School taking on walk mob handed
‘Biggest team’ yet to take on charity stroll
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.