Back in 2013 I was on the most insane 'around the world' travelling journey. However, in April 2014 whilst living my absolute dream in New Zealand, I had a horrendous and heartbreaking phone call from my mum asking me to return home. My wonderful Granny had fallen ill and was unfortunately losing her fight to Cancer. I ended my trip that day and returned home immediately.
Gran had recorded each of my flights, my weekly location, the friends I had met.. EVERYTHING. Without me knowing she had created a lovely travel journal for me, and together we sat for hours looking through it all as I showed her (endless) photos.
Not long after returning, I had turned into a carer alongside other family members as my beautiful Granny was sadly deteriorating. We completely gave our everything, from pain management, personal care and assisting with social care. I didn't even feel like a granddaughter anymore, I was a carer and it was hard, but that's where Joseph Weld Hospice came to give their helping hands.
Gran was given a lovely room where she could watch the birds out of the window. They provided my Granny with comfort, family time and independence. They catered to every single extreme request of mine; "please may I wash her hair" "please may we sit in the garden" "please may we have some pink lemonade and raspberry jam." They even allowed me to sleep in her room on a camp-bed for 2 weeks and offered me breakfast so I could eat with her. The staff at Joseph Weld went beyond the level of care we originally assumed. They turned me from her carer back into a granddaughter for the last couple of weeks and I will forever be extremely grateful beyond words. Their love, patience, care and commitment is outstanding.
A few days before the very sad end, Gran told me where she had kept the travel diary she had made of my trip and she made me pinky promise her I would complete it one day.
So here I am, 6 years later returning to New Zealand to complete my trip in aid of raising money for the outstanding Joseph Weld Hospice. On September 1st 2020 I will be returning to New Zealand and walking the Te Araroa Trail. A 3000km (1900 mile) route stretching the entire length of both islands from Cape Reinga in the North Island to Bluff in the South. Hiking beaches, mountains, volcanoes, rivers, roads and forests, I will be walking 20-22 miles a day for 100 days with my life on my back (May I also note, it takes most people 4-5 months to complete and I can't even walk up the stairs without panting!)
Only 21% of Joseph Weld funds are provided by the NHS and the rest are donations, yet the staff the gardens, the entire hospice is so positive and comforting. Please help me allow other grandchildren, children, family members and friends say goodbye in the most kindest, most beautiful environment possible by donating as much or as little as you wish 😊
Feel free to follow my adventure on Instagram from my training to my trip, or even just be super bloody wonderful and share my page!
Thank you for reading.