SARAH Gaskin walked to raise thousands of pounds for the Rowans Hospice after it made the final hours of her mum’s life bearable.
In memory of her fun-loving mother, Margaret Anne Beachill, the 46-year-old led 13 of her friends in a sponsored ramble from Fareham to the Purbrook hospice.
They managed to raise more than £3,700 during a three-hour walk which Sarah described as ‘fun and really moving’.
Drivers beeped in support as the group made their way from her house in Gudge Heath Lane and over Portsdown Hill carrying buckets and collecting donations.
Sarah said after losing her mother to breast cancer in February, she realised just how much comfort and relief Rowans staff bring to people.
She said: ‘My mum only spent a short period in the hospice, but they made such an incredible difference.
‘A place like Queen Alexandra Hospital is so busy the nurses can only do so much, but the care and attention of the Rowans’ staff was wonderful.
‘I can’t even begin to thank them, and so I thought supporting their good work by raising money would be the best thing to do.
‘I know it isn’t much but it actually felt like quite an achievement when we reached the top of Portsdown Hill.’
Sarah said most of her friends knew her 70-year-old mum well, because she never lost her youthful approach to life.
She said: ‘Mum was a real party animal, and so whenever I went out she would come with me.
‘We were very close, and before she died we did all the things she had always dreamed of doing, like taking a trip on the Orient Express, visiting Clarence House and riding on the London Eye.
‘She was full of life right to the end, and when things became really difficult, that’s when the people from Rowans stepped in. They made it much easier for both of us.’
Maria Jolliffe and her sister Lucy walked to support Sarah and in memory of their grandfather, who died of cancer two years ago and was looked after by Rowans nurses.
‘They gave such support to my mum and nan – nothing was too much trouble,’ said Maria, 37. ‘We were all a bit warm by the end of our march, but very proud of what we had done to support them.’
To donate to the hospice visit justgiving.com/user/24977766.