Putting in the effort

PUBLISHED: 11:44 07 January 2008 | UPDATED: 12:45 06 May 2010

Dave Dawson went to South Africa to take on an Iron Man Challenge for the hospice

Dave Dawson went to South Africa to take on an Iron Man Challenge for the hospice

GO the extra mile for Grove House in 2008 is the heartfelt plea from the St Albans day hospice as a new year begins. Grove House has been looking back at its fundraising highlights of 2007 and hoping that people will take inspiration from them. The first-

Caroline Williams was one of three runners who completed the London Marathon for Grove House

GO the extra mile for Grove House in 2008 is the heartfelt plea from the St Albans day hospice as a new year begins.

Grove House has been looking back at its fundraising highlights of 2007 and hoping that people will take inspiration from them.

The first-ever women-only Midnight Walk took place in July. More than 350 women of all ages, shapes and sizes donned trainers and walked 10 miles around St Albans.

Grove House community fundraiser Liz Hizli said: "The atmosphere was wonderful - everyone chatted as they walked. We are already planning next year's event on June 28 when we hope to have even more ladies join us."

October saw Grove House's biggest-ever fundraising event, the Herts 10K Challenge. Frank Bruno fired the starting pistol and 2,000 runners pounded the streets of Harpenden.

For one young runner, Claire Wright, the beginning of the race meant the beginning of a new life as her boyfriend Toby Sutherland got down on one knee on the starting line and proposed.

Claire said: "I was completely bowled over. I had no idea what he was going to do. However I am thrilled, the wedding is planned for next October just after next year's Herts 10K as we both want to run in the race again."

As well as major events, the year has seen some outstanding individual achievements.

In March Dave Dawson of Harpenden travelled to South Africa to complete an Iron Man Challenge. The gruelling event consists of swimming 2.4 miles, cycling 112 miles and finally completing a full marathon.

Dave raised £3,700 for Grove House and said: "It was an incredible experience. I was really thrilled to be able to raise the money for Grove House. The support that they give to the community is vital."

Paul Parrish, fundraising director at Grove House, completed his first Iron Man Challenge this year too and raised £3,200. He commented: "Part of me would have given any excuse to give up. It was the thought of Grove House and all the money pledged by friends and family that really kept me going - and I'm so pleased I did."

Pedalling across the miles was how Richard Marchant raised almost £4,000 for Grove House last June. Richard, who only took up cycling in February, took four days to cycle from London to Paris and said: "Grove House really helped two friends of mine. I really wanted to help Grove House and this seemed a great way to do it."

Other cycling highlights include Paul Batten who raised £4,800 by completing a stage of the famous Tour de France race and Nigel Palmer, of Lambert, Smith, Hampton Property Management, who took five days out of his busy schedule to cycle from one side of the country to the other, raising £4,200 in the process.

April saw the Flora London Marathon and Grove House was lucky enough to have three entrants, Caroline Williams, Simon Kaney and Mark Broxton, who between them raised in excess of £3,000.

Anyone with a place in next year's event who would like to support Grove House would be most welcome. The London Triathlon also takes place on August 9 and 10 and Grove House has three places available. If anyone is interested contact Paul Parrish on 01727 731029.

This year individual supporters have raised more than £25,000. Grove House chief executive Mark Lister said the day hospice was grateful to everyone who had raised money. He added: "Without this help we could not continue to provide our vital services to local people living with cancer and life-threatening illness."

For further information about supporting Grove House and taking part in fund-raising events call 01727 731000 or go to the website www.grove-house.org.uk

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