40 Faces of hospice care | Meet Jacob Swift, supporter and fundraiser

9th August 2023

A man, Jacob Swift, who is a supporter of St Barnabas Hospice, photographed in black and white, against a black backdrop

St Barnabas entered Jacob’s life when we had the privilege of caring for his dad, Chris, at home. Jacob was just 16 at the time, yet his experience of hospice care stuck with him and in the years since he’s done what he can to help make sure others can get similar support from St Barnabas.

The fundraising event that really sticks in his mind is his Morocco trek in 2022 which he undertook with her brother Reuben and mother Julie. Planned for 2020 to mark ten years since his dad died, the Covid-19 pandemic had other ideas. But Jacob was just as happy marking the Hospice’s milestone when the trip finally got the go-ahead.

The delay gave Jacob a bit longer to train too. But despite spending more time hill walking in Wales with his dog, Jacob and his brother still had difficulty keeping up with their mum in Morocco! It was a bit of a surprise to Jacob because his friends commented on how fast he walked. On the trek, he discovered what was behind his quick pace. A keen walker, Chris walked everywhere fast, and on family walks, Jacob and Reuben would only see the back of their dad’s feet as they jogged through the countryside, doing their best to keep up. Jacob calls it character-building!

Being with others and hearing similar stories to his own about the difference St Barnabas made to their lives and their loved ones drove Jacob during the trek. Despite 100mph winds making it too dangerous to reach the summit, completing the challenge was a big achievement for Jacob, his brother and his mum. Sharing the experience with his family and regularly updating his dad’s friends unearthed precious memories too, like how Chris used to cut his toothbrush in half before a trip to save weight and all the times he got lost while out walking!

Much of Jacob’s fundraising has been outdoor-based, and his dad’s love of the outdoors has clearly been passed down to him. Mum Julie is already planning the next trek for the family so we suspect Jacob will be starting his training soon!

In his own words…

“St Barnabas allowed dad to stay at home in his final months so we could be with him until the end. Having him at home made a huge difference to us all. We were so fortunate – we wouldn’t have been able to do it on our own. The fact that the Hospice stepped in changed our lives over those months.”

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Support your local Hospice by taking part in one of our pre-organised challenges, or take on your own! You will receive support along every step of the way!

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