Friend steps in to take on hospice worker’s fundraising challenge after cancer diagnosis

A SUE Ryder Leckhampton Court hospice worker was due to head into the wild last weekend (September 30) to raise funds in memory of two close friends cared for at the very hospice they work.

Volunteer and Creative Therapies Coordinator, Amabel Mortimer, was due to take on the ‘Challenge the Wild’ fundraising challenge taking place in the Brecon Beacons this weekend in memory of two close friends who received care at the hospice.

But Amabel has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer, forcing her to pull out of the challenge.

Amabel, from the Forest of Dean, said, “I wanted to take part in Challenge the Wild to raise funds in memory of my good friend Dave Ayers and his wife Jo. Dave was in the hospice for three days, Jo for 13 days, totalling 16 days of care. With £100 funding a hospice nurse for one day I was aiming to raise £1,600, to cover the nurse costs and I have done this.”

“Following my recent breast cancer diagnosis I can now no longer take part in the challenge. So my wonderful friend, Bo Midwinter, has stepped into my place taking on the wild for me. Bo is a really close and supportive friend of Dave's and the children’s so this is an incredible thing for her to have offered to do.”

“I am so very grateful and in awe of our Bo! Dave would have loved that we are still pulling together as a 'family' and I hope everyone gets behind Bo to support her.”

“Bo is, like me, a bit of scared of throwing herself into rivers and off cliffs! This is a really selfless act for her to offer, but also testimony to the love and high esteem we have for Dave, Jo and their children and the care that Sue Ryder offered to them.”

“Sue Ryder have also been incredibly supportive to me. I work for them, but this is more, the support from my colleagues at a tough time, is, as expected, unwaivering.”

Bo Midwinter, who lives near Andoversford in the Cotswolds, will be taking on a series of challenges for her friend in a 24 hour period including waterfall jumping, abseiling, rock climbing and a 30km trek. She said, “Ami is an absolute hero and stayed strong throughout a really tough period in all of our lives, so this is the least I can do for her. I have no doubt she will face her treatment with the same courage and bravery as Dave and Jo faced theirs."

"As for the challenge, I am absolutely terrified but excited too - I'm just hoping I can back with all my limbs intact. I am looking forward to it!”

Mike Tague, Head of Hospice Fundraising at Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice said, “Being part of Leckhampton Court is being a member of our hospice family – that’s true for our colleagues and volunteers as it is of course for our patients, their relatives and those who have lost someone, no matter how long ago. Everyone at the hospice sends their love and support to Amabel and we’re right behind her as she undergoes treatment. We’re in awe of Bo taking on Amabel’s challenge for her, which is testament to that strength of love, feeling and support everyone has for Ami.”

You can support Amabel’s and Bo’s challenge by visiting their Just Giving Page and donate at

**UPDATE: Due to Bo Midwinter breaking her foot, the Wild Challenge is now being taken on by Mille Midwinter, Bo's 22 year old sister, on behalf of both Bo and Amabel on October 6 and 7**