My name is Caroline and I am an OFSTED registered childminder, working alongside my husband, Simon, at Puddleducks Day Care in Lincoln. We are honoured to be asked to take part in the Rudy’s Run again this year.
Last year we took part in Rudy’s Run after one of our children’s parents at the day care was suddenly diagnosed with cancer. Everyone will agree that the pandemic was a very challenging year, however cancer made it even tougher.
Sadly, Sam passed away in July of this year. Sam was an amazing, strong lady, and her passing was devastating for everyone at Puddleducks. Sam never wanted self-pity and her motto was to live every day like it’s your last. After speaking to Sam’s husband and children, we have decided to take on Rudy’s Run once again this year in memory of Sam. We are hoping to raise lots of money for St Barnabas Hospice along the way.
Sam always spoke so highly of St Barnabas, who helped her so much throughout her illness. Before Sam gained her angel wings, she sent this amazing message about St Barnabas to me:
“St Barnabas helped me to fill out forms etc. to get extra support, whilst also helping to approach the whole situation with my children. They were really quick with it and got it all sorted straight away. They are so helpful, and there’s always someone there to speak to or ask advice. I have had so much support, which I appreciate so much. I think what you’re doing is fantastic. I am overwhelmed with Puddleducks raising lots of money for St Barnabas and I will be there to wave and cheer you all on.”
Here’s a little insight into last year’s challenge, and I hope lots of people join us in taking part in Rudy’s Run to raise money for such an amazing charity.
Last year we were open throughout the pandemic and went above and beyond to offer our parents the flexibility and care that they all required. We found that Christmas was going to be a challenge and felt the children in our setting still needed a magical experience.
With Sam being diagnosed with terminal cancer, we wanted to do a little something to show her that we were here for her and would support her along the way. At the time, St Barnabas had already been amazing to the family, so we decided we would take on St Barnabas Rudy’s Run.
So, in December 2020 we set about organising a memberable experience. Rudy Reindeer came for a social distanced visit to Puddleducks, which the children loved, before we set upon our challenge. For two weeks we did various runs, walks, dances and prancing, but most importantly we had fun.
We also ran various competitions like colouring, word searches and quizzes. Every child had the opportunity to make reindeer food, reindeer biscuits and reindeer treats. St Barnabas provided each duckling with a red nose and antlers, whilst my husband made Rudy run medals for all of the children.
The challenges were then set, and everyone was so excited about the adventure ahead of us. Every under 5-year-old did a mile, with some doing even longer. The older ducklings even ran 5km after school!
Over the two weeks we would set off in the mornings to our local park to follow a course. We had lots of cheers and donations along the way, which really made the children beam with delight. Alongside this we had set up a JustGiving page where we managed to raise £2,095. This absolutely blew us all away! The children loved checking the growing amount every morning and reading the lovely messages of support that we received.
We had a Christmas dinner with crackers and all the trimmings, and a visit from Santa. We also played party games and sang Christmas songs. Every duckling thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience and talked about Rudy’s Run for ages.
To finish I would like to share a statement from Sam’s amazing daughter Jess:
“Earlier on this year, heaven gained a beautiful angel – my mum and Oscars grandma – Samantha Gibbins. Throughout her fight, she was surrounded by the most amazing people who supported and fought with her. Puddleducks accepted Oscar as one of their little ducklings, as they did previously with Mum’s youngest daughter, Abi. Puddleducks have shown such compassion and support, by raising money and completing charity events for St Barnabas. Rudy’s Run was the first event last Christmas, which was a sponsored run with all the children. The money raised was overwhelming and made my mum extremely proud. It helped her to remain positive and strong throughout her cancer journey. As a family we are eternally proud and grateful of the work Puddleducks have done and continue to do.”
Please sign up for Rudy’s Run this year! It’s for an absolutely amazing cause. At Puddleducks, we are planning our fundraiser in memory Sam Gibbins this year and hope to raise lots of money for St Barnabas Hospice.
To sign up, visit www.stbarnabashospice.co.uk/rudysrun-2021