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29 May 2019 Community

Running in memory of Carol Beckett

Kathryn Sanford will be taking on all 13.1 miles of the Great North Run this September to raise vital funds for Kirkwood Hospice.

Kathryn Sanford is gearing up to take on the UK’s largest half marathon for Kirkwood in memory of her mum, Carol Beckett.

Kirkwood is very close to Kathryn’s heart, as her mum, Carol, was cared for by Kirkwood at the end of her life and died on the In-Patient Unit in July 2018.

Kathryn said: “Mum was married for 49 years and lived in Huddersfield for over 40 of those years. She was a School Teacher at a local nursery until she retired.

“She was very family-orientated and spent all of her time with her four children and eight grandchildren, whom she loved very much. She was never at home; if she wasn’t with her family she’d be with friends or out shopping.

“Before mum died at Kirkwood, we had no connection with the Hospice other than hearing about it at local fundraising events. At first, when Kirkwood was mentioned, we were very fearful of what it would be like. We didn’t know what to expect.

Kathryn and her mum, Carol


“Once we arrived, it was so far from what we’d ever imagined. It was calm and peaceful, and a beautiful place; the staff were so friendly and supportive, and everyone had a smile and a moment to talk. The nurses were on hand to answer any questions we had and to make us feel at ease.”

Carol arrived at Kirkwood just two days after her birthday, on Sunday 8th July 2018.

The whole family, including all eight grandchildren and her two closest friends, joined her at the Hospice to celebrate her birthday by tucking into a big chocolate cake sitting out on the terrace overlooking the sunny gardens.

Kathryn said: “The little ones were running around in the garden; it was a beautiful day and a very special one which we will always remember.”

Carol spent 12 days at Kirkwood before she died on Friday 20th July 2018. During this time, her family didn’t leave her side, taking turns to sleep on the pull out bed and camp bed in her room, together every minute of those final precious days.

Kathryn preparing for the half marathon


Kathryn, who now lives in York, took on Cancer Research’s Race for Life in June 2018 and running has become a much-loved hobby and a way to keep fit.

In anticipation of Kathryn’s second ever half marathon, she is running around 30km every week to prepare her for the day. If you would like to support Kathryn and help raise vital funds for Kirkwood Hospice, please click here.

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