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Trekkers who took part in the South Downs Trek on Saturday 28 September are expected to raise an incredible £43,000 for St Barnabas House.
A total of 130 challenge-seekers braved windy and muddy conditions to walk the marathon distance of 26.2 miles across the South Downs.
Many, like Tracey Wadey, from Worthing, were walking in memory of loved ones who have been cared for by St Barnabas House. Her father, Andy Wadey, sadly passed away in June at the hospice having been unwell with pancreatic cancer for just two years.
Tracey said: “I am definitely not one for exercise on any level and the thought of walking a marathon has been very daunting, but nothing compared to the journey that my lovely Dad, Andy, endured.
“I don’t think that I would have managed the training or the trek without my ‘training buddy’, my brother-in-law, Martin. He tolerated my singing, my constant chatter and rather loud complaining every time we were faced with a hill!
“The trek definitely felt like a ‘Marathon’, but the support from the other trekkers, the volunteers and St Barnabas team helped us finish – thank you all!
“I cannot begin to explain the care and support that the team at St Barnabas gave Dad and my family. From the community team through to the in-patient nurses, each and every member of staff was so compassionate.
“We were all so very well cared for and were allowed the time and space that we needed as a family to try and make sense of what was happening. Dad felt safe and secure when finally at St Barnabas and I personally can’t thank the team enough for allowing Dad the peace that he needed.”
Others were walking in groups, including a team of five colleagues from Ellie Ellie, a giftware company based in Worthing.
Founder and Managing Director, Danielle Plowman has supported St Barnabas for three years and the company has now raised over £5,000 for the charity.
Danielle said: “The trek was tough. We were all fine until around 20 miles when all the aches and pains started, but we managed to cross the finish line together at around 6.15pm. It was all about us sticking together and being a team throughout. We celebrated with some prosecco and cake at the finish line!
“We decided to partner with St Barnabas as the hospice really represents our values as a company.
“At Ellie Ellie, we celebrate all of life’s moments, including some of the most difficult times. Challenges like the South Downs Trek show that there can be real joy and togetherness even in some of the saddest situations.”
The highest fundraising group were a team of six men from Project Spartan – a group training facility based in Broadwater – who are on track to raise an incredible £3,500 for the hospice.
Project Spartan Coach, Dan Lott, said: “At Project Spartan, we get members together to train and push each other on to try and lead healthier, more fulfilled lives. We have a membership base of 130 members and it’s amazing how many members have in some way been supported by St Barnabas.
“Today, we’re walking in particular for one of our teammate’s, Matt Spottiswoode, whose Dad sadly has liver cancer and is being supported by the hospice.”
Sophie Henderson from St Barnabas House commented: “Everyone made it back safely and should be so proud of their marathon achievements. The money raised by our amazing trekkers will ensure St Barnabas continues to be there for everyone in the local community who needs it.
“An amazing group of volunteers helped to make this happen – helping at rest stops, marshalling the route and giving out medals, I would like to say a huge thank you to each and every one of them.”
Challenge seekers will be excited to know that there are a couple of spaces left on the St Barnabas House Great Wall of China Challenge which takes place in October 2020. For more information, or to register your place on the trek, visit www.stbh.org.uk/china.