Sun, 24 Jan 2021
A Newbury woman was among 55 people from across Berkshire who walked, jogged or ran 5km every day throughout December, raising £12,000 for Sue Ryder Duchess of Kent Hospice.
The December Daily Dash – founded by couple Jackie and Mark Smith – is a nationwide challenge, now in its fifth year.
More than 1,232 Britons, as well as numerous supporters abroad, took part in 2020.
This is an extraordinary shift from the first-ever Dash in 2015, which counted just 13 runners among its cohort.
Participating in the latest event was Lizzie Hayes, a teacher at St Gabriel's Junior School in Newbury.
The challenge is especially personal to Mrs Hayes, whose mother, Tereska Welch, received end-of-life care at Sue Ryder's facilities in 2018.
Mrs Hayes said: "Although I am a keen runner, this was the first time I've taken part in the December Daily Dash and I really enjoyed it.
"On some of the days I was really busy, but I enjoyed the challenge of using my time creatively and getting outside for a 5K run.
"I always felt elated afterwards and it gave me a real boost.
"I'm on the London Marathon team for Sue Ryder and I'm chuffed that taking part in the December Daily Dash has almost doubled my fundraising total.
"I'd definitely like to take part again and I would encourage others to consider signing up next year."
Sue Ryder's fundraising initiatives have been hit hard by lockdown.
So the overall £313,000 take from Dash – including Berkshire's £12,000 donation – has been welcomed by the hospice.
Sue Ryder Duchess of Kent Hospice head of hospice fundraising Laura Kell said: "Sue Ryder continues to play a crucial part in the coronavirus effort.
"We have been caring for people with coronavirus symptoms throughout the pandemic and our bereavement support teams have never been busier supporting those who have lost loved ones during these difficult times.
"December can be an incredibly difficult month for many, and taking part in the December Daily Dash was a great way for people to take some time out, to think and reflect whilst raising money for families needing our care.
"I would like to take this opportunity to share a huge thank you to each and every person who completed the December Daily Dash in support of our hospice.
"For every step you took and pound you've raised, you're helping us continue to be there when it matters for local families."
To donate towards Mrs Hayes' endeavour, visit her JustGiving page.