A team of enthusiastic Treetops supporters are aiming to raise over £2,500 in sponsorship for the local hospice by running the Derby 10k later this month.

The Derby 10k, on Sunday 29 March, will see thousands of runners take on a circular route of the city. The seven runners have all got personal reasons for supporting their local hospice as they explained:

Emma Clarke, 40, Sandiacre

With the nurses, we know he’s safe and with someone who will look after him

“Over the last few months, Treetops has been supporting my dad, Pip, who is receiving end of life care at home. Dad has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and eighteen months ago he made the decision to no longer go into hospital. He had had enough. But he’s still here!

“The Hospice at Home nurses have been going in to sit with him once a week. My dad loves company – he’s the guy that would go to the Co-op in Sandiacre and it would take him an hour, because he’d be talking to everybody! He was a road sweeper for the council for over four years so everyone knew him and it’s nice for him to still meet different people.

“He’s bed bound and doesn’t go anywhere or see anyone other than me and my brothers. With the nurses, we know he’s safe and with someone who will look after him. I used to run and I saw this opportunity and thought why not! I’m doing it for a brilliant cause and I’m hoping it makes a huge difference.”

Clive Lawrence, 34, Borrowash

She absolutely loved being here

“My mum, Angela, came to Treetops for day care last year. She was only young – she was 51 when she died and had had breast cancer for over 28 years which became secondary cancer of the brain.

“At Treetops, mum was with lots of other patients in similar circumstances and she had some amazing times. She absolutely loved being here and she always talked about it.

“It was through coming here that she picked up information for me, my brothers and sisters about counselling support to help family members going through this. Coming here was the best thing I ever did and helped me to come to terms with my mum passing away.

“This is the first time I’ve ever done a run though I’ve done other fundraising events and I’m doing local park runs to train at weekends. The Derby 10k is a way of me doing something positive after everything that’s happened. I’m really pleased and privileged to be able to do something like this and give something back.”

Victoria Mawer, 34, Breaston

Support was there from start to finish

“My dad, John, passed away after an 18 month battle with a brain tumour.

“It was really nice that he could come to Treetops for the day. The Treetops minibus would come and pick him up every Wednesday. He used to love it and would always come home with so many stories – usually he was up to some kind of mischief!

“One day he came back and said he’d held a huge python and showed me a photo. He was absolutely terrified of snakes but he must have thought, well why not? I couldn’t believe it was a real photo. I was gobsmacked.

“After dad passed away, Treetops were still there for us. I had bereavement counselling sessions and so the support was there from start to finish.

“I did a charity run a few years ago and I joined a running club. When I saw the Derby 10k I thought this was a good opportunity for me to raise some money for Treetops to give back from their support, although I have not ran for a while so it is a ‘Couch to 10k’ in 6 weeks!”

Carli Hall, 32, Swadlincote

The Treetops nurses were like a light in the darkness

“It was my mum’s wish to stay at home and receive palliative care and we so wanted to honour her last wish. As a family we had no experience of caring and we were often left not knowing what to do for the best or where to turn for help.

“The Treetops Hospice at Home nurses were literally like a light in the darkness. We no longer felt like we were fumbling about alone. Not only did they advise and give emotional support, they gave compassionate care to my mum and gave my dad the chance to have some respite from being my mum’s main carer. They enabled us to care for my mum in her last few weeks at home, where she wanted to be, and she passed away peacefully with dignity.

“As a family we are incredibly grateful and continue to raise money for the charity. We’re happy that we’ve got somewhere to focus on. Before this happened, my mum was very active, she did loads of running and as a family we’d do general fun runs but with Treetops, it’s a local charity providing treatment for people in the local community.

“This is the first run I’ve done for a while but I’m training now. My dad, brother and my sister-in-law have all entered the 10k separately so we can start together.”

Paul Stills, 50, Mackworth

Every time dad came to Treetops, it lifted him and made such a difference

“My father was diagnosed with PSP – progressive supranuclear palsy – about four years ago. It’s a rare degenerative disease with no cure and very little known about it. Being bed bound and limited to a single room, there’s not a lot to do. It’s very boring and demoralising. It’s difficult for him as he wants to do things but he can’t.

“Every time dad came to Treetops, it lifted him and made such a difference. You could see he really looked forward to coming to the hospice and he’d come back brighter and more fulfilled. Treetops makes a real difference not just to dad, but to our whole family as well.

It gives my mum some respite when the Treetops nurses come to do some day sits with my dad. They’re lovely and I think they will help us with end of life care overnight soon. It’s invaluable.

“I wanted to do something for the hospice because of what they do for my father but also any money raised has a direct impact for the benefit of people locally. I’ve done a fair bit of running before and will start training intensively soon. My mum will be cheering me on as well as a couple of really good friends from the navy who’ll be running with me and help with fundraising too.”

John Wheatcroft, 67, Melbourne

Very, very appreciative of the care provided

“I’m running for Treetops in memory of my sister- in-law. The Hospice at Home nurses gave her end of life care at home during the day and overnight and my brother was very, very appreciative of the care provided.

“I keep myself reasonably fit so I thought I’d try and raise a bit of money at the same time. The hospice should be very proud of what it does and we’re all very appreciative as a family.”

Rachel Kirkpatrick, 51, Ilkeston

I’m proud to be part of it

“I’m a staff nurse in the Wellbeing Space at Treetops. and started here last September.  I was working as a community nurse but wanted to spend more time with my patients as I felt we were forced to rush in the NHS. My dad came the hospice for a few weeks before he died.

“It’s such a lovely place to work and the people are so friendly. I’m proud to be part of it. We offer personalised end of life care with a smile.

“I’m running in the Derby 10k to raise awareness of the fantastic job we do. I did the ‘Couch to 5k’ last winter and run with NWR Nottingham Women Runner Group. I’m looking forward to the support on the day!”

Thrilled that they’ve chosen to run for Treetops

Lorraine Ray, Treetops events fundraising lead said:

“We are so grateful to all our wonderful Derby 10k runners and thrilled that they’ve chosen to run for Treetops. They are all aiming to raise an amazing amount for the charity which will help us continue our vital work for patients and their families.

“We will be at the event village at the Derby 10k and hope all the runners have a great experience.”

Treetops Hospice Care, based in Risley, provides emotional support and nursing care for adults with life limiting conditions, and their families, living in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. Treetops services include Support and Information, Wellbeing Space, Hospice at Home nurses and Therapeutic Services including counselling, art therapy and complementary therapy.