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More than thirty primary school teachers and staff are taking on Ashgate Hospicecare’s Sparkle Night Walk together in memory of their friend and colleague who died in the charity’s care.
The 31-strong team from Mary Swanwick Primary School are swapping the classroom for the sparkling streets of Chesterfield on September 25th as they hope to raise money to help fund Ashgate’s “outstanding” care.
They’re taking on the fundraiser in memory of Claire Sivorn, a former Teaching Assistant at the school, who died in Ashgate’s care earlier this year, aged 55.
Claire had planned to marry her partner, Craig, in Edinburgh this month, but when her cancer made her progressively more ill, doctors advised the couple to cancel their special day.
However, Ashgate was able to step in to help arrange the pair’s wedding at an earlier date in April, so they got to tie the knot before Claire died just weeks later.
Her best friend and fellow Teaching Assistant, Becky Jackson, will join 30 others from Mary Swanwick in taking on the 10km route in tribute to Claire, whilst helping fund care for future families who need the hospice’s support.
The 50-year-old, from Woodthorpe, said: “We wanted to say thank you for everything Ashgate did for Claire and her family at the end of her life.
“Not only was the care she received outstanding, but the hospice went above and beyond to arrange her and Craig’s wedding. It was such a special day; something me, Claire’s friends and family will be able to cherish for ever.
“Claire was so caring, selfless and incredibly hard working. She worked for nearly 20 years at Mary Swanwick Primary School and was an incredibly talented artist; her artwork is still proudly on display throughout our school.
“She put everyone before herself, so we wanted to do something special in her memory. We all can’t wait to take part and are hoping to raise some much-needed funds for such a fantastic and worthwhile cause.”
Claire spent six weeks on the Ashgate’s Inpatient Unit before receiving the hospice’s support at home when she died on 6th May with her family by her side. Meanwhile, Craig and her children have received counselling from the charity’s Supportive Care team in recent months.
The team from Mary Swanwick Primary School are among more than a thousand participants to have signed up for the return of Ashgate’s Sparkle Night Walk this September.
Previously, the event, sponsored by Vertu Toyota, has taken place in July, but the charity has pushed back the date this year in light of the ongoing roadmap out of lockdown.
Ashgate hopes the new September date will allow the hospice to hold a socially distanced event while ensuring the safety of its supporters, volunteers and the local community.
Carl Jones, Fundraising Manager at Ashgate Hospicecare, said: “It’s so wonderful to hear Becky and her team from Mary Swanwick Primary School are coming together to take on our Sparkle Night Walk in memory of Claire.
“I’m glad our incredible team was able to be there for Claire and her family at the end of her life; it’s thanks to fantastic fundraisers like Becky and the team from Mary Swanwick that we’re able to be there for the families who need us most.
“We are really looking forward to welcoming back our supporters and seeing some familiar faces, as well as those new supporters taking part for the first time. We hope you’ll consider joining the team from Mary Swanwick Primary School along the route this September!”
Ashgate is encouraging their local community to sign-up to the Sparkle Night Walk and help raise much needed money to fund the specialist end-of-life care they provide.
Like last year, a virtual option will also be offered, for those who would prefer to choose their own route and complete it separately.
To find out more about Ashgate Hospicecare’s Sparkle Night Walk and to register go to: www.sparklenightwalk.org.uk or call 01246 568801