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Make 2018 a year to remember with Harrogate hospice care charity

Make 2018 a year to remember with Harrogate hospice care charity

Published at 2:45pm 11th January 2018.

Saint Michael's Hospice in Harrogate is encouraging the community to take on a challenge in 2018 to support people living with terminal illness and bereavement.

Last year, hundreds of people took part in events to raise vital funds for Saint Michael's, including skydives, the London Marathon, a husky sleigh run, coast-to-coast walks and cycle rides, and record-breaking Great North Run entries.

Many people chose a challenge in memory of a loved one, whilst others did it to mark a milestone birthday, fulfil a personal ambition or simply for the experience.

Tony Collins, Chief Executive of Saint Michael's, said: "As a charity that supports local people living with terminal illness to make the most of their time together, we would also like to encourage people in our community to achieve their goals, whatever they may be.

"Our message is: Whatever you do this year, do it for Saint Michael's and make 2018 a year to remember."

The charity spends £5 million each year providing its vital services, which are offered to people across the Harrogate District free of charge.

Mick Relton's skydive for Saint Michael's Hospice

Mick Relton skydiving in aid of Saint Michael's Hospice

Mick's story

When Ripon man Mick Relton decided to take on a skydive challenge for Saint Michael's, it was a major personal challenge on many different levels.

He set himself the challenge in memory of his beloved wife, Janet, who died last year aged 59 at the hospice following a devastating diagnosis.

Mick said: "Janet had lymphoma in her lungs, which then spread into her brain and spine. Saint Michael's was a marvellous place - so peaceful and comfortable - and she was treated with such care and consideration. Everything happened the way she wanted it to.

"After she died, I wanted to do something special to raise money in her memory and to help Saint Michael's. When I saw the skydive challenge, I knew that was the thing I wanted to do and that Janet would have been proud of me for doing it."

Mick and Jan Relton

Mick Relton with his late wife, Janet

Mick, who chose to do the tandem skydive on his 67th birthday, took the plunge at Hilbaldstow Airfield in Lincolnshire, which is the UK's highest tandem skydive from 15,000 feet.

Skydivers experience a full minute of freefall at speeds of up to 120mph.

Mick's courage paid off and he was thrilled to have raised nearly £1,000 from his challenge.

He added: "On the day, I was a bit scared. But once we got high in the plane, I kept telling myself - you can do this, don't be scared, just do it! It was amazing being above the clouds and an incredible experience.

"When I'd done it, I felt fantastic! A bit of me thought 'never again', but I'm already thinking about doing another - and raising even more money next time."

Ways to challenge yourself for Saint Michael's:

  • If you want to skydive, contact Saint Michael's on 01423 878628 to register your interest and find a suitable date.
  • Spaces are available for running events such as the Great North Run and Yorkshire Marathon, with 'early bird' offers.
  • If you want to organise your own challenge with friends, family or as a club or team, the charity can support you.
  • Set your own lifestyle challenge and raise sponsorship for achieving your goal.

Find out more about supporting the charity at www.saintmichaelshospice.org

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