New Sunderland children’s hospice chief takes on triple challenge

Dr Karen Parry, the new chief executive of Grace House, who is taking part in a fund-raising event later this year.
Dr Karen Parry, the new chief executive of Grace House, who is taking part in a fund-raising event later this year.
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THE newly-appointed chief of a soon-to-be-open respite centre for poorly children will push herself to the physical limit to help boost a charity appeal.

Dr Karen Parry joins Grace House after gaining 20 years’ experience of working with disabled children and their families in the public and voluntary sectors.

Dr Karen Parry, the new chief executive of Grace House, who is taking part in a fund-raising event later this year.

Dr Karen Parry, the new chief executive of Grace House, who is taking part in a fund-raising event later this year.

Now, she plans to undertake a trio of endurance events during 2015 to raise money for the Southwick centre.

Ongoing fund-raising is still vitally needed to enable Grace House to offer regular, planned overnight short break care to children and young people with complex disabilities, health needs and life-limiting conditions.

Dr Parry said: “Being chief executive at Grace House isn’t just a job for me.

“I am passionate about providing the very best in specialist short break care for some of our most vulnerable children.

“When children and young people come to stay at Grace House they should have the time of their lives, being able to take part in fun, exciting activities that they might not otherwise have the opportunity to try.

“At the same time, their parents should be able to relax and enjoy the break from caring, safe in the knowledge that their child is safe, happy and getting the very best care.”

Dr Parry will start off by completing a one-mile swim in Europe’s biggest open-water swimming event in June, at Lake Windermere.

She will then move on to cycle the Coast to Coast covering 130 miles over three days, starting in Workington, Cumbria, on September 25 before arriving in Tynemouth two days later. 

The triathlon will finish when Dr Parry takes part in the Kielder 10k run in Northumberland on October 3.

It will not only be a challenge of endurance for Dr Parry but also a personal achievement as it will signify her recovery from a serious injury last year, when she punctured her spinal cord, virtually putting an end to any physical activity for four months.

She added: “I enjoy cycling, swimming and running but each of these events will push me out of my comfort zone, being more extreme than anything I usually do.

“I regularly swim a mile at Hetton pool, but being in the cold, dark water of Lake Windermere, contending with the weather, waves and worries about what might be in the water beneath me, will make it a lot more challenging!”

Supporters can sponsor Karen by going to her Just Giving page at www.justgiving.com/Karen-Parry7 or by texting JUNE83 to 70070.

Companies who would like to match-fund the sponsorship raised by Karen Parry should contact Grace House on 525 2885.