Hospice at Home care inspired Louise to run in support of St Barnabas

15th March 2023

Two women smiling for camera. Louise Southgate on the left, a blonde woman wearing floral top and on the right grey-haired woman, Pam Burton, wearing green scarf and black cardigan

Louise Southgate laced up her trainers recently and ran the St Neot’s Half Marathon in support of the Hospice, whose team of nurses gave vital end of life care to her mother Pam Burton.

Pam was diagnosed with Oesophageal Cancer in May 2021, something which Louise says was a huge shock to the whole family. As her health deteriorated, Pam knew she wanted to remain at home, and the St Barnabas’ Hospice at Home team were able to respect her wishes.Two women smiling for camera. Louise Southgate on the left, a blonde woman wearing floral top and on the right grey-haired woman, Pam Burton, wearing green scarf and black cardigan

Louise says: “Mum was a strong, hardworking, and independent woman who very rarely accepted help, always insisting on doing things herself. Her family home held so many happy memories for her and was always open and full of love. Being nursed at home at the end of her life was very important to her.

“Nurse Lizzie who was most involved in Mum’s care, was amazing and Mum trusted her. Having someone to talk to about her fears and wishes face to face is just what she needed. Lizzie always had time for us all, no matter what. We are so grateful to her and the whole team for ensuring mum received the care that she deserved.”

Pam died peacefully at the end of August 2021, with Louise and her brother Stuart by her side, in her own home. Since then, Louise has raised funds for St Barnabas in multiple ways. Money given to the family at Pam’s funeral has been donated to the charity, Louise and her brother bought an ironwork heart through the Hospice’s Forever in Our Hearts campaign, and Louise also plays the weekly lottery.

Louise Southgate wearing blue running vest and black shorts, running in marathon

On top of all this, Louise decided to run the St Neot’s Half Marathon in Cambridgeshire, which took place in November 2022. Louise says she enjoys running as it helps her with her wellbeing, as well as keeping fit. St Neot’s is a race she has taken part in before but this time she asked her family and friends to donate in support of the charity that looked after her Mum.

After signing up and making St Barnabas aware that she was running for them, Chris Dunkley of the Hospice’s fundraising team supported her all the way.

Louise says: “Chris was very easy to talk to and helped with the setting up of my JustGiving fundraising page, and sent me a St Barnabas running shirt to run the race in. He has given me encouragement along the way and was there If I needed any questions answered.”

Louise raised a brilliant £516 through her half marathon fundraising, which will help support St Barnabas give care to other patients and their families.

Louise says: “We are eternally grateful that with the support from the St Barnabas Hospice at Home team Mum was able to remain in her own home at the end of her life. A home that she had set up with my father where they had been able to make some very happy memories.

Louise Southgate, a woman with blonde hair tied back, wearing blue St Barnabas running vest and showing running medal

“She was visited by all those that she loved, something we could not have done without Lizzie and the team. Her final wishes were met and though we dearly miss her every day, the care that we all received from St Barnabas was incredible. Thank you.”

This spring, St Barnabas are encouraging supporters to take on a challenge in support of the charity; from skydiving and wing walking to cycling the famous Castle 2 Coast 2 Castle route or running a marathon like Louise.

Each year, St Barnabas provides free, compassionate palliative and end of life care to over 12,000 people with a life-limiting or terminal illness around Lincolnshire.

Visit www.StBarnabasHospice.co.uk for more information about their care services and how you can support the charity.

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