Brrr! After the recent very cold spell of weather, two nurses who have been taking a month of early morning swims to raise funds for terminally ill patients during lockdown have only to be congratulated.
Clinical nurse specialist Rachel Easton and staff nurse Holly Warren, who support people with life limiting illnesses at the Day Centre within the Macmillan Palliative Care Unit in Christchurch, have raised £5,500.
Each day before or after work since the end of October, they have swum off beaches between Boscombe Pier and Mudeford, covering a kilometre between them, with the goal of swimming a total of 34km – the distance between England and France.
Holly, 37 explained, “It’s been a fantastic experience – cold, but fantastic – and we are over the moon to have raised so much money.
“The Day Centre plays a huge role in many of our patients’ lives, enriching their wellbeing and mental health and providing a crucial connection to their peers. But the pandemic has stopped them from physically attending.
“With Macmillan Caring Locally’s help we have been able to adapt our service so that patients can still get together from their homes using video conferencing.
“We have provided online sessions such as yoga and quiz/chat sessions and we have also bought materials so people can take part in online practical sessions at home. Our clients have been so grateful for the chance to interact with us and others and take part in activities together.”
Rachel, 43 said, “MCL’s help to establish this online day centre has been invaluable for everyone and we wanted to do something to show our gratitude and also contribute to the charity’s ongoing work supporting both the Day Centre and the Macmillan Unit.
“It hasn’t always been enjoyable getting changed on a beach, with numb fingers, sometimes in the rain.
“But there have been so many laughs and we once even saw a shooting star.
“I know we’ve both been completely bowled over by the all the support shown to us and people have been so generous. We’ll never forget it.”
The nurses can still be sponsored at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rachel-holly-palliative-nurses
Neal Williams, Trust secretary of Macmillan Caring Locally, was there to welcome the nurses as they came out of the sea after reaching the 34km mark.
He said, “It’s difficult to put into words the admiration we all feel for Holly and Rachel. We already knew they would go to any lengths to support their Day Centre patients. But what they have done to ensure their patients’ continued wellbeing during the Covid crisis goes way beyond the call of duty. They are quite simply outstanding human beings.”
To donate to Macmillan Caring Locally or to start your own fundraising journey please visit: www.macmillanlocal.org
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