A rugby player from North Somerset has signed up to take part in the upcoming Men’s March for Weston Hospicecare after his dad received care from community nurses before he died.

Simon Rees from Winscombe will take part in the 10-mile fundraiser on 9 March in aid of the hospice and has called on his teammates to join him.

The event has space for 300 participants but more than a third of those places have already been filled.

Simon said: “I am trying to put together a group formed from Winscombe 3rd XV, of which I am a part. The mighty thirds don’t have a game that day so I’m fairly confident of getting a few of us together.

“My dad wanted to stay at home, and our community nurse from the hospice was Gwen.

“It was a trying time – my brother and I took turns at staying over to support my mum but none of us really knew what to expect or how to react. Gwen was able to answer questions, was always there on the phone and in person when she could, and then at the very end was able to provide palliative care.”

Simon continued to describe how valuable the hospice’s specialist care was to his family.

He said: “It was reassuring to know that in her we had some sort of specialist to support us with what was happening. She was always clear without being blunt.

“As well as the emotional support, which in retrospect was perhaps the most important bit, there was also very practical help with arranging the bed and other equipment that allowed Dad to stay at home. Gwen seemed to know how to make things happen.

“Weston Hospicecare provides an essential service for the area. Eventually, we will all need to call upon the skills and the compassion that you give freely to everyone – and most importantly the time and the understanding to give emotional support to families as well as patients.”

The Men’s March will start and finish at the Grand Pier and will follow a route to Sand Point via Weston Woods and Sand Bay before returning to the Pier to refuel with a pint of Thatchers Gold and a pasty before having the chance to watch England’s penultimate Six Nations match against Italy on a big screen.

Weston Hospicecare has to raise £4.2million every year with only 20% of that funding being provided by the government. This mean fundraising events such as the Men’s March are critical to the charities fundraising efforts.

To join Simon and his teammates on 9 March, gentlemen can sign up to the fundraiser by visiting www.westonhospicecare.org.uk/mensmarch/.

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