A schoolboy from Welwyn walking in memory of his grandad was the youngest person to take part in Isabel Hospice’s second annual Fountain to Fountain Hike.
Ten-year-old Freddie Ford, a Year 5 pupil at Templewood Primary School, completed the 16-mile ramble through the Herts countryside alongside his mum, Sarah-Jane Tebbutt, together raising more than £350 for the Hospice that cared for Freddie’s grandfather Phil in early 2018.
Sarah-Jane, 39, said: “I have been enjoying walking for about eight months. Over that time, I’ve found it has been great for my fitness and mental wellbeing and I have a real bug for it now.
“Freddie wanted to enter to keep me company, but I honestly don’t think he had any idea of the scale of it. A couple of days before the walk, we started to get quite a few donations on our JustGiving page and Freddie said to me ‘well Mum, we can’t pull out now and let all these people down’.
“On the day, I cannot tell you how proud I was of Freddie’s resilience, strength and continued effort to finish the walk. With about 4-5 miles left, we were both really struggling. But, he would say ‘lean on me, Mum for a bit and then can I lean on you for a bit and we will be at the finish line soon’. We completed the walk in six hours and had a rest stop at the Plume of Feathers for 20 minutes and again at Knebworth House.”
The mother and son were among more than 100 individuals, family groups and work colleagues who took part in Fountain to Fountain, which is run by Isabel Hospice in conjunction with neighbouring Garden House Hospice Care and links the two garden cities of Welwyn and Letchworth.
The event, which took place on 25th June, is expected to have raised over £10,000 for the two hospices so they can continue to support people with life-limiting conditions, and those who care for them. Each hospice provides free end-of-life care to their local communities with a combined population of over half a million people.
Sarah-Jane added: “The support my Dad, and us as a family, received during his care was out of this world and made a horrible, stressful time easier to cope with. My Dad called the nurses who cared for him ‘his angels’.”
Amy Bramble, Head of Corporate, Community and Events at Isabel Hospice, said: “One thing that struck us throughout the day was hearing about people’s personal connections to Isabel Hospice and the stories and loved ones who inspired people to take part. Everyone had such a great time and there were so many happy faces as they crossed the finish line.”
Amy added: “Every step taken and every pound raised by each walker will be directly helping their chosen Hospice to continue to support patients and their families in our local communities.
“Events such as these could not take place without the help and support of a large number of people. These include The Plume of Feathers, Little Wymondley, North Herts District Council, Welwyn & Hatfield District Council, Heritage Foundation, Waitrose Welwyn Garden City, Jackie’s Dropin and Knebworth House. We’d also like to say a huge thank you to our fantastic supporters and volunteers from both Hospices.”