s charities this year but because of the Coronavirus, fundraising has stopped.   I decided I would try to raise money by doing Starlight Steps.

“I had thought for a while about doing the steps around my garden, as I have been on lockdown for 8 week now due to my age! I really enjoyed it, doing it a bit at a time and was amazed at the sponsorship I got. My original target was £200, but I soon had to raise it. I have now reached over £700 with still more to come in. I was so overwhelmed by the generosity of my sponsors, I decided I ought to double my steps to 10,000!”

Thrilled with the success of Starlight Steps

Lorraine Ray, fundraising events lead, said:

“We are simply thrilled with the success of Starlight Steps and want to thank each and every one of our wonderful Steppers for getting involved and helping us raise such a fantastic amount for Treetops!

“We’ve received some lovely messages, photos and videos so we know everyone’s really enjoyed getting involved and the money raised will make a big difference to the hospice. It means we can continue to support the most vulnerable patients in our local community with nursing care and emotional support.”

Donations for Starlight Steps can still be made online here.