Norwich City legend Grant Holt is swapping his football boots for walking shoes as part of a gruelling charity challenge. The Canaries hero is trekking 44 miles from Ipswich to The Nook, in Framingham Earl, to raise funds for EACH.
He plans to set off at 5pm on Tuesday, 8th August and walk through the night before arriving at EACH’s hospice in Norfolk. Dad-of-three Grant is an ardent supporter of the charity and completed a fundraising skydive in January 2022. In advance of his latest challenge, he visited The Nook and was given a tour by Corporate Fundraising Manager Caroline Allen.
“I already knew lots about EACH and the incredible work it does but visiting The Nook was a real experience,” said Grant. “It’s such an amazing, impressive place and much bigger and better than the old hospice at Quidenham. Coming here has definitely inspired me and I felt even more motivated after being told EACH needs to raise £8,600 from voluntary income per day, per hospice to keep The Nook, The Treehouse (in Ipswich) and Milton (near Cambridge) going.
“It needs to raise £6.7 million a year from voluntary donations – and another £7.8 million from its shops – and they’re incredible figures, especially when you consider only 15 per cent comes from statutory sources. That’s far less than an adult hospice, which is insane, and why I’m determined to do whatever I can, and raise as much as possible. The walk is going to be tough but it’s always good to challenge yourself and do difficult things, especially for such an amazing cause.
“I’ve got 80,000 Twitter followers and if everyone chipped in just £1, we’d have £80,000. How amazing would that be?”
Former striker Grant helped Norwich to back-to-back promotions and was named player-of-the-year three times at Carrow Road. Now he is an ambassador for specialist recruitment agency ARC Group and he will begin his walk at the company’s Ipswich office on the Alpha Business Park, in White House Road.
In addition to raising funds, the 42-year-old wants to use his platform to raise awareness of the charity, which supports families and cares for children and young people with life-threatening conditions across East Anglia.
“The bigger the total, the bigger difference it’ll make,” said Grant, who was at Norwich City FC from 2009 to 2013. “We all know it’s hard at the moment. Everyone’s penny-pinching and I understand and respect that, but this is a charity that deserves our support. It does a vital job and I’d love it if people could give a pound or two. Let’s see where that takes us. Sometimes people give to charity and wonder where the money goes, and whether it makes a difference. Trust me, this money really does make a difference.
“EACH does so many amazing things but I just love the thought of parents being able to take a break – just to grab a coffee or close their eyes for a few minutes. That precious time must help so much and it’s easy to take it for granted. It’s the little things that make such a massive difference. It’s an amazing charity and, in addition to fundraising, I hope to use my position to help spread the word about EACH. It’s such an important cause and I hope publicity from this challenge helps raise awareness, as well as funds. That’s my big hope.”
To show your support and sponsor Grant, click here.
The ARC Group is a specialist recruitment agency covering industries like mechanical and electrical (M&E), construction, healthcare, driving and maintenance. It was founded in 2004.