St Helena highlights hard work of challenges fundraiser Sarah Phillips to mark Hospice Care Week
PUBLISHED: 07:27 09 October 2017 | UPDATED: 09:55 09 October 2017
Raising funds is vital for the work of the region's hospices - to ensure patients, and their families and carers, can continue to receive the support they need in the future.
At St Helena Hospice in Colchester, which serves the people of north Essex, Sarah Phillips is the challenges fundraiser and her role is one of many being highlighted during Hospice Care Week, which launches today.
Sarah has helped supporters raise money by doing something that really stretches them.
She said: “My role is to promote different ways people can support us through taking on a challenge, which can be anything from cycling or running, to skydiving, or trekking.
“It really doesn’t matter what it is, but it’s a challenge for the people doing them. It could be a short distance that’s a personal challenge for them, to something huge. A lot of the people I deal with are already really active, but others are not and really want to push themselves for the hospice, which I find really amazing.”
Sarah used to run the hospice’s shop in Stanway, before joining the fundraising team.
She admits some people shy away at the word challenge, but she is a persuasive person.
She said: “I’m quite good at reading people and it’s all about how you explain it to them. There are so many different ways people can take on a challenge. Once you have chatted to someone for a while and got to know them, you can find something that is suitable.
“It could be taking part in the Midnight Walk or our Pier to Pier walk, and there are a lot of shorter things. We have people running a mile and others running a marathon.
”We promote our challenges on our website but I talk to a lot of people about the hospice, so it’s all about finding that little spark that will give me an idea of something they can do. I go anywhere that will have me. I go to a lot of gyms and walking groups, but I do a lot of face to face street promotion in places like Culver Square.
“The money coming in is amazing, and the hospice can’t do what it does without the money and it’s great when you see the figures coming in.
“However, it’s the smile on someone’s face when they cross the finish line, the email that says `I can’t believe I would ever have done that’, which makes me emotional.”