When Nick Hulme’s wife passed away in January, he vowed to help make sure he did everything he could to help those who are at the end of their life and support their families.
True to his word, next month, he will embark on a fundraising walk to raise much needed money to help two causes close to his heart.
Nick, the chief executive of Ipswich and Colchester hospitals, and his wife Annette had planned to tackle a coast to coast walk from Cumbria to North Yorkshire together when he retired but, before they got the chance to go, in January this year, Annette died from breast cancer. Before she died, she made him promise that he would still take on the 191-mile walk to raise money for St Elizabeth Hospice and a new breast unit at Ipswich hospital which both cared for her during her illness. He won’t be taking on the walk alone though and will be joined every step of the way by his dog Stanley.
Mr Hulme plans to raise at least £1,000 each day on his coast to coast walk with the money being split equally between St Elizabeth Hospice and The Ipswich Hospital Charity’s Blossom Appeal and has specific reasons why he wants to help both charities. He said: “The hospice community team who looked after my wife Annette were simply great. I believe that most people, where possible, would choose to die at home and the support from the hospice community team make this possible. Annette was very clear that she wanted any money raised to go to the further development of this team so others could be supported in this way.
“For the hospital breast unit, a quiet space which is non-clinical is essential for patients and their families. Having somewhere where you can get away from the hustle and bustle of clinical care is important and I want to raise some money specifically for this space.”
In support of Mr Hulme’s charity walk Mark Millar, chief executive at St Elizabeth Hospice, said: “The support Nick is giving to us is invaluable. Around 70% of the work we do takes place away from the hospice; looking after those who want to die in their own homes. The important care that our nursing team gives enables our patients to live out their last days in the comfort of their own surroundings and the money raised by Nick will go toward our No Place Like Home appeal to ensure that we can continue to deliver this service to those in our local community who need our support.”
Caroline Mortimer, breast surgeon at Ipswich Hospital, said: “At the heart of our new unit will be private spaces for patients to collect their thoughts and talk with family and staff away from the hustle and bustle of the clinics. The impact a dedicated area for breast care will make for our patients simply can’t be put into words.”
Mr Hulme and his dog Stanley embark on their walk on Monday 18 June and are expected to finish roughly two weeks later. If you would like to donate in support of St Elizabeth Hospice and The Ipswich Hospital Charity’s Blossom Appeal, click here.