After hearing about the 2.6 Challenge a few weeks ago – arranged to help raise money following the postponement of the London Marathon – Terry Harding, Treasurer at Havens Hospices asked his family and friends to give him 26 challenges to complete during Lockdown in return for a donation to the charity, which provides specialist nursing and supportive care to adults and children with complex or incurable conditions.
Terry has been a Trustee at Havens Hospices for four years and took on the role after a volunteering for the charity since retiring from his job in the City in 2015.
Some of Terry’s challenges have included shaving his head, growing his beard, 260 press-ups, 26 minutes of squat holds, learning the Macarena dance, tennis volleys, baking cupcakes and writing a poem with a little help from a colleague:
Awesome staff so committed to caring,
Best try to help; take on challenges daring!
Courage and compassion in times of grief,
Donning Superman capes to provide light relief.
Every faith cared for, or if you have none
Fair Havens carers support every one.
Growing our beards to make every day count,
Hearts pounding madly; success paramount!
Into the challenge with songs in our souls,
J’s staff now working inside hospice walls,
Keen to help colleagues support NHS –
Little Havens taking their share of the stress.
Marvellous supporters sign up in a flash,
Novel suggestions to drum up more cash.
Ordinary people become hospice heroes,
Pushed to their limits to clock-up those zeros.
Quizzes, squats, and runs steep and long,
Riding our bikes and press-ups; so strong!
Singing, shaved heads, cake baking and more
Telling kids stories becomes quite a draw.
Urgent funds needed in quarantine crush –
Virus paints runners with ‘stay at home’ brush.
Waiting for ‘normal’ gives time to promote
Extraordinary efforts of staff, some remote.
Yesterday’s freedoms remembered with sadness, but
Zealous challenges help light up this madness!
One of Terry’s challenges was to sing and record 26 cheesy 70’s and 80’s songs and post them on Facebook, which he says was the most fun. He said, “I decided to oil the wheels by combining this with challenges to drink whisky and cocktails, with help from my wife, Judith, and daughter, Jane. Bohemian Rhapsody is still on the list!”
One of the biggest and toughest challenges Terry completed was running his own ‘Havens to Havens’ marathon over four days. He set out from the old Fair Havens in Westcliff, to Little Havens in Thundersley, then to Rayleigh, making his way to new Fair Havens in Prittlewell and then back to Westcliff.
Terry said, “My toughest challenge was definitely the ‘Havens to Havens’ marathon and Rayleigh is a lot hillier than it looks on a map! I started it on Sunday 26th April when the London Marathon should have taken place and I wanted to run as close to Mid-Essex as possible to try to cover the area of The J’s Hospice but the Lockdown meant that the closest I could reasonably get was the Carpenter’s Arms in Rayleigh.”
“Towards the end of one leg of my marathon, I was thinking how tough it was to run the last kilometre – but then I thought, nowhere near as tough as completing the last hour of a stressful 12-hour night shift that our Care Staff are currently working through.”
Most of Terry’s challenges are now completed but he is still has a few days of growing his beard and recording some songs for his 85 year old mum. Additionally, Terry and some of his friends have also kindly recorded 26 children’s stories with the aim to share these with the children and families being cared for at Little Havens, who can’t currently attend the hospice due to shielding.
Terry said, “I decided to take on the challenges because I know, as Treasurer of Havens Hospices, how difficult it is for the charity to raise the money we need to provide vital services when just about all the events we planned for this Spring and Summer have been cancelled.
“I would like to say a big thank you to our Care Teams and the teams that support them for the immense effort they have and are still putting in to provide the best care to our patients and families during the crisis.”
If you have been inspired by Terry to take on some fundraising challenges for Havens Hospices, visit www.havenshospices.org.uk/fundraising for more information.