Business manager

School business manager takes county hospice walk challenge

Pierre Neale

For the second time in less than a year, Peter Neale, from Cressage, near Shrewsbury, is taking up Severn Hospice’s challenge to take 10,000 steps a day.

Called Walking in Our Shoes, the challenge involves taking as many steps in May as one of the hospice nurses would during each shift on the ward.

Last September, Peter took part in the charity’s first-ever Walk in our Shoes fundraiser and took a staggering 423,000 steps, raising almost £1,000.

Now he’s put his walking shoes back on and is striding out.

At the start of the challenge, he took part in the Bridgnorth Walk and is now doing the walks.

The school’s business manager, who works at Thomas Adams School in Wem, is no stranger to fundraising for Severn Hospice.

His mother Rosemary was cared for by the charity at her hospice in Bicton, Shrewsbury, in the late 1990s and since then Peter and his family have collected hundreds of books.

“I have a thing for hospice,” Peter said. “They cared for my mother in the last months of her life and made such a difference for her and for us.

“At first she was diagnosed with breast cancer and then it came back much more vigorously. She died at the age of 64. I realize now how young it is.

“The care she received at the hospice was brilliant and we just couldn’t thank them enough for the way they looked after her. Since then I have done everything I can to raise funds for the hospice.

Peter is the first to admit that he hasn’t always had the most active life.

That was until his daughter Elizabeth gave him a Fitbit to wear and now there’s no stopping him.

Every day since July 2020, he has taken at least 10,000 steps.

He said: “Most of the time I walk my two dogs, Teddy, who is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and Rolo, who is a Jack Russell. So, I thought, why not combine that with fundraising for a charity so close to my heart? I’ve also just taken up running – thanks to my wife Rachel – and my friend Kevin recently gave me a bike, so I’m in really good shape!

Walk in our shoes runs all month of May. Participants can walk alone, in a group, with friends or even with their dog.

Jess Druce, from Severn Hospice’s fundraising team, said: “Walk in our Shoes has a remarkably simple message. Walk with us and show how much you care. Each day, a nurse on our services walks approximately 10,000 steps while providing loving, dignified and compassionate care.

“We were blown away last year by the response to the challenge and everyone who took part really enjoyed it. It raised over £10,000 which was amazing. Peter was a great motivator – we created a Facebook group and he encouraged everyone and was a brilliant supporter. We hope this year’s event will also be a success and people will enjoy it just as much.”

People can still sign up, and everyone who does will receive a t-shirt with a step tracker and, if they raise a minimum of £50, they’ll receive a bespoke medal.