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St Barnabas House is encouraging challenge seekers to register for the South Downs Trek marathon walk before the closing date on Monday 9 September.
Taking place on Saturday 28 September, this year’s trek features a new and exhilarating 26.2 mile circular route which begins at Northbrook College in Goring. Trekkers will be treated to spectacular views of the Sussex countryside and the South Downs as they meander past the villages of Clapham, Findon, Washington and Patching, before crossing the finish line at St Barnabas House.
Many of the 120 trekkers who have already registered to take part will be walking in memory of loved ones who have been cared for by St Barnabas House, including Worthing resident, Faye Palmer-Hodgkins, who is taking on the challenge in memory of her father, Alan Palmer.
Faye, 38, has never walked a marathon distance before but says she wants to “give back to the charity that not only cared for my Dad until he passed away but also supported my family and continue to do so.”
After a trip to hospital in February 2019, Alan and his family received the devastating news that he had liver cancer.
Faye said: “We were told that the cancer had started in Dad’s lungs and was too advanced for treatment. He was given 1-2 weeks to live which was a complete shock as he had only been feeling a bit tired and under the weather.
“All he wanted was to be cared for at home which was made possible by the St Barnabas Hospice at Home team. From the moment he came home, we had instant support. The Hospice at Home nurses rallied around and were constantly popping in and out as well as being at the end of the phone. Sadly, Dad passed away less than a week after his diagnosis and we were so relieved to have one of the hospice’s amazing night nurses with us when it happened.
“She did everything for our family; made us tea, listened to us, hugged us and made important calls to the doctor and undertakers so we didn’t have to. The worst week of our lives would have been so much worse had we not had St Barnabas there to help guide and support us.”
You can read more of Faye’s story and make a donation via her JustGiving page: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/faye-palmer-hodgkins
Support from local businesses and healthcare providers eager to take part in the South Downs Trek has been fantastic.
Amongst those who have already registered and put forward teams are Fittleworth Medical, BMI Goring Hall Hospital, Angmering Medical Centre, Ellie Ellie and Equiniti.
Technology and payments specialists, Equiniti, have 20 trekkers keen to take part who between them hope to raise £4,500. Their Durrington office is just minutes from St Barnabas House and many employees have friends and family who have benefited from the care provided by the hospice.
Phil Whiting, Specialist Reporting Team Leader at Equiniti, said: “Sadly, I lost my mum back in 2016, with her last days spent in St Barnabas. Not only did they care for her before she passed away, but they also supported my brother, sister and I through those difficult times. Without donations, this amazing place cannot exist. I couldn’t be more pleased to be taking part in the trek and hope to raise as much money as possible so that they can continue with all their incredible work.”
Registration for the South Downs Trek costs £40 and all trekkers receive a fundraising pack, lunch and refreshments, South Downs Trek t-shirt, medal and glass of bubbly at the finish line. Minimum sponsorship is £250 and teams of six and over benefit from 10% off the team minimum sponsorship total.
For more information and to register to walk in the South Downs Trek please visit www.stbh.org.uk/south-downs-trek or call 01903 706354.