‘Super Ella’ tackles 13 charity challenges
Thirteen challenges including two marathons, two cycle challenges and a Tri-Hospice 75 mile running and cycling event, in just 12 months: that’s the challenge Ella Brocklebank has set herself to raise more than £3,000 for an east Kent charity.
Ella, from Chartham, has been fundraising through sporting challenges for Pilgrims Hospices for the past two years. Her involvement took on a new significance last year though when her father, Stan Brocklebank, became ill with cancer.
“Suddenly Pilgrims became a personal charity for me,” she explains. “They cared for my dad so well when he was ill and my family was looked after with the same level of care, nothing was too much trouble. It was one of the worst times of my life, but I was fully supported. I want to make sure other people have that available to them too.”
Ella set up a fundraising page for Pilgrims when her Dad died aged 78. The family asked for donations instead of flowers and more than £800 was raised in his memory.
When the charity offered her one of their five London Marathon places she jumped at the chance – and that is just the start.
“I want to do more,” says Ella. “2012 was a difficult year, I lost my dad and had a new job with a quantity surveying company to get to grips with. I’ve decided 2013 has to be luckier, so I’m playing on the number and taking on 13 challenges throughout the year for Pilgrims Hospices.”
The challenges kicked off on 27 January with the Barretts Canterbury 10 mile road race, which Ella completed in just 1 hour and 26 minutes. Ella now has running and cycling events almost every month including: the London Marathon in April, the Pilgrims Hospices Tri-Hospice 75 mile Cycle Challenge and the Edinburgh Marathon in May and Light up the City 5k run in October. She will run alongside her husband Ben Trott in the Edinburgh Marathon.
With her five year old daughter Gracie to look after and a full time job, training will be demanding but Ella is confident.
“I’ve got to stay fit and injury free but it’s nice to think I am running for a personal charity. It’s really exciting – mad as it is!”
She says the priority is to build up her stamina so her body is used to the miles. “I just get out there and do it. When people have sponsored you that motivates you and the crowd keeps you going on the day.”
All money raised for Pilgrims will go straight towards providing care free of charge to people with illnesses that cannot be cured across east Kent.
It costs more than £9.5 million a year to run the three hospices in Ashford, Canterbury and Thanet as well as to support patients and families in their own homes.
Ella’s corporate sponsors so far include the Kent Construction Focus Group, for which she is a chair group member, and her employer, quantity surveyors The Woodley Coles LLP. With so many of her friends and relatives also set to sponsor her she hopes to raise more than her targeted £3,000.
Friends and colleagues Tweeting about the challenge have nicknamed her ‘Super Human Ella’, but she plays down her strengths saying: “I wouldn’t say I’m super human, I just want to do what I can.”
Visit Ella’s JustGiving page to support her Magic 13.