Springhill Hospice receives £1,000 cheque following local 5k race

Date published: 06 February 2019

Garry Bower presented a cheque for £1,000 to Springhill Hospice on Tuesday (5 February) at the Cock and Magpie, Whitworth.

The money was raised via a 5k race at Cowm Reservoir – the ‘Bernadette Bower Life for a Life Tree Race’ –  in memory of Garry’s late wife, Bernadette, of Rochdale, who used to run around the reservoir.

The race was organised by Andy O'Sullivan MBE of Andems Runners to celebrate the life of Bernadette and commemorate the determination she showed in her fight against cancer.


Bernadette Bower
Bernadette Bower


The race followed the planting of a rowan tree at the reservoir by the Life for Life Tree Charity, based in Chadderton, Oldham, which was paid for by Garry and their friends and includes a memorial plaque so that all may remember Bernadette.

Garry also buried the parkrun wrist bands that they each wore under the tree, tied together with a pink ribbon: Oldham parkrun is a place that they – along with Bernadette's three children – spent many happy Saturday mornings together.


Garry also buried the parkrun wrist bands that they each wore under the tree, tied together with a pink ribbon
The parkrun wrist bands that they each wore, tied together with a pink ribbon


Bernadette spent a month at Springhill Hospice before she peacefully died in Garry's arms.

Garry said: "The care they gave Bernadette was second to none: they also took care of me, as I spent almost every night at her side during her stay, and most of the days too."

The hospice has continued to support Garry since, and he, along with Andems Runners, staged the race in honour of Bernadette and to thank the hospice for all the hard work they do to make end of life as comfortable and loving as possible.

Springhill Hospice is a jewel in the Rochdale community and Garry has vowed to carry on fundraising for them.

He will be running the Manchester Marathon on 7 Apri. Gary said: "The week before Bernadette died she told me she would be at the race with me, and I know she will be, in my heart."

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