On Bank Holiday Monday Ellyse Shepherd, along with boyfriend Callum and his family, will be having fun racing round Walton Gardens, hoping to get covered from head to foot in brightly coloured powder paint at this year’s St. Rocco’s Colour Run.
For Ellyse, however, it will be more than a carefree afternoon. She is running in memory of her mum, Julie Shepherd, and is hoping to raise much-needed funds to support patient care at St. Rocco’s, somewhere very close to her heart.
Ellyse, who originates from Stockton Heath but now lives in Sandymoor, said: “My mum was welcomed into St Rocco’s Hospice in August of last year. For many people when they hear the word hospice it conjures up a rather gloomy image, but what we experienced couldn’t be further from that.
“St Rocco’s offered my mum a wonderful place full of life, laughter and endless cups of tea and plenty of cake!
“The fabulous nurses, carers and volunteers became friends who were always there to lend an ear.
For her and her family St. Rocco’s provided a safe haven where they could talk openly, provide support for each other and reminisce over favourite memories. It almost became like home.
“In Mum’s final weeks St. Rocco’s was a place where she felt comfortable, a place where she was always treated with the upmost dignity and her wishes always respected.
“It provided a place for me to sleep when I couldn’t leave her and a beautiful space for us to spend our final times together, creating very special memories that I can treasure forever.”
Ellyse is keen to help ensure that other families have the opportunity to benefit from the care and support that St. Rocco’s provides.
As a charity the hospice receives only 22% of funding from central sources and relies on the support and generosity of the local community to fundraise in order to help provide the £3.6 million a year it costs to keep St. Rocco’s going.
“ I hope by doing this run and raising as much money as we can that it will go some way to show how truly grateful we are for all St. Rocco’s does,” she added.
“The care they give is truly is second to none. I will be forever grateful to St Rocco’s for everything they did for my beautiful mum.”
You can sponsor Ellyse at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ellyse-shepherd. If you would like to take part in this year’s Colour Run, then there is still time to register at http://www.stroccos.org.uk/events/st-roccos-colour-run/.