When Jack Carter, age 76, saw a Hospiscare Men’s Walk 2017 leaflet at the Citizens’ Advice Exeter office, he was keen to sign up. The Men’s Walk would go from Double Locks to Turf Hotel and back again, and at the end there would be a pint and a pasty waiting along with a Six Nations Rugby game on the big screen. But Jack decided against joining in because he thought no one would sponsor him, and the whole point of the event was to raise money for local charity Hospiscare.
Then, on a daily walk recommended by his doctor ever since a heart attack in 2006, he had a change of thinking.
Jack says: “I decided to do the Men’s Walk in memory of my wife, Jan. When Jan wasn’t getting better an oncology nurse at the RD&E recommended we get in touch with Hospiscare. Then our family doctor said ‘if you can keep Jan at home it’s far better’, so we made an appointment to meet a Hospiscare Community Nurse.”
Community Nurse Specialist, Janet Mackay, became the Carter’s regular Hospiscare Nurse, going to their home and helping Jack and Jan get through some very dark days, supporting them with medical issues and also lending a kind ear.
“The back-up was wonderful. Janet was so nice, she has a knack of getting you to open up and talk – it gets it off your chest. Jan thought she was wonderful too, although her name caused a lot of confusion in our house - too many ‘Janets’!”
So with the fond memories of both Janet and Jan, it was easy for Jack to change his mind and register for the Men’s Walk: “It was 8 miles, all on the flat. I thought ‘this’ll be a piece of cake’, and I would be doing it for my wonderful wife.”
But Jack was still worried about not knowing anyone to sponsor him and he’d never done any fundraising before. “So I jotted down the names of my friends and family and asked each of them ‘Will you please sponsor me?’ and told them why I was doing it, which went well. Then I asked at Citizens’ Advice Exeter where I volunteer and had such a good response. So many of my colleagues sponsored me that before I knew it I had raised £1,050!”
Jack says he enjoyed the Men’s Walk immensely: “I felt proud to raise so much money for my wonderful wife – it’s a very, very good cause. Not only that, I somehow teamed up with another walker who was about my age, so I made a friend on the day too!”
There is such a variety of people supporting Hospiscare, Jack Carter is one of many special people who help keep the services running and developing.
To sign up for this year's Men's Walk on 17th March, click on the link below:
Hospiscare is a local adult hospice charity, providing free, high quality care and support to people with any type of terminal illness, and those close to them, in Exeter, Mid and East Devon. A gift to Hospiscare in your Will helps to ensure the future of the charity in Devon for generations to come.