Walking challengers raise thousands to benefit children's hospice

Walkers have raised thousands of pounds for a children's hospice by taking part in a fundraising challenge.

A team of walkers have raised almost £15,000 for Chestnut Tree House childrens hospice
A team of walkers have raised almost £15,000 for Chestnut Tree House childrens hospice

The team from Capita Local Government raised almost £15,000 for Chestnut Tree House over the weekend of September 9 and 10.

Around 3,500 walkers, joined by nine walkers representing Capita’s West Sussex Partnership, took part in the Ultra Challenge 100km Thames Path Challenge, where various challenges were on offer, from running the entire distance through to completing 25km and 50km walks and runs.

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The Capita team – named the Notables – took part in the full challenge, completing an overnight 100km walk from Putney in London to Henley on Thames in times ranging from 25 to 29 hours.

The team from Capita Local Government

Dale Wood, partnership director, West Sussex, Capita Local Government, said: “Chestnut Tree House needs to raise £6,850 per day to pay for all their specialist care services, both at the hospice and out in the community, so by giving up our weekend to do the challenge – which was brutal – we have raised enough money to help Chestnut Tree House provide services for more than a weekend. We are really proud to have been able to support such a worthwhile cause.

“The initial idea followed a discussion with Nathan Elvery CEO West Sussex County Council who was also fund raising for the hospice by cycling from London to Paris. As a team we thought if he can do it then so can we.

“It was incredibly hard work, with training plans and tactics in the lead up to the event were somewhat varied. Some members spent weekends completing 20k practice walks, others chose less conventional training methods which focused on dancing in heels.

“Injuries range from just one blister to torn ligaments, damaged knees and feet full of blisters, but it has all been worth it.”

The team took part in the Ultra Challenge 100km Thames Path Challenge

Alison Taylor, corporate fundraiser at Chestnut Tree House, said: “We are incredibly grateful to the entire Notables team for their hard work in raising much-needed funds for the hospice. It costs us over £3.5 million each year to provide all the specialist care services to local life-limited children and their families, and the support of the local community – businesses and individuals – is invaluable to us.

“Their generosity will cover Chestnut Tree House’s care costs for more than two whole days, allowing life-limited children to enjoy our hydrotherapy pool, relax in the multi-sensory room and join in with a host of activities. Thank you from everyone at Chestnut Tree House.”

The Notables will still be taking donations up to October 6. To make a donation, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/dale-wood1.