'˜Unicorn' ride for Debbie and Sheffield hospice

Riders and unicorns are hoping for a magical sum as they fundraise for vital new equipment, for St Luke's Hospice.

Thursday, 23rd March 2017, 8:06 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:09 am
Jade and Debbie Haley

Jade Haley,25, has organised the fancy-dress sponsored horse ride from Borderview Farm to St Luke’s Hospice on March 27.

Her mother, 51-years old Debbie Haley, is in St Luke’s Hospice after suffering a resurgence of cancer after being given the all-clear from breast cancer five years ago.

Another important part of the ride is for Jade to take her mother’s much-loved horse to visit for what might be the last time. Other residents at the hospice will also have the chance to chat to the riders and meet the horses.

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Jade said: “Mum used to work at Lowedges primary school. She was there for 15 years as a teaching assistant, and one of the members of staff there wanted to start some fundraising.”

A group was set up and they set their target at £1,700, to go towards a new piece of mobility equipment called a Sara Stedy. The group has already amassed £855 so is halfway there.

Jade said: “Mum has previously taken part in lots of fundraising for Weston Park Hospital by doing the ‘Light the Night’ walks.

“She has always had a love for horses and she has spent her last summer spending as much time as possible with the horse. She managed to ride a couple of times before the pain got too bad, and she tried to come to as many of the local riding club, Hallamshire Riding Society, events as she could this summer to watch me and Maia, our horse, compete.

“Her wishes when she is gone are for her ashes to be scattered with one of our old horses up on a field where she used to ride.”

The fundraisers have been sponsored by friends and family via their just giving page. This was set up originally by Anna Goss, a close friend and colleague of my mum’s who is the business manager at Lowedges School.

“We then decided to do the sponsored ride to try and raise more money. We have currently raised £890 so we are just over halfway towards our total. My mum’s favorite colour has always been pink and this was the inspiration for the unicorns. Two outfits will be totally pink and the others will be blue and pink.”

The Sara Stedy mobility device, that Jade and friends aim to buy for St Luke’s Hospice, offers a more suitable and dignified alternative to a wheelchair for residents who are more mobile.

It enables good, reassuring eye contact between the resident and caregiver, unlike a wheelchair, and allows transportation to the toilet and washbasin, supporting a wide range of other everyday activities

The device also helps to minimise manual handling by caregivers, so adiing independence for those who use it.