Fundraising family step up for hospice charity

Lockdown exercises raise money for John Taylor Hospice.

A kind-hearted family has embarked upon on a series of fundraising challenges to raise vital funds for John Taylor Hospice and Motor Neurone Disease Association to thank the charities for providing much-needed care for their dad.

Last year, Birmingham dad-of-two Keith Booth, 65, was diagnosed with motor neurone disease – a terminal and progressive neurological condition for which there is no cure. His family are so grateful for the care he has been receiving they are aiming to raise thousands of pounds for the charities through a host of different fundraising activities – all at their homes during lockdown.

“We were devastated when we got the news that our wonderful Dad was diagnosed with MND and it turned our lives upside down,” explained Keith’s daughter Gemma Jackson, 33.

“We have been overwhelmed with support from friends and family and are also lucky enough to have some incredible help from charities. While NHS care has been second to none, we could not have got through the last few months without the additional support from the incredible palliative care team at John Taylor Hospice who regularly check in on Dad and provide advice, resources, comfort and support for all the family.”

To show their appreciation, Keith’s family and friends have pledged to take on a series of fundraising challenges over the next year – with money raised being shared equally between John Taylor Hospice and Motor Neurone Disease Association).

Gemma added: “Since Dad has always been a keen sportsman and extremely fit and healthy, my brother Chris and I felt that the most fitting way to raise money in his honour was to have 12 months of fundraising by doing various fitness and sporting challenges and roping in as many friends and family as we can!

“Lockdown meant we had to change the plans for our first challenge so instead we asked family and friends to complete 5km however they wanted. We’ve not only hit our £2,000 target but we’ve surpassed it by over 50% which is incredible and we’re so grateful to everyone who is getting behind us, donating and sharing our story. We never thought we would be in this position and we hope that the money raised can help to prevent other families having to face the same situation in the future.”

Emily Boate, Community and Events Fundraising Manager at John Taylor Hospice, said: “We can’t begin to thank Keith’s family and friends enough for their inspiring fundraising and super show of support for our hospice. We wish them every success with their year-long fundraising efforts and can’t wait to see what they have planned next!

“Like so many charities, we have seen a large drop in fundraising income during the coronavirus pandemic and have had to cancel or postpone events. But we never fail to be amazed by the creativity, commitment and kindness of people like Keith’s family and are so grateful to anyone fundraising at home to raise vital money for hospice care – as right now we really do need your help more than ever.”

Keith’s friends and family have shown it’s fun and simple to fundraise from home and the John Taylor Hospice Fundraising Team has put together a virtual challenge to encourage everyone to have a go.

Emily added: “If you’re looking for a way to show your support for John Taylor Hospice then step up and sign up for this summer’s hottest virtual challenge – Sunset Steps!

“Challenge yourself to clock up 10,000 steps every day before sunset and you decide the time, the pace and the place. You can do your steps indoors or outdoors, for week or a month, and you can run, walk or dance your way to your daily step target.”

You can find out more about Sunset Steps and sign up here. To sponsor Keith’s family in their fundraising efforts visit JustGiving.