Family and friends of 22-year-old cared for by St Ann’s Hospice take on the National Three Peaks Challenge and raise £7,082

Written by Mark Izard, supporter of St Ann’s Hospice

By Gemma Peers on August 22, 2023

My godson Adam Holland was cared for by St Ann’s Hospice at their Little Hulton site in 2020, where he died aged just 22. Adam lived within walking distance of the hospice and was diagnosed with cancer as we went into the first lockdown of the pandemic, and when no treatments were working effectively, he received end-of-life care at the hospice.

Due to the pandemic, only Adam’s mum Sam and step-dad Chris could go to visit him at the hospice, but all of Adam’s family and friends know how amazing the people at St Ann’s were for Adam.

My family and friends wanted to show their appreciation for St Ann’s Hospice, so we decided to embark on a challenge all together!

We’re so pleased to have raised over £7,000 by doing the National Three Peaks Challenge to help St Ann’s Hospice support more patients and families like they did for Adam.

Nothing was too much trouble for the St Ann’s staff in helping Adam, Sam and Chris, those at the hospice were always supportive and they made special arrangements to enable Adam to come home one last time to say his goodbyes to those very close to him. Mark Izard, Supporter

I live in Stockport so had heard of St Ann’s through their Heald Green site, but never had a personal connection until Adam was cared for. After Adam died I did the Swimathon where I swam 5k and raised money for Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie, but this time wanted to raise money for St Ann’s Hospice.

My brother sowed the seed “shall we complete the National Three Peaks” my reply was simple, “as long as we do it for charity (St Ann’s Hospice) then yes”. From there we asked other family members and friends, and we had an initial eight signed up for the challenge.

We all found it very difficult, physically and mentally demanding but found singing quirky songs such as Country Road “take me home” made the trek bearable. Plus, we were glad to have decided we were going to do it across three days instead of just 24 hours!

Our original target was to raise £4000, with each of us in the group having a £500 target to reach, this changed when two of the original group could not make it – however we still wanted the £4,000 target to remain.

We asked everyone we could for donations and shared Adam’s story to raise more money. We all took on different ways to increase our donations, with my wife and brother-in-law both doing raffles at work, my mum holding a coffee morning and Tuesday Fiver appeal on the last day of the challenge.

Before we even started the challenge, we had nearly reached our £4000 target! And then it was let’s try and get as much as possible for this worthy cause…

At the start of the challenge we drove up to Fort William to walk up Ben Nevis, then drove down to Scarfell for the second peak and finally to Snowden to complete the challenge.

When we’d finished the final peak we were all very much broken at the bottom! But it was lovely to be met by Sam, Chris and other family members to welcome us home.

Since completing the challenge, through social media and other channels more funds were raised, and we couldn’t all be happier that the final total raised for St Ann’s is over £7,000.

Some of us went to the Heald Green hospice a few weeks after our challenge to meet the staff and be presented with a cheque showing the amount we’d raised.

It was a touching moment to go to the hospice to meet staff and volunteers and see where our donations will be used towards the care of other patients as St Ann’s did for Adam. Mark Izard, Supporter

We’re all so grateful for the support we received when Adam was being cared for. It’s only when you or someone you know needs St Ann’s that you realise how much money is required to keep it running – £20,000 a day!

The money we’ve raised will help other patients and families and every little bit really does help. My wife and I would like to start volunteering at the Heald Green site, and originally I’d said “perhaps I’ll take a break next year from physical challenges and fundraising”. But after going into the hospice and seeing first-hand the care given and the gratitude given towards our fundraising – I may just jump out of a plane at 30,000 feet next year for St Ann’s and see how much money I can raise for that!