MARATHONS and other events may have been cancelled this year due to COVID-19, but that is not stopping West Sussex firefighter Jordan O’Hara from setting herself a series of fundraising challenges.
The 28-year-old from East Preston started by running 100 miles every month from August to December, with a marathon on 25 November. But now, a 58-mile Pier-to-Pier walk from Bognor Regis to Brighton and back in full firefighting kit has been added to the challenge list. Jordan is raising money for St Barnabas House to thank the Hospice at Home team for caring for her grandmother earlier this year, as well as helping her with bereavement support.
“I owe my life to the nurses at St Barnabas. My nana was a very strong woman – she knew what she wanted, and it was really important for us to get her home from hospital. The nurses did everything they could to make her feel as comfortable as possible.”
Jordan’s nana, Pat Harris, was discharged from hospital in June this year and received end of life care at home from St Barnabas.
“Nana didn’t want to be in a hospital, and with the added pressure of the pandemic on visiting restrictions, I knew I had to get her home so that we could spend time together. St Barnabas made this possible. The Hospice at Home team was just incredible, and I will forever be in debt for their kindness and compassion, and the care they provided for my nana’s last three weeks with us at home.”
The month after her nana passed away, Jordan set herself a challenge to fundraise for the hospice that had supported them. This started as a 100-mile a month running challenge from August to December, with a full marathon in November, but after chatting with some of her colleagues at Bognor Regis Fire Station, she has now added a 58-mile Pier-to-Pier walk – in full fire kit and breathing apparatus.
Fellow firefighter, Mollie Bennett will be joining Jordan on this final challenge as they set off from Bognor Regis pier on the evening of Wednesday 2 December and walk through the night to Brighton pier and back. They hope to complete the route in around 20 hours.
It’s not just the care her nana received that Jordan wants to thank St Barnabas for. She has also received bereavement support over the last few months.
“My nana and I were very close. She brought me up but was also my best friend. She was my everything and I was in a very bad place when she passed away in the summer. As well as the nurses being there to care for her, the bereavement team at St Barnabas have supported me through the hardest time of my life. I really can’t thank them enough. These challenges I’ve set myself will be tough – especially the Pier to Pier walk, but it’s great to be able to focus on something positive and know that the money I’m raising will be making a difference to a cause that is close to my heart.”
Jordan has already exceeded her £1,200 target and is hoping to raise as much as possible for St Barnabas. If you would like to follow Jordan’s journey or support her fundraising, visit www.justgiving.com/jordan-ohara
To find out more about St Barnabas House hospice, visit www.stbh.org.uk.