The Importance of St John’s Hospice to ‘For Men To Talk’ Founder

By ‘For Men To Talk’ founder and director, Luke Newman

Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice is in Moggerhanger in Bedfordshire. They provide expert care for life-limiting conditions, for those who need it. They also support their family and friends. They help with everything from pain and symptom management to emotional and practical help.

It’s a place that I know very well. I’ve had friends and family use the facilities that they offer. My Nan passed away there after a very short stay and my sister stayed their for a few days during her cancer treatment. But it was my Mum who spent the longest time at St John’s, cared by the most incredible nurses and volunteers, as she lost her battle with ovarian cancer.

Today marks nine years since I ran the London Marathon in aid of Ovacome, an Ovarian Cancer Support Charity and I was able to raise £6000 thanks to some amazing donations. I know the importance of fundraising for charities and that St John’s Hospice needs to raise over £1 million each year to meet the unfunded day-to-day running costs. An incredible amount of money.

I was able to receive some bereavement support from St John’s Hospice when I lost my Nan, a few years after Mum passed. I was very close to my Nan and visited her frequently, she’d seen many losses on her life, including her daughter and son and I didn’t want her to be lonely. A volunteer from the hospice was able to listen to how I was feeling over a number of sessions and was a huge help in my grief recovery.

It’s been a few years since then and with becoming a husband, father, fundraising for my humanitarian trips and launching ‘For Men To Talk’, I haven’t visited the hospice for a long time.

It was a chance encounter at a networking meeting that I met Joanne Landucci, Senior Community Fundraiser at St John’s Hospice and I was able to explain to her what the Hospice meant to me and that I would be forever grateful for the care that they have provided to my family, friends and for me personally.

From that gratitude, ‘For Men To Talk’ have donated five copies of ‘The Mental Health Moles’ books to the bereavement team. As well as grief, the book has 52 discussions, filled with advice about mental health topics, such as anxiety, depression, social media, stress, sleep and many more. I’m hopeful that the team will give a book to those who need a copy, which will help them, just like the team helped me all those years ago.

For further information on Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice, please visit:

For further information on ‘The Mental Health Moles’, please visit:

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