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Navigating through 2021 - July to September

The New Year is fast approaching but as 2021 draws to a close, we wanted to briefly look back and reflect on some of the brighter, more uplifting moments at the Hospice as we joined our patients, families, supporters and partners in navigating our way through the last 12 months.

Here we take a look at the third quarter of the year:


We welcomed 170 walkers from across Hertfordshire and beyond as we hosted a brand-new walking challenge, Fountain to Fountain. Held in partnership with Isabel Hospice, the 18-mile route took participants from Letchworth Garden City, through beautiful Hertfordshire countryside, to the Coronation Fountain in Welwyn Garden City. The hike was a great success and raised thousands of pounds for the two charities.

We also brought you Barry’s story. Barry has lived in Letchworth for 15 years and explained how coming to the Hawthorne Centre and taking advantage of our Rehabilitation and Wellbeing Services had made a huge difference to him as he lives with COPD and bronchiectasis.


August began with the news that 13-year old Charlie Markarian, had shaved two years’ worth of hair for charity, raising vital funds for the Hospice. The Letchworth youngster was inspired to brave the shave after we cared for a close family friend in the final few weeks of her life earlier this year.

The summer saw our events calendar fully swing into action with more than 300 people taking part in our Sunset Starlight Walk around Letchworth and Hitchin, raising more than £20,000 for Garden House. That was swiftly followed by the Great Hertfordshire AONB Marathon, which saw XYZ take on either a 10K route or various marathon options through picturesque Hertfordshire countryside with breath-taking views.

We then gave bargain hunters in Letchworth a new shop to explore with the opening of our second presence in the town and our 13th shop overall. Day Services patient Colvin cut the red ribbon to officially open the shop in front of an expectant crowd of keen shoppers and Hospice staff and supporters.


People of all ages and abilities took to the water in early September to raise money in The Big Swim. Over 40 people took part in our new event at Letchworth Outdoor Pool which offered multiple distances from 400m to 5km and 10km individual of team swims. More than £4,000 was raised in total with Joe Chalmers, a volunteer at our Distribution Centre telling us, "I’ve done a lot of training for this, it was well worth it. It’s a fantastic cause for all the hardworking people at the hospice.”

Out of the pool, 140 cyclists took to the road as our community bike ride, Pedal for Pounds, returned for 2021. The sun shone as people of all ages and abilities donned their lycra and took on 30, 50 or 100-mile routes around stunning Hertfordshire countryside.

Meanwhile in Hitchin, staff and volunteers at our Vintage House shop celebrated Hitchin Churchgate and Market Day by taking to the red-carpet catwalk, modelling looks from yesteryear.

The manager of Vintage House, Jenni Defalco commented on the day: “To celebrate Churchgate Day we held a fashion show using clothing and accessories from our store. We wanted to raise awareness of the importance of recycling and reusing clothing to create wearable looks for any occasion.

“In our hospice shops you will find a wide selection of preloved clothing. At Vintage House, Hitchin, we have a dedicated vintage shop where you can find gems from all eras, from 1950s prom dresses to 80s powersuits, wedding dresses and designer pieces all at affordable prices.”

Thanks for looking back at the third part of our year. Our reflection of 2021 will conclude tomorrow with our fourth and final article.


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