Joe and Florence take on the Exmoor Challenge in aid of Pilgrims Hospices

Over the weekend of 20 – 22 April  Joe aged 9 and Florence aged 12 Wrake took part in the inaugural Exmoor Expedition with The Children’s Challenge and raised nearly £800 in aid of Pilgrims Hospices.

The Children’s Challenge was set up as a vehicle for young people to raise money for a charity of their choice whist giving them with a genuine challenge in the form of a hike across Exmoor

There were 3 routes to choose from. Florence (and her mum Lisa) walked the 17km one and Joe the longest 21km route. It took 7 & 6 hours respectively starting at 8.30am. It certainly was a challenge for them all.

Lisa explained why they chose to support Pilgrims Hospices: “In 2011 Florence and Joe’s dad Run was diagnosed with lung cancer. Despite surgery and chemotherapy after 6 months his prognosis became terminal and his health deteriorated quickly. In a time of utter disbelief and confusion, Pilgrims Hospice Ashford became our sanctuary – providing practical, mental and spiritual support; it was a quiet, dignified and safe place for us to be together as a family in our final weeks.

“There was a garden for the children to play in, bright rooms with balconies, a living area and kitchen, doctors, nurses and a variety of therapists available around the clock. I still cannot believe this organisation is entirely free at point of use yet 77% of its funding comes from voluntary donations.”

When describing the challenge she said:  “The weather was good bar for a few drops of rain towards the end, and the landscape is lovely – woodland, moorland, hills and valleys. It was nice to think about Run as we walked. It was the first time my children have ever done something like this and I am sure will want to do it again next year!”

Isabel Smith, Community Fundraising Officer said: “We are so grateful to Joe and Florence for undertaking such a challenge in aid of Pilgrims Hospices. The walk sounds amazing. The money they have raised will help Pilgrims to support another family like theirs who are facing a similar situation.

“If you would like to take part in a challenge in aid of Pilgrims Hospices please visit the events and challenges page to see what is happening in your area. “

Each year Pilgrims supports hundreds of local people coping with a life limiting illness and their families. The charity offers a range of services: from end of life care given on its wards, to its new Wellbeing and Social Programme supporting people after they are diagnosed to live well and stay independent.