The Three Peaks climb in memory of Grimsby nurse 'with heart of gold' who died from sepsis

Beverley Smith was described as a very kind person and a respected nurse
-Credit: (Image: Supplied)


A Grimsby nurse with a "heart of gold" sadly died last year, but her legacy of kindness has been carried forward by colleagues who raised money for charity in her name.

Beverley Smith died in October, aged 61, from sepsis - a serious complication of infections that kills five people every hour in the UK, according to the charity The UK Sepsis Trust. To raise awareness of sepsis and funds for the charity, a group of colleagues and friends completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge on June 1 and raised £6,105.

Gemma Short, 38, lead nurse at SLC Medical Group (formerly known as Scartho Medical Centre) said she was heading a vaccination centre during the pandemic when she met Beverley, and all the healthcare staff and volunteers became very close. "It kind of made us a family, we were all working together and got to know each other," Gemma said.

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Following Beverley's tragic death, Gemma floated fundraising ideas, including the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge, and got an overwhelming response. "Bev was really well respected and everybody wanted to get onboard and do something and help," she said.

The group formed a walking group called 'Bev's Happy Hikers' and meet about twice a month. Colleagues from the vaccination team and SLC Medical Group, including GPs, nurses, healthcare assistants, the management team, as well as friends and family, took on the challenge and they were helped by around 11 'support crew' who provided refreshments at pit-stops on the 24-mile round route.

The walking group ' Bev's Happy Hikers' scale the Yorkshire Three Peaks for The UK Sepsis Trust
The walking group ' Bev's Happy Hikers' scale the Yorkshire Three Peaks for The UK Sepsis Trust -Credit:Supplied

Remembering Beverley as a woman with a "heart of gold", Gemma said: "She was very well-presented, really happy, very kind. She was compassionate, she was just a pleasure to work alongside. You could talk to her about anything, she was always interested and always wanted to be there for people.

"From talking to other people who have worked with Bev for a long time, everybody had a lot of respect for her. When you meet some people in life, you just know they are good, genuinely lovely people who would do anything for anybody - she was like that."

The team trained and walked together in memory of Beverley Smith and to raise funds for chairty
The team trained and walked together in memory of Beverley Smith and to raise funds for chairty -Credit:Supplied

Posting on the Just Giving page after the successful challenge on June 1, Gemma wrote: "I’m so proud and inspired by everyone that took part, we had so many laughs along the way. Thank you to our amazing support crew who kept us going, we couldn’t have done it without you.

"Truly humbled by the support and kindness people have shown with donations, raffle prizes, etc - it really is incredible and we are truly grateful. We hope that the money raised will help in the fight against sepsis in memory of the lovely Bev."

The key sepsis symptoms everyone should be aware of
The key sepsis symptoms everyone should be aware of -Credit:Sepsis Trust

Gemma said people's generosity had been "overwhelming" and she thanked Swales Butchers for providing bacon and sausages for the walk, Old Clee Bakery for providing bread, and Tesco for donating water and bananas.

Sepsis accounts for 48,000 deaths annually in the UK which is more than breast, bowel, and prostate cancer put together. "I've been a nurse for a very long time and I've worked in A&E. I've seen sepsis and I've seen the devastation it causes," said Gemma. "I don't think people realise how serious it can be."