Run-a-day nurse is a real tonic as he raises hundreds for hospice

Stephen Lowe
Stephen Lowe

A foot-slogging nurse has given a hospice’s funds a shot in the arm.

Stephen Lowe, 28, ran 5k every day last year - that’s a total of 1,825k - in aid of Derian House Children’s Hospice in Astley Village.

Stephen, of St Annes Road, Farington, Leyland, completed his final run in Edinburgh on New Year’s Eve.

He hopes to raise at least £1,000 from his efforts.

Stephen, who was born and raised in Croston - his parents June and Graeme live in Drinkhouse Road in the village - works as a nurse at Chorley Hospital.

His first run in the challenge was down the canal in Rufford on New Year’s Day last year.

Other runs have taken place on holiday abroad, in places such as Florida and Barcelona.

“I do a lot of sport and keep fit,” said Stephen.

“As part of my nurse training I did a placement at Derian House and saw how difficult it is for them to get money.

“They don’t get much funding from the government.

“I spent about 12 weeks at Derian House last summer. I just wanted to give something back because they do a great job there.”

Stephen said he had received lots of support, especially from his girlfriend Rachel Armitage, 24, who is from Rufford and works as a teacher in Southport.

“She’s been a great help and did some running with me,” he said.She was a bit surprised, though, when he got up late at night and got his running shoes on. It was 11pm, I was all tucked up in bed and it just came to me I hadn’t done a run,” he said.

“My girlfriend was wondering what was going on.”

Stephen and Rachel travelled up to Edinburgh to celebrate the New Year - and, of course, he rounded off 2015 with the last run of the year while he was there. He added: “You’d think it gets easier, but it gets harder. Your body gets drained from it.”

Stephen’s sterling, year-long efforts, will be much appreciated by bosses at Derian House, which needs to raise millions of pounds each year to carry on its dedicated work for children and their families from Lancashire and beyond.

The hospice is a charity and has a catchment area covering the whole of Lancashire and the South Lakes.

It currently supports more than 300 families who have a child or young adult suffering from a life-shortening condition, as well as providing bereavement support for a further 200 families.

The cost of maintaining the hospice and the services and facilities it offers, has risen over the years.

As a charity receiving minimal statutory funding, it continues to rely almost exclusively on its own efforts and the support of our friends in the community to raise the £3.3 million it will need this year to continue to fund its work.