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In Memory of Eric Roberts

"The care, love and compassion given tomy Dad, from all the staff at Eden ValleyHospice, at this sad time, was amazing." Christine Southam

In the autumn of 2018 Eden Valley Hospice began to provide care, support and compassion to Eric Roberts, his family and friends.

Eric’s daughter Christine Southam explained,

“Some of you may never have had anything to do with Eden Valley Hospice and our family didn’t until September 2018. Our Dad and Grandad was poorly with heart failure. He became really poorly at home and it became a struggle.

“Eric was admitted into the hospice, it was like someone had put a massive pair of loving arms around our family. Everyday his needs were met from the most compassionate staff to the end of his life. We will never forget the day that he was able to go outside in his bed. He loved the outdoors and the fact that he was able to go outside in the autumn sunshine will stay with us forever.

“The care, love and compassion given to my Dad, from all the staff at Eden Valley Hospice, at this sad time was amazing. It’s such a lovely place, they do such fantastic work looking after their patients’ families. We will be forever grateful to Eden Valley Hospice.

“Eric you were an amazing husband, Dad you were a brilliant role model and Grandad, you will be our hero forever.”

Following Eric’s care at Eden Valley Hospice his family and friends embarked on a year long fundraising challenge to say thank you for the care and support they received.

Eric’s daughter Nicola Jackson added,

“My Dad spent the last twenty days of his life at the hospice. While he was there he kept asking my Mum to take the cheque book in so he could pay for his care! The week after he passed away, there was an article in the local newspaper which said how much a one night inpatient stay costs in the hospice.

“We worked out that Dad’s outstanding care would have cost £8,694 and as a family we decided to try and raise at least that amount of money. With the help of amazing friends and work colleagues we have undertaken lots of different running, cycling and swimming challenges and a variety of fundraising during 2019.”

Eric’s family and friends have shared their experiences of a year of fundraising in aid of the hospice, which included 338.6 miles of running, 4.2 miles of swimming, 468 miles of cycling and many, many more miles of training.

During the year of fundraising in 2019, the family and friends of the late Eric Roberts raised £13,000 in aid of Eden Valley Hospice. Eric’s family were invited to switch the lights on during our special Light Up a Life service in the hospice grounds.

 Kathryn, Eric’s daughter

“On the 27 July I took part in the Lakeland 50 (LL50)which was my biggest running challenge to date. I was so lucky to spend many of my training runs and LL50 races with some of my fellow DH Runners buddies who were also running the L L 50/100.

“And now the very best bit was running into the finishing marquee in Coniston, loads of our club members and Matthew all hysterical with excitement.

“I had done myself proud, but more important knowing that I would h ave done my beautiful Dad proud. It was truly one of the best days ever.”

 Emily Jackson, Eric’s granddaughter

“My challenge was running my first half marathon - the Great North Run. In the past I’ve struggled with my own health care. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone.

“This was a big challenge for me but throughout the day I thought about my hero, my Grandad, who always believed in me. I crossed the finish in 2 hours 58 minutes with the support of my Mum and Helen. I said I would never run that distance again but who knows...”

 Nicola Jackson, Eric’s daughter, and Helen Cupac, family friend.

“Ride London is a 100 mile cycling event that started as a legacy event after the London Olympics in 2012. It is an iconic event starting at the Olympic Park, cycling through the streets of London to the hills of Surrey which were made famous during the long distance cycling events at the Olympics.

“Neither of us had ever ridden 100 miles before, or anywhere near that distance, so taking part, felt like a real personal challenge, whilst taking part in an amazing cycling event, and raising money for Eden Valley Hospice.

“To have the opportunity to take part in such an amazing event with 25,000 other cyclists was just amazing. Many of those cycling were raising money for different charities and it was quite emotional listening to people talk about their own personal reasons for taking part in the event. Riding through London on closed roads felt so surreal and finishing on The Mall with Buckingham Palace in front of us was an emotional experience.”