Weldmar's Director of Fundraising to take on a personal challenge

Weldmar's Director of Fundraising to take on a personal challenge

Published by Maria Greenwood at 8:18am 10th July 2020. (Updated at 8:19am 10th July 2020)

Weldmar Hospicecare's Director of Fundraising and Marketing is taking on a major challenge to raise funds for a cause very close to his heart.

Matt Smith will be doing a 24-hour Devon to Dorset walk. 

Matt has recently spent time at Weldmar's Inpatient Unit in Dorchester, as two of his much-loved family members were being cared for. 

Sadly, his aunt, Caroline passed away on 27th June.

Caroline and Matt
Matt with his Aunt Caroline.

Matt said it was all very quick for them as a family:

"She received the best possible care there, that she could have had at the end of her life.  

"She was made really comfortable, which was important for her, and for us as a family."

Six months earlier, in December 2019, his Grandad was also cared for by Weldmar, where he spent six days at IPU surrounded by his wife, daughters, grandchildren and family.

Matt started fundraising as a teenager when another one his family members spent their last days in the hospice in 2000.

He wanted to give something back, so started to grow vegetables and sold them on his doorstep, making £25.

matt devon to dorset

Nearly 20 years later, Matt's raised £1,200 on his online fundraising page, for his 'Devon to Dorset 24 hour' challenge, on memory of his aunt Caroline.

Matt said:

"I am very proud and privileged to be able to work for such an amazing charity, but as one of the Directors, I know just how difficult it is to raise funds at the moment, to enable us to continue providing these services completely free of charge, to everyone who needs it.

"Covid-19 has had a significant impact on income but the care continues. People still deserve to be treated with care, compassion, dignity and respect and now, more than ever, Weldmar Hospicecare needs our support."

On the first week of September, he'll be walking more than 40 miles, starting at Ladram Bay in Devon and finishing at Weldmar's IPU in Dorchester. 

Matt's aunt Caroline owned a caravan in Ladram Bay, where she loved to spend time and host family gatherings. 

Matt has set up a Just Giving Page for donations.