North East Connected

Scaling new heights for Hospice

An Otterburn woman has taken on the challenge of a lifetime and raised over £5,000 for Tynedale Hospice at Home in her mum’s memory.

Diana Gilbertson, 28, from Otterburn, embarked on a five-day trek to Nepal in November climbing to altitudes of 3,400 metres before spending two days volunteering at a Hospice in Kathmandu.

Thanks to her incredible efforts she has raised £5,305.73 to support the work of Tynedale Hospice at Home which provides palliative nursing care to people in their own homes, Family Support Services and a Hospital Transport Service to people living in Tynedale, West Northumberland, Ponteland and the surrounding areas.

Diana, who works on the family farm and helps in the family timber haulage business, took on the challenge in memory of her mum Gill who sadly died in November 2013 at home surrounded by her family.   Gill received nursing care in the home from the Hospice.

She said: “When mum was ill and was told she only had a short time left to live she knew she didn’t want to die in hospital. She really wanted to come home and be amongst family and friends in familiar surroundings.

“She still needed specialist care though, but the fact that we are so rural made it hard to find the right support.  It was the hospital that put us in touch with the Hospice.  I had never heard of them before that but I’m so glad we found out about its services.  Within weeks of the initial referral the wonderful hospice nurses were providing overnight support whilst we got some much needed rest.  They were extremely supportive, compassionate and professional, and it was only because of their help that we were able to fulfil Mum’s wish to die at home.  Their support made it easier for us all.

“When I heard about the Nepal Trek I knew it would be fantastic way to raise funds in mum’s memory.  It was beyond my wildest dreams that I would take part in something like this and then actually complete it.

“It was certainly was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done but I loved every moment of the experience, it was just amazing.  Even on the toughest days though I just kept in mind the reason I was doing it – to enable me to give something back to the Hospice.  Being able to raise funds which allow other families to benefit from Tynedale Hospice at Home’s incredible care means so much to me.

‘’I am overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of all the people who have sponsored me. It has made the whole experience even more worthwhile.’

Laura Elliott, fundraising manager, Tynedale Hospice at Home, said: “I am always in awe at the lengths people will go to support us and Diana’s amazing challenge and commitment to raising funds for our Hospice is fantastic.  It costs £30 to provide one hour of nursing care so this donation could pay for an incredible 176 hour of nursing care to someone that needs it.”

If you’re inspired to take on a challenge like Diana, Tynedale Hospice at Home has a whole range of opportunities on offer through their ‘Life List’  of challenges, including a one day trip to the Lake District to take on the famous Via Ferrata on 21 April.  

To find out more, visit or call Cathy Bates on 01434 606 444.

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