On Sunday 24th May, Samuel Brook, 24, and his neighbours raised over an incredible £1,000 for Havens Hospices which provides specialist palliative nursing and supportive care for adults and children across Essex.
Samuel was due to take part in the Edinburgh Marathon on 24th May before it was cancelled but he and his neighbours instead decided while clapping during ‘Clap for Carers’, they would collectively run their own Street Marathon.
Around 16 families who live in the street ran approximately 270 laps at different times to adhere to social distancing, including local resident Maisie Smith, best known for her role as Tiffany Butcher in EastEnders.
Samuel said, “Myself and my neighbours unanimously agreed to raise money for a local charity, so we chose Havens Hospices as some of the families have had personal experiences of their care.
“I was really disappointed when I found out I couldn’t run in the Edinburgh Marathon especially after all the training I had done to prepare but I am glad we could do something like this instead, to bring all the neighbours together and keep fit for a good cause.
“Despite the social distancing there was such a great atmosphere on the day with everyone cheering each other on – even the dogs joined in!
“I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who took part and to every single person that has donated, it really means a lot.”
Jane Hopkins, Voluntary Income Area Team Leader said, “We cannot thank Samuel and all his neighbours enough for choosing to raise money for Havens Hospices. Their community spirit has raised vital funds for the hospice so we can continue to provide free palliative care and support to families across Essex during these difficult times – every pound raised truly makes such a difference to everyone we care for.”
Fair Havens and Little Havens remain open, having adapted how they operate in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. Fair Havens has made all 16 beds within its hospice available – despite only opening at the beginning of March – to help alleviate pressure within the local NHS. Little Havens is caring for children with complex medical or social needs being discharged from hospital and providing end of life care.
Havens Hospices care remains free thanks to kind donations from supporters and an interim grant from the government via Hospice UK.
If you have been inspired by Samuel to take on your own challenge for Havens Hospices, click here.