Seven tenacious trekkers embarked on a gruelling 100-mile walk to raise funds for the UK’s 54 children’s hospices, including East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH). Andy Fletcher, the Chief Executive of leading children’s palliative care charity Together for Short Lives, was joined by members of crafting superstore Hobbycraft’s leadership team for the mammoth walk across Norfolk and Suffolk.
Setting off in Thetford last Friday, the trekkers, known as the ‘Magnificent Seven’, completed the Angles Way walk, finishing in Great Yarmouth on Monday. The trek was their eighth, bringing the overall distance covered to 800 miles, and they hope to reach their fundraising target of £50,000.
Andy said: “We’ve been so fortunate to have the incredible support of Hobbycraft for over ten years and, in that time, we’ve witnessed such compassion and creativity from them, not to mention eight years of trekking! The Angles Way walk was challenging, but we felt motivated every step of the way, knowing we were walking through the vast area EACH covers and just how many families it helps every single day.
“I’m so grateful to my fellow trekkers and the Hobbycraft teams up and down the country who fundraised throughout the weekend. The money raised will help us in our mission to make sure families have access to the best palliative care, when and where they need it.”
The team were supported from afar by the Carlin family, from Peterborough. Six-year-old Libby lives with Bohring-Opitz syndrome, a rare genetic condition that affects the development of many parts of the body. Libby needs 24/7 care and is unable to sit, crawl or walk. She is severely delayed, having to have someone watch her at all times to check she is safe.
Mum Kirsty said: “EACH is a massive part of our lives. Since that first devastating diagnosis when Libby was just three months old, we’ve been supported in so many ways by the incredible team there. From symptom management and hydrotherapy sessions for Libby to sibling days for her brother, Jake, and respite stays for the whole family.
“I’m not sure where we’d be without them and it’s heart-warming to know there are fantastic people out there who go the extra mile to support families like mine.”
The Magnificent Seven were supported by Hobbycraft colleagues across the country, including those in King’s Lynn and Cambridge, who took on their own fundraising to help reach the £50,000 target. Each of their 116 stores is twinned with a local children’s hospice and Hobbycraft teams up and down the country have raised over £2.5 million so far through the partnership to support families cared for by hospices like EACH.
“We know first-hand from ten years of partnership with Together for Short Lives just how much of a lifeline hospices are for families of seriously ill children,” said Dominic Jordan, Chief Executive Officer of Hobbycraft.
“They’re places full of life and joy and give families the time and space to make precious memories – something that sits at the very heart of our partnership. While the trek really put us to the test, it’s nothing compared to the hardship these families face every day and we’re so proud to play our part in supporting them.”
For more information or to sponsor the trek team, head here.