96-year-old Ida completes challenge to support local charity

A nonagenarian from Benfleet has completed 700 laps of her house to raise money for a local children’s hospice in memory of her husband.

When Ida Duke’s husband George Duke, 99, was taken into hospital, she decided to keep herself occupied and active by taking on a challenge inspired by Sir Captain Tom Moore – 100 laps of the house and outside decking before George’s 100 birthday.

Ida said: “My family are always trying to get me out of my chair so when my husband was taken into hospital I decided to take on the challenge.

“Sadly George stayed a month in hospital and spent 10 days at home before he died. I am pleased to say that at least he died very peacefully with me by his side.

“Knowing that George was so pleased and proud of me doing my laps, I carried on until his 100th birthday, 27th June, even though he was not with us.”

Ida completed 700 laps in total with her friends and family sponsoring her raising a total of £1,000 to be spilt between Little Havens and Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Judy Grocott, Head of Fundraising said: “When we heard about Ida’s fundraising story, it put the biggest smile on our faces. What an incredible achievement.

“Little Havens cares for hundreds of children and young people who have been diagnosed with a complex or incurable condition. Ida’s generous gift could help pay for around 25 hours of hospice care in the home of a child or young person, providing personal and therapeutic care.

“Our care only exists thanks to kind people like Ida who take on challenges to support our care, which is a lifeline to local families.”

Little Havens relies on the local community to fundraise for its specialist care,  supporting families who have been told there is no cure. To fundraise for the charity, visit www.havenshospices.org.uk/fundraising

Published 10th August 2022

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Ida and George Duke