Five boys from Iron Acton go to Wembley for St Peter’s Hospice

Five boys from Iron Acton have used their spare time during the third lockdown to take part in a challenge to raise funds for Bristol’s only adult hospice.

Ruben Hunt decided he wanted to raise money for St Peter’s Hospice in Bristol after watching his mothers fundraising effort for the charity following the sad death her friend and colleague in 2019, of brain cancer.

Ruben’s mum Sara completed the St Peters Hospice Midnight walk last year in a team called Michelle’s Marchers and this inspired Ruben to start a challenge with his friends to help keep him and his friends fit and also raise some money for the hospice.

Ruben and his friends, Theo Foote, George Blanch, Joe Taylor and Ryan Todd, who all attend Iron Acton Primary School decided to travel 220 virtual miles from Iron Acton to Wembley stadium, with their final destination being a nod to their mutual love of football.

The boys launched their challenge on January 12, aiming to complete it within 6 weeks. The boys decided they would complete their challenge by running, walking or cycling the distance.

Ruben said: “At the beginning we designed our own posters that were displayed around the village and also our own Wembley Wanderers t-shirts.

“Wind, rain, sleet and even snow did not stop us all getting out and about. Every week we met via Zoom to discuss our progress. Incredibly within 4 weeks of our challenge we had completed our original target.”

With the boys smashing their original target distance with two weeks to spare- they decided to up their distance by another hundred miles to 320, that would be in keeping with their football theme by taking them virtually to The Millennium Stadium and back.

The team have now surpassed this target and have raised almost £2000 for the charity.

Mum, Sara said: “Myself along with all the parents of the boys are immensely proud of their ability to organise and motivate each other to complete this team challenge and raise money for such an important cause.”

Ruben added: “Whilst we have completed the challenge as the final week ahead of us is half term we have all agreed to carry on recording our mileage just to see how much we can achieve.

“This was a lockdown challenge to inspire us to get out and about more by walking, running or cycling. Most importantly though, we were raising funds for a charity.

“The St Peter’s Hospice team has regularly been in touch with us to let us know they are incredibly grateful for our funding raising, so thank you to everyone who has supported and donated to this challenge.”

The Gazette is supporting Bristol’s only adult hospice in their “When it Matter Most” fundraising campaign to protect their services, after the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic meant they lost over £2million in funding in 2020.

St Peter’s Hospice, cares for patients with life-limiting illnesses and their families at the Hospice and in the community across South Gloucestershire.

Despite being a frontline service only 20% of their funding comes from the NHS, leaving them heavily reliant on fundraising initiatives.

Due to the pandemic and the restrictions in lockdown, the hospice had all major fund-raising events postponed and have repeatedly had to close of all their charity shops.

All of St Peter’s Hospices services are provided free of charge to patients and they support around 3000 patients and their families every year.

Over £4 million of the Hospice’s funding comes through their shops, fundraising events and donations.

Gazette Series Gloucestershire