Meet the school community raising money for palliative care charity

Llanishen High is supporting City Hospice who must raise £2m every year to provide end of life care to patients and support their families

Llanishen High School staff and alumni are running the Cardiff Half Marathon to raise money for City Hospice, a Cardiff-based palliative care charity. 

A total of eight staff and 12 alumni are aiming to raise £6,000 for City Hospice.

Left to right – Teaching assistant Kaytee Purbrick, PE teacher Kieran McGuire, head of well-being Julie Purbrick, head of PE Harry Trelawny, teaching assistant Emma Gould, PE teacher Gareth Emanuel, headteacher Sarah Parry, rugby hub officer George Ivins

Some members of the Llanishen High community have poignant reasons for running the Half Marathon and raising money for the charity.

Julie Purbrick, head of the well-being centre at Llanishen High, is running the event in memory of her mum Ann Bartlett and sister Jacqui Walsh who were cared for by City Hospice after their terminal cancer diagnoses.

Mrs Purbrick, 45, said: “City Hospice is an absolutely amazing charity.

“My mum and sister were looked after brilliantly by the same two nurses. They liaised with the doctors, sorted their medication and arranged everything to be done at home.

“It really helps take the weight off your shoulders.”

Julie’s sister Jacqui Walsh
Julie’s mum Ann Bartlett

City Hospice cares for people in Cardiff diagnosed with terminal cancer, dementia, motor neurone disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or other life-limiting illnesses in their own homes.

The charity also offers essential support to affected families, like the bereavement counselling Ms Purbrick received.

“I can’t explain in words how much help they have given me,” said Mrs Purbrick.

“It doesn’t matter how long ago my mum or sister passed away, I can ring City Hospice and there will always be someone there to talk too. It’s amazing.”

Mrs Purbrick will be joined by her 19-year-old daughter for the half marathon (see left).

Llanishen High alumni Sam Fenton, 24, is running the half marathon in memory of his dad Mike and his nan Pauline who were both looked after by City Hospice.

Mr Fenton, now studying to be a teacher at Southampton University, said: “It’s amazing that Llanishen High School are supporting City Hospice and I’m looking forward to being part of the team with teachers, staff and alumni all running for the charity which is so close to our hearts.

“I can’t wait to run the Cardiff Half again. I last ran it in 2018 just after we lost my dad.

Sam Fenton with his nan Pauline and dad Mike

“I was part of the LHS to Patagonia Challenge last year which raised over £6,000 for the hospice and I know how important the fundraising is to support families like us.

The Patagonia Challenge saw pupils, alumni, parents and people of the wider community run, walk, cycle, skate or scoot 12,000 kilometres, the equivalent of travelling to Patagonia.

“It’s such an amazing school and I’m proud to be part of the alumni,” said Mr Fenton.

Sam Fenton on the last day of Llanishen High’s Patagonia challenge

City Hospice has been particularly important since the pandemic began and demand for their services increased.

By caring for patients at home wherever possible it means there’s no risk of people getting separated from their loved ones due to hospital visiting restrictions.

City Hospice need support now more than ever.

When the pandemic began, and with the help of Welsh Government funding, the charity expanded its bereavement support to anyone in Cardiff who lost a loved one. The charity are continuing to offer this service, but need support.

Photo: City Hospice

Nicky Piper, Corporate Relationship Manager of City Hospice, is responsible for their team of 50 runners taking part in the Cardiff Half.

Mr Piper said: “It’s amazing that Llanishen High School have got a team of 20 teachers, staff and alumni all running the Cardiff Half in aid of our charity.

“Their fundraising in the last year has been incredible and we are so grateful for their continued support.

“The money they raise goes directly to provide care for our patients facing a terminal illness and support for their families.

“It’s going to be a great day. Look out for the bright green City Hospice vests and give them a cheer!”

The Cardiff Half Marathon returns after a two year Covid absence on the 27 March (Photo: Cardiff Half Marathon)

Headteacher of Llanishen High Sarah Parry said: “I am delighted to be taking part in the Cardiff half marathon as part of our staff and alumni group.

“It is a privilege to support this charity that provides such vital care for so many people in our school and local community.”

The school has chosen City Hospice as their charity for the year.

Mrs Purbrick said: “City Hospice being the school’s charity is such a lovely thing. There’s a brilliant sense of community as the school comes together to support the charity.”

City Hospice receive 1,200 referrals every year and look after around 550 people at any given time.

The Cardiff Half Marathon takes place on the Sunday the 27 March.

So far, £702 has been raised by Llanishen High. You can donate here.