Epic 20 mile rowing challenge raises £5,000 for St Wilfrid's Hospice

A 74-year-old rower has raised more than £5,000 for St Wiflrid's Hospice with an epic 20 mile row from Chichester to Felpham

Setting off in his trusty fishing boat, Felpham Sailing Club veteran Ross Fisher rowed from Chichester to Felpham to raise money for St Wilfrid's Hospice back in August.

Last night (November 17) he presented the £5,020 raised to Sue Jenkins from St Wilfrid's Hospice, an achievement of which he is incredibly proud.

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"It went very well," he said. "The ceremony was well-attended. The club house was about three quarters full, which is just about what we can do at the moment.

Ross Fisher presents the cheque to St Wilfrids Hospice

"I'm just staggered at how generous people have been. Most of the money has come from people in the Felpham area, and I know that it's quite an effort to spare that kind of money. So we're all very pleased."

Alongside the money for St Wilfrid's Hospice, Mr Fisher also raised money to buy a defibrillator for the Felpham Sailing Club itself.

Costing £845, Mr Ross hopes the top-of-the-range defibrillator, will help keep sailing club members- as well as members of the wider community- safe.

"The club's open quite a lot of the time, so it can be used for the general public. It talks you through how to use it, so it's apparently very simple.

"There's always a risk," he added. "Emergencies can happen when people are walking along the promenade, or even when you're just standing up. I don't think there's any logic to this. When the heart decides it's going to have a moment, it has one.

"So, hopefully it won't have to be used, but if it is used, it's successful. You've only got about four minutes to work with when someone has a major heart attack, so every second counts. So if something happens on the beach, someone will be able to run up and get it to them very quickly."

Jenny Murrell, community fundraiser from St Wilfrid's Hospice said she and the rest of the team are 'incredibly grateful' for Ross and his rowing challenge.

"Ross’s efforts are a fantastic example of how supportive and wonderful our local community are in going the extra mile to support St Wilfrids Hospice," she said.

"As an independent local charity, we provide our vital hospice services to our community free of charge. The care costs of the Hospice are paid for in part by an NHS grant, however the majority of our £8.3m annual costs are met thanks to the generous support of fundraisers like Ross.”