Family to join Moonlight Beach Walk to thank ‘amazing’ hospice staff

Beverley and Pete Merchant, with daughters Gemma and Kelly.

Beverley and Pete Merchant, with daughters Gemma and Kelly. - Credit: Archant

A Locking mother and her two daughters will join hundreds of women at the Moonlight Beach Walk in September to support a charity they describe as ‘absolutely amazing’.

Beverley Merchant will be joined by Gemma Jones and Kelly Perkins to walk as Pete's Pitstop Girls in memory of their husband and father Pete Merchant.

Pete was cared for by Weston Hospicecare during his battle with oesophageal cancer in 2018, and died aged 61 at the hospice's inpatient unit in Uphill last December.

His family were so impressed by the care provided to mechanic Pete they are keen to do what they can to help raise money for the charity.

Beverley praised community nurse Chantal for her expertise during daily visits.

She said: "I knew nothing about the hospice before, but Chantal was brilliant right away.

"We had daily visits, and she helped with medication and sorted appointments, and arranged a bed at the hospice.

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"The hospice itself is an absolutely amazing place. Everyone we met was amazing, from the nurses to the cleaners.

"I had been caring for Pete, but that was all taken out of our hands. It meant I could go from being Pete's carer back to being his wife."

A number of Pete's family members have engaged with counselling from the hospice team, which they say has helped them start to come to terms with their loss.

The women will be taking part in the Moonlight Beach Walk on September 14 and they have also been holding their own fundraising events in aid of the cause.

More: New look for Weston Hospicecare's Midnight Beach Walk.

Beverley has been supported by customers at Planet Hair salon in Locking where she works.

She said: "The hospice is invaluable.

"It's important for me to give something back to Weston Hospicecare as it helped our family so much by looking after my dad in his final days and counselling support for us afterwards."

Women can still sign up to the ladies-only Moonlight Beach Walk for Weston Hospicecare.

The £15 entry fee includes a personalised souvenir T-shirt, and a glass of prosecco on the night.

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