East Cheshire Hospice Corporate Challenge

Written by: Rosie Lobley

The Spirit team had great fun taking part in East Cheshire Hospice’s Corporate Challenge, which tasks local businesses with turning an initial seed fund of £100 into as much money as they can throughout the month of May.

The much-loved Spirit Step Count Challenge saw team members walk a collective 2,101 miles: the distance between our office and Athens!  We did yoga; we learned how to bake brownies and draw cartoons; and the office-wide Eurovision Sweepstake acted as a kind of consolation for the UK’s performance (at least for Ben, who drew the winner). We rounded off the month with Jude’s Mega Movie Quiz, testing the team’s knowledge of movie trivia. We raised £550, which Spirit very kindly agreed to match, finishing with a whopping total donation to the hospice of £1,100.

All funds raised through the Corporate Challenge will go towards expanding East Cheshire Hospice’s much-needed bereavement services. The COVID-19 pandemic and the associated lockdown and social distancing measures have had a tangible effect on the ways in which people are able to grieve – speaking to the hospice’s website, bereavement services lead Helen Wilkinson explained: ‘People are more isolated and their grief compounded by restrictions, meaning they can’t hug, meet a friend, or catch up like they did. Some people try to squash down their emotions, or keep busy, before realising there’s a problem and they can’t cope. We’re seeing that now and the delayed reaction means we’re likely to see it in the future as well.

‘We encourage people to talk about it, be open and seek help. Everyone has different experiences and COVID and lockdown [have] heightened emotions. Some don’t want to bother ringing the doctor because there’s a pandemic while others feel isolated. Those grieving shouldn’t wear a mask metaphorically and friends, relatives and society can help by listening and offer empathy.  Bereavement is hard anyway.  Now more than ever, people are recognising the need for support.’