A Ramsgate insurance broker will be amongst the hundreds of people taking part in the Pilgrims Hospice A Night To Shine sponsored walk next month.
Naomi Eldridge, 29, a will walk 6 miles in memory of her mum, Joyce Waring, who was cared for at the Thanet hospice earlier this year.
Joyce was born in Staffordshire but later in life, after meeting Naomi’s dad Cliff, they relocated to the seaside; first to Margate and then to Ramsgate. She worked as a nanny and a cleaner and then became a housewife.
Naomi said: “My mum was a loving person; her love was endless, she was loyal and would do anything for anyone. She enjoyed boot fairs, online bingo and charity shopping – she loved a bargain.
“Mum was also a huge animal lover, she especially loved cats. She loved a good laugh and would try her best to tell jokes, but would get the punch line wrong – which always made us laugh more than what the joke would have done!
“I really miss my mum. She wasn’t just my mum; she was my best friend who I could talk to about anything and everything.”
Joyce had Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and was in Pilgrims’ care to help her manage her illness. Naomi said: “Mum said this was the first time in a long time that she’d felt understood, she was very grateful for the help Pilgrims gave her.
“She made friends with the Pilgrims nurses and care teams and she felt safe. When visiting Mum, we all felt welcome, and the support given was extended to us as a family. Pilgrims helped us to understand Mum’s symptoms and breathing attacks so that we could help her as best we could.”
Joyce passed away on 9 June, aged 71. Naomi said: “Since Mum’s passing, Pilgrims has continued to provide us with help and support. I’ve had counselling to help me through this heart-breaking time.”
Naomi and her husband, Ben, have chosen to take on Pilgrims’ 6-mile A Night to Shine sponsored walk in Broadstairs on September 22. They’re walking in memory of Joyce and to raise vital funds and awareness for local hospice care. Thanks to donations from family and friends, they’ve already raised nearly £300.
Naomi said, “Pilgrims means the world to me. It brings me so much comfort knowing Mum received loving care at the end of her life. She was listened to, understood and felt safe.
“I want to continue supporting Pilgrims and the amazing work they do, which is why I’m taking part in A Night to Shine. I want others to know about the help available through Pilgrims. It will be an honour.”
You can sponsor Naomi by visiting justgiving.com/fundraising/naomi-eldridge
If you’re feeling inspired and would like to follow in Naomi’s footsteps, sign up now for A Night to Shine in Ashford, Broadstairs or Canterbury. Choose a 3 or 6-mile sponsored walk; entry is £15 for adults and £12 for under 18s, under 3s go free. Entry includes t-shirt, torch, medal and memory lantern for you to personalise with your own message or design.