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Saturday, 23 October 2021
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How a passion for cycling has changed lives

A former patient’s love for cycling led to a charity being set up that has enabled invaluable and direct support for St Barnabas Hospice.

Sandra Watson, who sadly died after being cared for by St Barnabas Hospice in 2016, was a keen cyclist, having started to combat a medical condition she encountered in 2002.

Since her death, her family have set up Tour de Sands, a charity that encourages cycling and raises money for specific projects.

Since 2016, Tour de Sands has been raising cash for various charities, and the group’s tireless fundraising has meant Cheryl Stow, one of St Barnabas’s Hospice at Home Nurses in the Stamford area, has been funded directly for three years. The charity has donated around £92,000 to the Hospice since its inception.

Sandra’s husband, Jerry, said:

“Once Sandra received her terminal diagnosis, it was apparent that the team who had looked after her for so long, and so well, had no answers. We contacted St Barnabas Hospice, who were incredible. They listened to what we wanted to achieve and then facilitated it happening.

“Sandra was adamant she wanted to die at home with her family around. This required both practical and emotional support. Within two days, we were equipped to fulfil her wishes.

“Being at home allowed us to discuss things fully, for her to say goodbye to friends and family in her own environment and for her to be in control. The wonderful team at the hospice had the ability to allow us to do things our way, yet to be there when we needed support.”

Chris Wheway, Chief Executive of St Barnabas Hospice, said:

“We are incredibly proud to have been able to care for Sandra and her family back in 2016 and are extremely grateful for the donations they have made to the Hospice ever since. Their contributions have paid for one of our hard-working nurses, Cheryl Stow, who helps families and individuals prepare for death at home.

“This also highlights the importance of donations. Our funding comes from donations, gifts, fundraising, and our charity shops, so every penny donated goes towards allowing people like Sandra to live out their wishes in a comfortable environment and as smoothly as possible.

“We’d like to thank Jerry and the wonderful team at Tour De Sands for their tireless support and their impressive long-distance rides that raise so much for us.”

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