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A seven-year-old has set himself the challenge of cycling six miles across Chesterfield to Ashgate Hospice in memory of his grandmother who was cared for by the hospice.
Freddie Jack Gilding plans to ride from Wingerworth to Ashgate Hospice’s site in Old Brampton on Sunday 28th November with his dad, Lee Gilding.
The Cavendish Junior School pupil wanted to do something to support the charity’s Winter Appeal after his ‘nan nan’ Carole Jenkinson died in September, aged 60.
Carole, who had bone marrow cancer, received care at home and on the hospice’s Inpatient Unit.
Little Freddie says his grandmother Carole was his ‘best friend’ – and he hopes to raise as much money as possible through his fundraiser, so Ashgate can be there for people at the end of their lives through another difficult COVID winter.
Freddie, from Chesterfield, said: “My nan nan was my best friend but sadly she died in September. I want to raise money to help other people to be looked after like Ashgate Hospice did with my nan nan.
“The doctors and nurses cared for her when she needed it the most. They used to let her go in a special bath which had flashing lights and music. It was like a pool party for her!
“I’m excited to do the bike ride. My mummy, daddy, sister and friends are so proud of me. I just hope it isn’t snowing!”
When Carole was diagnosed with cancer in December 2020, she was tragically told that there was no treatment available for her illness.
Once her condition deteriorated, she accessed support and care from Ashgate’s Palliative Care Specialist Nurses, who helped get her pain under control.
During her time at the Inpatient Unit, Keri says her mum called it a ‘five-star hotel’ as the pair walked around the hospice’s ‘beautiful’ gardens together.
She added: “After mum’s diagnosis we were just told to make the most of the time we had left together. I just remember thinking: ‘how are you meant to live without your mum?’ I loved her so much and it broke my heart into a million pieces but I tried to stay strong for her and my two children.
“I’m just grateful that Ashgate was there to make life so much easier for us at a really difficult time. They would visit her at home and stay for hours listening to her, it didn’t matter if they had heard it before, we never felt rushed at all.
“The nurse, Helen Harrison, was absolutely fantastic with my mum, she would come out and see her to help get her pain relief under control – nothing was ever too much trouble. I just can’t thank them enough.”
Freddie’s mum, Keri Gilding, says she’s incredibly proud of her son – and praised Ashgate for the “impeccable” care that her mum received towards the end of her life.
Keri said: “Freddie and my mum were best friends, they absolutely idolised each other. Due to COVID, me and Freddie were the only people who could visit mum, so he saw first-hand how the hospice looked after his nan nan.
“They made him feel so welcome, the nurses had so much time for us and was so friendly it never felt like a hospital.
“I’m so proud of him wanting to do something to support Ashgate’s Winter Appeal in his nan nan’s memory – he’s a little star!”
Ashgate Hospice is currently calling for the urgent support of the community as the charity finds itself under increased pressure this winter due to coronavirus and winter flu circulating at the same time.
The hospice is asking the community to support its Winter Appeal and help it to get through the difficult months ahead – ensuring the hospice can continue to provide compassionate end of life care at a crucial time and support the wider health system as it did last year.
Have you been inspired by Freddie;s fundraiser? Click here to find out how you can support Ashgate Hospice.