“Without EACH, George wouldn’t have been able to play and his life would have ended in a hospital bed – not somewhere he found genuine joy” – dad David is raising funds and awareness by signing up for Pier 2 Pier Norfolk

A determined dad has signed up for a gruelling coastal trek to raise funds and awareness for the children’s hospice that cared for his four-year-old son.

David Radcliffe is taking on the mammoth challenge in memory of little George, who was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma (a soft tissue tumour) in May 2022.

He was referred to East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) the following Spring and died at the organisation’s Milton base last October.

Now, as a way of raising funds and helping “remove the stigma” of children’s hospices, David is set to tackle EACH’s popular Pier 2 Pier walk – a 32-mile trek along the Norfolk Coastal Path, from Cromer to Great Yarmouth, in June.

He is being joined by 21 friends as part of ‘Team George’. Friends and family visited George at Milton and were “blown away” by the facility and “incredible humans” who work there.

“EACH is a place I’d recommend to any parents in our situation,” said David, a director at Cambridge-based sales and lettings company Radcliffe and Rust, which is part of EACH’s Business Circle.

“Not just for the care delivered, but because it’s a place where children play and have fun, where their medical needs are a priority but the children feel that living life is an equal priority.

“People can be reluctant, because they think it only means one thing – end of life.

“However, it’s about so much more and we want to spread that message, to help remove the stigma of a children’s hospice.

“To be honest, it’s probably more of a bloke thing – a stubbornness that ‘we don’t need that. That’s not for us’.

“However, without EACH, George wouldn’t have been able to play and his life would have ended in a hospital bed – not somewhere he found genuine joy.

“George thought all the staff were there for him because that’s how they made him feel. He called the staff his buddies.

“He had no idea who did which role, but it didn’t matter – everyone was there for us, regardless of their job title.”

David says he and wife Lisa, who has offered her services as a volunteer at Pier 2 Pier, will always be grateful for the support they received at Milton.

When the end came, he remembers staff created a “protective, respectful environment” for George.

“Of course, losing your child is horrific,” he said.

“However – and I never thought I’d say this – there’s a way for it to happen and EACH provided us with a protective, respectful environment for George. We had space.

“Even after he passed, we were given dinner and the nursing staff were there to make sure George was OK.

“They chatted and looked after us and we would have been lost without EACH.”

In his quest to give something back, David is gearing up for his Pier 2 Pier challenge and has also signed up for the London 100 bike ride, in May. He is alternating his training each week.

“When I read about Pier 2 Pier, I immediately got in touch with friends and set up a WhatsApp group,” he said.

“I thought it was a great focus for people who wanted to help and do something positive, but perhaps didn’t know how best to do that. They’re all very excited and feel compelled to give back, too.

“I don’t know why I thought doing two events in such quick succession was a good idea, given that I’m also doing the London 100.

“However, I’m hoping both things together might increase the amount I raise. That’s the plan. I will channel George’s strength and EACH’s selfless work.

“We want to continue helping and volunteering where we can, but also know how important it is to spread awareness.

“Milton isn’t just somewhere parents drop off children with complex health conditions, or where children go to die.

“It’s a very special place where children play and have fun and that’s why we’re so happy to be advocates.”

To show your support and sponsor David, head here.

The Norfolk Pier 2 Pier is among seven major events on the EACH events calendar for 2024.

New highlights include a Lego Walk and an eagerly-anticipated Newmarket Bubble Rush. Early-bird tickets, offering heavily discounted prices, are available until 31st January.

Notes to Editors

“EACH has made us all feel part of an extended family and, thanks to staff and fellow families, we’re not alone with problems. We always leave The Treehouse feeling positive, stronger and thankful.”

  • We care for children and young people with life-threatening conditions across Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk, and support their families.
  • We offer families flexibility and control over where they receive their care and support, including where their child dies – at home, in hospital or at one of three hospices at Milton (Cambridge), The Nook (Norfolk) and The Treehouse (Ipswich).
  • Our family-centred approach includes specialist nursing care, symptom management support, short breaks, wellbeing activities, therapies and counselling, all meeting the individual needs of the child, young person and whole family.
  • We are recognised as leaders in our field, with a reputation for excellence and commitment to pioneering development and innovation.
  • We rely on voluntary donations for the majority of our income and this year need to raise £5.8 million from fundraising and £6.5 million in income from our shops. The year before the pandemic we received just 16% of our total income from statutory sources.
  • EACH Royal Patron –Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales.
  • For more information about EACH, including forthcoming events and how you can help raise funds,visit each.org.uk or call our Suffolk fundraisers on 01473 917965.

Keep in touch:

www.each.org.uk
www.twitter.com/EACH_hospice
www.facebook.com/EACHhospices
www.instagram.com/eachhospices
www.linkedin.com/company/eachhospices


For further information about this release please contact:

Matt Plummer | Media and PR Manager | 07738 328058 | Matt.Plummer@each.org.uk

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