School tak­ing on walk mob handed

‘Big­gest team’ yet to take on char­ity stroll

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

A HAYES man will join broad­caster Jonathan Dim­bleby to pay trib­ute to his sis­ter who died last year from can­cer.

Robert Thomp­son, 31, and his girl­friend Sian-Marie Jef­feries, 23, will take part in Dim­bleby Can­cer Care’s 50/50/50 event on Fri­day, June 5.

The cou­ple, both from Hayes, hope to raise £1,000 by walk­ing 50km through Lon­don dur­ing the night.

Robert’s sis­ter, El­lie Thomp­son, passed away from cer­vi­cal can­cer in April 2014, aged just 31.

Robert said: “Af­ter El­lie passed away I wanted to do some­thing to give back to the char­ity as Dim­bleby Can­cer Care of­fered El­lie so much in the way of ad­di­tional ther­a­pies, treat­ments and sup­port dur­ing her treat­ment, which I know she loved.”

El­lie con­tin­ues to in­spire the pair who are keen to keep her mem­ory alive.

Robert added: “What bet­ter way then cel­e­brat­ing a mile­stone event for this won­der­ful char­ity which sup­ported her and my fam­ily dur­ing such tough times.”

The event is an en­durance chal­lenge in cel­e­bra­tion of the char­ity founded in hon­our of Jonathan’s fa­ther, Richard, who died 50 years ago this year.

Robin Pritchard, direc­tor at Dim­bleby Can­cer Care, said: “We were very touched and moved by Robert’s fundrais­ing story over the last year.”

To help Robert reach his goal, visit www.just­giv­ing.com/ Robert-Thomp­son12 or, to take part, visit www.dim­bleby cancercare.org/5050-50.

The 44-strong Team Rye­field, which in­cludes ev­ery­one from din­ner ladies and clean­ing staff to teach­ers and the head teacher at Rye­field Pri­mary School, will be the big­gest ever to have taken part in the Michael So­bell Hospice Ladies in the Night Walk.

It has been put to­gether by the school’s wel­fare and deputy safe­guard­ing of­fi­cer, Michele Dell.

She and her col­league Kay Avery have com­pleted the walk three times be­fore, in mem­ory of their friend Anne Walder, who was cared for at the hospice be­fore she died of can­cer in April 2013, aged in her 50s.

Mrs Dell said: “We wanted to do it to recog­nise the fan­tas­tic work they do there and how sup­port­ive they were to the fam­ily and Anne’s kids.

“Ev­ery time we’ve done the walk the hospice has been open at night and the staff have thanked us for do­ing it. It’s quite hum­bling re­ally.

“It’s a lo­cal hospice and they do fan­tas­tic sup­port work, not only for the pa­tients, but for the whole fam­ily. They are spe­cial peo­ple.”

The hospice, which is housed in­side Mount Ver­non Hos­pi­tal, in Rick­mansworth Road, North­wood, has been hold­ing its an­nual walk since 2010.

Last year, more than 400 men, women and even dogs took part, rais­ing more than £60,000 for the hospice by walk­ing 5.5 and nine mile routes.

The fifth event will take place on June 12, kick­ing off with a warm-up ses­sion at the hospice. Al­ready more than 700 peo­ple have signed up, mak­ing it the hospice’s big­gest fundraiser yet.

Staff at the school, in Rye­field Av­enue, have been train­ing for the event by set­ting up a staff zumba club.

Head teacher Ni­cola Forster said: “Can­cer touches ev­ery­one and we have had three mem­bers of staff who have passed away from this cruel dis­ease.

“We are a very close and com­mu­nity-minded school. We wanted to sup­port a lo­cal char­ity and make a dif­fer­ence to lo­cal peo­ple’s lives.”

Ophe­lia Cham­bers-Henry, the hospice’s events and com­mu­nity fundrais­ing manager, said: “This is the big­gest team that has ever en­tered our Ladies in the Night Walk in five years. We are thrilled with the Rye­field Team ef­fort and hope that other schools will be in­spired to join in the event too.”

To do­nate to Team Rye­field, visit www.just­giv­ing.com/ Team-Rye­field.

To sign up for this year’s event, visit www.michael so­bell­hos­pice.co.uk.

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