Fundraisers support Compton Care in memory of late Wolverhampton MP

Daring fundraisers who battled a 140-mile charity trek are hoping their feat will pull in tens of thousands for people in need.

The team at Compton Hall ahead of their challenge
The team at Compton Hall ahead of their challenge

Brendon Turner called on his friends to help raise cash for Compton Care in memory of his late dad Lord Bilston Dennis Turner.

He is now hoping residents will support the cause by helping fundraisers reach their £16,000 target for the hospice.

Mr Turner, who led the team, said: “We were really impressed with Compton Care and the care and dedication they showed to my dad.

“I am just keeping my dad’s memory alive in a positive way, whilst at the same time helping out a really caring and important charity.

“No wage or salary would have been enough to repay the love and affection shown by the nurses from Compton Care."

Lord Bilston Dennis Turner, who died in 2015

The challenge, which took place last weekend, saw fundraisers carry two Compton Care staff members from Swansea to Wolverhampton without their feet touching the ground.

Nurse specialist Debbie Smith and marketing manager Grace Lee were transported on the back of a tandem, on a stretcher and in a canoe for the challenge dubbed 'The Lord Bilston Big Challenge: Carry the Load'.

It was the third time Mr Turner launched himself into a fundraiser in honour of his father, who was cared by the hospice after his cancer diagnosis in 2014.

The former Labour MP for Wolverhampton South East died aged 71 in February 2015.

Mr Turner said: "The message of the ride was that we know staff at Compton Care carry a load for so many people at the most stressful and sad times, and that can be really difficult.

“They give people so much help and comfort, and they make it as painless as possible for those going through such a tough experience, just as we were with my dad.

“So on this occasion we 'carried the load’ for the members of staff from Compton, all the way back from Swansea to Wolverhampton.”

Participants cycled from Swansea carrying the Compton Care staff in a trailer attached to the back of a tandem.

An eight-mile hike followed, which saw the pair carried on a stretcher, on the tandem, and then in the back of a canoe down the River Wye.

Fundraisers then got back on their bicycles as they pedalled from Hay-on-Wye, Wales, to Wolverhampton.

Ms Lee said: "Brendon and the rest of the Lord Bilston Big Challenge team have been fantastic supporters of Compton Care, always pushing themselves to the limit to help raise essential funds so we can continue to deliver extraordinary care for local people living with incurable illnesses.

“When Brendon first approached us with the ‘carry the load’ idea for this year’s challenge we were so impressed and really moved by the sentiment and motivation behind it.

"It is true to say that Compton carries and guides people through their experiences of life with an incurable condition, and so we’re touched that the group want to give something back in such a thoughtful and imaginative way."

A total of 77 visits from nurses working at the Compton Road West-based hospice to patients in their homes could be funded if the fundraising target is met.

Compton Care, formerly Compton Hospice, supports people living with a complex, long term or incurable condition across the Black Country, Staffordshire and Shropshire.

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