Stride into spring with Hospiscare’s 100 miles in may

Hospiscare has announced a new fundraising challenge taking place this spring, 100 Miles in May, inviting people to complete 100 miles of activity to raise vital funds for local people living with a terminal illness.

The new fundraiser encourages people of all ages to make every mile count, including children, and participants can take part in any way they choose; whether walking, running, cycling, swimming, rolling, rowing, or a combination of activities – everyone is welcome to participate at their own pace and in their own way.

The idea for 100 Miles in May – The Julie Conway Memorial Challenge, originated from Hospiscare supporter Sam Partridge after her sister, Julie, died in July 2023 from aggressive Bile Duct Cancer.

Julie spent her final days on Hospiscare’s specialist ward at Searle House in Exeter with Sam and her family by her side.

Sam explains: “In the run up to her diagnosis, Julie was being looked after at the RD&E. It was after she was rushed to ICU for further tests that her devastating diagnosis was confirmed. The heartbreaking part was that by the time we knew what she was fighting, she was no longer conscious.

“My family vowed to not leave her side as we were told she only had hours left. We were sleeping on the cold hospital floor by her bedside; however, Julie defied all expectations and three days later, she was still hanging in there.

“It was at this point we were introduced to the Hospiscare team, they wanted to relocate Julie to their specialist ward. We were scared, the word ‘hospice’ seemed so daunting. We knew we were facing the inevitable but moving to a hospice felt so final.

“Our unease was quickly swept away. The staff were amazing, and the environment was a breath of fresh air after long days and nights in the sterile hospital environment. The staff not only cared for Julie, but they also cared for us; offering support and counselling to get us through the dark moments, along with a homely backdrop and beautiful gardens -­ it really soothed our souls during such an awful time.

“We slept well, ate proper cooked food and most importantly, were able to stay with Julie right to the end. She took her final breath a couple of days later - each and every one of us surrounded her, reminding her how much we loved her as she slipped away and we are all eternally grateful to Hospiscare for that.

“Julie was a very active person and loved tennis, a couple of weeks before her diagnosis, she was plotting how to get out of hospital and watch the Grand Slam. I wanted to find a way to honour Julie’s memory every year, and to help ensure Hospiscare could be there for other people and their families. That’s when I came up with ‘100 Miles in May’, May being Julie’s birth month.”

Participants are asked to try and raise a minimum of £60 in sponsorship to help Hospiscare continue supporting almost 2,000 terminally ill patients and their families each year across Exeter, Central and East Devon. With just 24% of the charity’s care funded by the NHS, they rely heavily on fundraising to support their services.

Tori Vince, events manager at Hospiscare, said “We’re so grateful to supporters like Sam who help raise awareness of our services and find new ways to fundraise. It’s a real honour to launch 100 miles in May in memory of Julie, the last 12 months have been particularly difficult for Hospiscare due to rising costs and a £2.5million funding deficit, which has unfortunately resulted in cuts to our services, so we’re asking everyone to support this new virtual event.”

Visit to find out more or sign up to 100 Miles in May.