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Community nursing charity ‘shocked and saddened’ by death of fundraiser on polar expedition

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The Queen’s Nursing Institute has said its thoughts are with the family of Philip Goodeve-Docker, who died on Sunday while attempting a 700km trek across the Greenland ice sheet.

Mr Goodeve-Docker, an events manager from London, set out on the expedition last month with two colleagues.

He had chosen to raise funds for the QNI and had already raised thousands of pounds of sponsorship for the charity before arriving in Greenland.

The team set off on 26 April, but became trapped in a sudden and very severe polar storm. Tragically, Mr Goodeve-Docker died shortly before rescue could arrive on the morning of 28 April. His two colleagues were, however, airlifted to safety.

In a statement, QNI chief executive Crystal Oldman said: “Our thoughts today are with Philip’s family. Philip died doing something that he had always dreamed of, undertaking a great challenge while helping others at the same time.

“Staff and trustees at the QNI are very shocked and saddened by this tragic loss but also immensely proud of him and his bravery. It is the charity’s intention not to let this tragic loss of life pass without creating a suitable and enduring memorial to Philip,” she said.

Mr Goodeve-Docker’s link to the QNI went back to his grandfather, Patrick Pirie-Gordon, who was a trustee and treasurer of the institute for 30 years. He was also treasurer and vice-president of the Royal Geographical Society, helping to fund polar exploration and having a glacier named after him. 

Speaking of his grandfather before the expedition, Mr Goodeve-Docker has said:  “He was intensely passionate about both these institutions.

“It gave me added incentive to say ‘yes’ to the expedition and, because of their fantastic work in nursing and helping those in need at home, to do my part for QNI.”

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