Sue Ryder - Leckhampton Court Hospice

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Sue Ryder - Leckhampton Court Hospice
Leckhampton Court Hospice
Church Road
GL53 0QJ

Tel: 01242 246285

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Bel's Wheelchair Marathon for Sue Ryder Hospice


Bel Cornwell, 58, was diagnosed with debilitating Motor Neurone Disease more than five years ago. Since then she has lost the ability to walk and talk and is confined to a wheelchair but is still determined to complete her own ‘marathon’ challenge in aid of Sue Ryder’s Leckhampton Court Hospice. Supported by her children, Letty and Joby, family and friends, Bel plans to cover the distance of a marathon during 11 separate walks of 4km around her home town of Winchcombe.

Bel will begin her walks on Sunday, July 12, and aims to complete the challenge on Sunday, July 26. She said: “I will be covering the distance of a marathon in my powered wheelchair. Even doing 11 walks will be quite a challenge for me, which is why we have included some rest days.”

Before she was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease, Bel, who worked as teaching assistant and latterly as Community and Partnerships co-ordinator at Cheltenham College, was fit and active and ran half marathons. Daughter Letty said: “We even did a mud run together and mum really loved the fundraising element of that. There are lots of fundraisers we could have done as a family but we really wanted mum to be involved so she came up with this idea. She felt she could do it over a set number of days and equate it to the distance of a marathon and has mapped out routes she can do in her wheelchair.

“We have got different people coming to support her on different days for all the walks. It will give mum a huge sense of fulfilment and she will be so happy knowing that she has been able to give something back to Leckhampton.”

Bel regularly attended Leckhampton’s Day Hospice prior to lockdown and also spent a week as an inpatient at the hospice last year. She said: “Personally, I have benefitted hugely through the wonderful array of complementary therapies Leckhampton offer.  The three of us have undoubtedly been supported through Sue Ryder’s exceptional counselling.  And some of my happiest times have been in the art room, joining others, which has proved such wonderful therapy. For me the art room quickly became a haven, offering a sense of belonging and chance to try out new creative opportunities, in such an open and positive environment.”

The family have also been supported by Leckhampton’s occupational health team, who visited Bel’s home to help her get all the right equipment in place, and Bel has had regular phone contact with the Leckhampton healthcare team throughout lockdown.

Letty said: “The support we have had from Sue Ryder and Leckhampton Court Hospice has been above and beyond what I could have imagined. Now we have decided to do this challenge and we are really excited to be able to give back. We originally set a target of £1,000 but it has already gone past £2,500 so we will just keep going and raise as much as we can. I also hope it will raise some awareness of Motor Neurone Disease. It has been really heart-breaking to be going through something like this as a family but mum has always taught us to find the positive in every situation and she really is the epitomy of that.”

To support Bel please click on the link below.

Bel Cornwell 2

Bel Leckhampton art room


More details about Bel's Wheelchair Marathon for Sue Ryder Hospice (External Link)


Sue Ryder - Leckhampton Court Hospice

Gloucestershire's only residential hospice.

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