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Husband 'reaches new heights' to raise money in memory of his late wife

A Peterborough man has climbed the equivalent of Mount Everest - from his own home! - to raise money in memory of his late wife.
Frank Hughes climbed his stairs to the equivalent of 8848m to raise money for Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice in memory of his late wife (Picture: Fran Pemberton)

Frank Hughes’ late wife Sue was cared for at Peterborough’s Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice in 2003. 

With this charity challenge, he has raised more than £1,800 for the hospice, which cares for people with life-limiting conditions as well as supporting their families. As a thank you gesture to show his support to the NHS and the carers at Sue Ryder, Frank also dyed colourful rainbows onto his hair. 

He volunteers with the fundraising team and said: "My wife was an inspirational person – a significant 'life changer' for me from the moment we met. It was an honour to do this in her memory. 

"The care she received at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice had a significant impact upon her and made her last days and weeks more comfortable. I hope she would be proud of my efforts to recognise this, in my way. 

"When Covid-19 first struck and lockdown began, I told my grandchildren that I would grow my beard until they were able to stay with me again – and then get it rainbow dyed. I realised this was likely to be some time in the future, so began a weekly climb of my stairs to the equivalent height of peaks in the British Isles to raise funds for Sue Ryder. 

"I had 'climbed' the first four peaks when in an unconnected accident I fractured a bone in my foot and had to miss six weeks for recovery. I have now completed the final four peaks, finishing on a high with Ben Nevis."

Once lockdown ended, Frank was reunited with his two grandchildren and it was time for his new, rainbow-inspired look. 

"Due to Covid-19 restrictions I wasn’t able to dye my beard, but instead I had rainbows dyed into my hair over my ears," added Frank. 

"Thank you to everyone who has supported and donated, and to Gina Barnes at the House of Hair and Beauty in Stanground who did the rainbows without charging and encouraged donations."

Nilesh Patel, Senior Community Fundraiser at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice, said: "Thank you so much for your support Frank – we think you and your rainbow-coloured hair are incredible! The funds you have raised in memory of your wife will help us to continue to offer our compassionate care and be there when it matters for local families. £1,800 could help to pay for a hospice nurse for six days, as well as to run our Family Support team for two days, offering support to people through the most difficult time of their lives."

You can support Frank through JustGiving.


sue2Frank Hughes has dyed his hair rainbow colours after completing a climb of his stairs equivalent to 8848 m - all to raise money for Sue Ryder (Picture: Fran Pemberton)