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John completes Pennine Way walk for Hospice

Readers of our most recent Open House newsletter can't have helped but be inspired by John Lambert. The 65-year was walking the 268-mile distance of the Pennine Way - at two miles a day - whilst fundraising for the Hospice, which supported him through his wife Sue's terminal cancer in 2019.

Well, we are delighted to announce that despite suffering from cancer himself - experiencing side effects such as arthritis and cancer-related fatigue and even undergoing a brain operation in late 2020 - John persevered and recently completed his challenge with a final walk from Letchworth Golf Course to the Hospice, where he was warmly welcomed by our staff.

During his challenge, John marked out every two miles of the Pennine Way route and would map his local walks against this. He used his Facebook page to update family and friends of his progress, both virtually by providing location descriptions and campsite grid references along the 268-mile route and in reality by explaining his actual walk that day.

John’s initial fundraising target was £1,200, but thanks to online fundraising and other donations he has now raised more than £3,500 for the Hospice.

On completing his walk, John explained:

“It feels great to have finished. When I started this challenge I wasn’t that confident as I was using a walking stick, so I assumed I’d do the same route close to my house every day.

“However, as I got fitter and stronger I found plenty of other local routes, taking in Hitchin, Letchworth, Wymondley Woods, Ashbrook and the Lister Hospital, plus some further afield including Royston and Barton Hills.

“Since starting the challenge in July, I had just three days off: one for a planned brain operation, the next day to recover and another when the weather stopped me.

“Fortunately, as my daily walk only used to take 60 to 90 minutes, I could plan them around the weather forecast so I only got caught in a few showers.

“I would like to thank everyone who donated money to my Pennine Way walk and those people who supported by accompanying me on these walks and giving me encouragement. I’d also like to give a special mention to my friend Matthew Fitzgerald, a lovely young man with a wonderful personality who has always been there for me throughout this challenge.

“The Hospice have supported me in so many ways and I’m delighted to have given something back.”

Richard Harbon, Head of Events at Garden House Hospice Care, added:

“We were delighted to welcome John to the Hospice to celebrate the completion of his Pennine Way walk with a much-deserved cup of tea and slice of cake.

“It’s a huge credit to John that he has achieved this with such a positive attitude, whilst undergoing his own personal challenges too.

“To more than double his fundraising target is also testament to how his story has captured hearts, with many donations coming in from the general public as well as family and friends.”

Thank you to everyone who donated towards John's incredible challenge. If you'd like to sponsor him retrospectively, you can visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/john-lambert12.

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