Nan inspires Nicola to great heights
19 April 2017
When Nicola Hook and her two younger sisters were growing up, their Nan Peggy Skinner was like a mum to them.
They would go to her house after school and, if one of them was
ever sick, she would scoop them up, wrap them in a blanket and ply
them with hot drinks and nourishing soups.
Nicola has loads of happy
memories of carefree beach days and fish and chip suppers after
Peggy and her husband moved to the coast at Walton-on-the-Naze.
Now, sadly, the roles are
reversing and it is lifelong carer Peggy who is in need of being
looked after. She has been diagnosed with vascular dementia and
Nicola fears the time will come when she needs to go into
The 28-year-old City
insurance worker from Benfleet is determined to give something back
for all the times her Nan was there for her. She has signed up to
Southend University Hospital Super Hero Tackle the Tower abseil
which is being held on Saturday, May 13 and all the money she
raises will go to the hospital's £100,000 Dementia Appeal.
Nicola said: "My Nan and I
are really, really close and I speak to her every day on my way to
work. She is getting very forgetful and gets family members
confused - but not every single day. Sometimes she is like her old
A barmaid, cleaner and child
minder in her younger life, 76-year-old Peggy also made beautiful
wedding and occasion cakes for family and friends. Sadly, arthritis
in her hands and her developing dementia has put a stop to them -
she often forgets recipes and needs assistance with each step.
Nicola said: "Although she
has not yet reached the stage where she needs to be in care, it is
ramping up and we will all be affected as a family. It is so tough
watching your idol deteriorate into a person you hardly recognise,
knowing there is no cure."
This will be Nicola's first
abseil. She said: "I am excited about it. I am not scared of
heights and want to do as much as I can to raise money for dementia
There are still spaces left
to take part in the hospital's Tackle the Tower Abseil, which is
being generously sponsored by PACE Property Lettings and Management
Ltd. Entrants can raise money for their preferred ward, department
or hospital appeal and are required to bring in at least £100 in
sponsorship, with a £40 entry fee.
To find out more, call 01702 385337 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Picture: Nicola with her grandparents Peggy and