Swapping PPE for MUD

Deputy Sister Joane Lonsdale and her magnificent colleagues from ICU at Kettering General Hospital have signed up to get muddy at the Mudnificent 7 in support of their friends and contemporaries at Cransley Hospice.

Jo and the ICU team at Kettering General Hospital have been at the frontline, courageously caring for patients, in a year like no other, coping with the conditions but also the devastation of the coronavirus pandemic.  Like many on the frontline, it is being part of a team and their efforts to keep each other mentally strong, seeking out positive things to look forward to in the future that is helping them to keep going.  Jo recognised that her contemporaries at Cransley Hospice would also be feeling the strain of the pandemic and wanted to do something that not only gave her team something positive to look forward to but something that would benefit the team at Cransley Hospice too.


Cransley Hospice already has a special place in Jo’s heart as she was once a student nurse at the hospice, but it was in 2019 when Jo’s Dad, Barry Lonsdale was admitted to the hospice that she experienced the very special care of the team at Cransley from the other side.

Jo’s Dad was taken ill very suddenly.  He collapsed on 31st October 2019 and admitted to Kettering General Hospital.  Initially, Doctors thought he had gallstones but after an investigative scan, the devastating diagnosis was that he had extensive tumours along his spine, lung, liver and stomach.  Barry’s health was deteriorating quickly and was admitted to Cransley Hospice for rehab just three weeks later.  Jo’s beloved Dad passed away at Cransley on the 28th of November 2019.

Jo remembers those last few weeks: “He was admitted to Cransley Hospice in late November for rehab and although he had never come to terms with his illness, after only a couple of days it was clear that he was deteriorating rapidly.   He had been due to have surgery in December, but the aggressive cancer had spread so quickly and he was in a lot of pain.”

“Within just a day of him being admitted to the hospice the team had controlled the pain for him.” “He even got to enjoy Cider – the nurses would get it for him and give it to him on swabs because he couldn’t swallow.”  “They even went out and got him ice cream when he wanted it.” “He adored my puppy Hedley and they let me bring him in so that he could sit on the bed with him.”


“At the end, he was so peaceful and the staff were amazing, not just with him but with my Mum and the family too.”  “The way they cared made me so proud to be a nurse.”

“At the moment with COVID it’s tough and I understand how hard this will be on the staff at the hospice too.”  “On ICU we pride ourselves on giving the best holistic individualised care and I and others have personally witnessed this at Cransley where they go above and beyond.”  “We feel that Cransley is so important, as are the staff there that we all want to do our little bit to help.”  “Times are difficult and whilst ICU has struggled at times with 12 hr shifts in full PPE and having to open up another ICU within the hospital to cope with admissions, we are aware if we are flagging staff wise then so are our colleagues in Cransley and we want to shout out for what a fantastic job they are also doing during these crazy times, which I don’t think is recognised as much as it should be.”

Jo’s incredible compassion has inspired her teammates to sign up for the Mudnificent 7 on the 7th of August to raise money for Cransley Hospice. Many of whom also have links with the hospice. “It has definitely lifted a mood on the unit thinking of an event to look forward to.”  “We want to be out of PPE and into that mud!” “Our support is teamwork for all and to raise funds for a fantastic place.”  “There’s a lot in the press about the hospitals but you don’t hear anything about the hospices and how they are which is why I wanted to do something positive.”

Many of the team will be covering their registration fees themselves so anything they fundraise will be for Cransley Hospice.

The team have already raised £1000 but need everyone’s encouragement and support to help them get through this and reach their target of £3,000.  For anyone that would like to support Jo, her team and Cransley Hospice please go to the Justgiving page https://bit.ly/3svFmtm.

Cransley Hospice provides specialist end of life care to patients with complex needs, and like Jo and her team at Kettering General Hospital, the team at Cransley Hospice continue with incredible dedication throughout these difficult times to provide this service to patients and their families.

If you would like to know more about our Mudnificent 7 challenge and how you could help to raise much-needed funds to support Cransley Hospice Trust, all the details are on the webpage:  MUDNIFICENT 7