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Hospice 23 event in Tunbridge Wells raises more than £97,000 for Hospice in the Weald

Runners put their best feet forward at Sunday’s Hospice Run in Tunbridge Wells, with over £97,000 raised for Hospice in the Weald.

With four races - 5k, 10k, a new half-marathon and superhero-themed family fun run - to choose from, there was a distance to suit everyone and more than 900 entrants, from toddlers to seasoned pros, took on the challenge now in its 17th year.

Entrants cheered on at this year’s Hospice Run in aid of Hospice in the Weald
Entrants cheered on at this year’s Hospice Run in aid of Hospice in the Weald

Rio Paralympics gold medallist Will Bayley launched the event and before the start revealed his own links to the hospice, with members of his family having benefitted from its care and support.

Hospice ambassador Ollie McCarthy led the group warm-up and then they were up and running to the stirring sounds of old-school Samba, leaving the Lower Common with supporters cheering them on.

There were emotional scenes at the finish as participants celebrated their achievements and the lives of loved ones who had received hospice care. Sisters Lottie, Olivia and Issy Ramsey were part of Sue’s Jovials, a team of family and friends who ran the 10k in memory of their mum, Sue Ramsey, who was cared for at the hospice in October 2021.

They have already raised more than £3,000, with funds still coming in.

Lottie said: “We wanted a challenge, to come together with our close friends and family to do it for mum. After everything mum went through, we wanted to put in some hard work and give back for the incredible care she received at the hospice in Pembury.”

Issy added: “We were also able to stay overnight with mum at the hospice and bring our dog Marnie, too, which made all the difference. Mum did the 10k route about five years ago in memory of her own mum, also cared for at the hospice, so we did it for our grandma and our mum.

“Taking part in events like this is so important as it keeps mum’s memory alive and helps us to feel closer to her.”

The new half-marathon was the fourth fundraising challenge Hanna Pepe has clocked up for the hospice this year following the London Landmarks half-marathon in April, Moonlight Walk in June and a Mont Blanc trek a few weeks ago, all in memory of her father, Steve, who was cared for at the hospice.

She said: “It was challenging but the sense of achievement was amazing. There was such a sense of community and togetherness - Groombridge was incredible with families coming out in the streets - and I was thinking of my dad the whole way around!”

Oliva Clibbens, with colleagues from lead race sponsors Savills, completed the 5k and said: “My father was cared for at the hospice and the support the hospice offered him, myself and my brother was incredible. I think my dad would be really proud.”

Jesse Ansbro-Brett, hospice fundraising relationship manager, said: “Huge thanks to all who made Hospice Run 23 so incredible. That includes runners, donors, ambassadors, staff, volunteers and all the local people and businesses who so generously supported us.

“More than £97,000 has already been raised. Every penny will help Hospice in the Weald to make a vital difference to the lives of those facing terminal illness and their families.”

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