Fundraisers put best foot forward for Dorothy House

By Ben Carey on 1 June, 2023

Supporters of Wiltshire’s Dorothy House Hospice Care are raising vital funds for the charity, step by step.

From the Mens Walk from Winsley to Bath to a trek through Vietnam, fundraisers are donning their walking boots to help Dorothy House provide palliative and end of life care across a population of over 550,000 local people.

On Saturday 18th March, 270 participants took part in the eight-mile Mens Walk from the charity’s hospice in Winsley to the Bath Pavilion.

The event raised an outstanding £52,000 for the charity, funding which equates to more than a week of Hospice at Home care which is a huge part of the work of Dorothy House across areas of Wiltshire, Somerset and Bath and North East Somerset.

The fundraising never stops though, and now Dorothy House is looking ahead to another charity walk – this time a little further from home.

The charity is looking for participants for its international trek in Vietnam in April 2024. With a project at a rural community hospital and a trek through the Pu Luong Natural Reserve, this is an opportunity to cross something incredible off the bucket list whilst also raising vital funds for Dorothy House.

Participants have to raise £3,900, with at least half going directly to Dorothy House Hospice to allow staff and volunteers to continue to deliver outstanding end of life care to patients and their families.

It costs £202.95 to fund a compassionate, skilled and experienced Hospice at Home Carer to provide care overnight, enabling a patient to stay at home at the end of their life, meaning someone taking on Trek Vietnam could fund overnight care for several patients and their families.

Terry, whose wife was cared for by Dorothy House in 2020 and received care from Hospice at Home Carers, has signed up to take on Trek Vietnam.

He said, “Apart from thinking Dorothy House was a place where people go to die, I knew little of the organisation. All that was to dramatically change when in 2020 my wife was diagnosed with MND. Struggling to cope and to take on board the inevitable consequence of this illness, plus dealing with the challenges of looking after a terminally ill and increasingly frail wife, it was recommended I approach Dorothy House Hospice Care.

“The support they provided, on a mental and physical level, cannot be overstated. I will never forget their outstanding care, helping me to accept that my wife would not be with me for much longer. We then had what became daily visits from their carers, which enabled her to remain at home until the end. She finally died in January of 2022, but their support continues, and will do so for as long as I need it.

“Wondering how to acknowledge this, and not wishing to use the rather blunt instrument of a cash donation, I was so pleased when the opportunity arose to join their trekking trip to Vietnam. This was an opportunity to meet up with other like-minded people, and also raise much needed funds for Dorothy House.”

Leaving the UK on the 20th April, the challenge will include a project within the palliative care unit of the Mai Chau hospital, working alongside the local team to improve facilities. Tasks could include activities such as repainting, gardening, decorating and other hands-on refurbishment.

The second stage of the challenge includes four days of trekking around the Pu Luong Natural Reserve, crossing various terrain, staying in local villages in traditional stilt houses and getting to meet the local people of the region.

To find out more and register for Trek Vietnam, visit the Dorothy House website.