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Hiking for hospice care in first Folkestone Downs Challenge – In Your Area

Hiking for hospice care in first Folkestone Downs Challenge – In Your Area

DAY TO REMEMBER: Sophie Thompson and Naomi Lengyel got engaged during the walk

The sun was shining as more than 350 keen hikers and runners laced up their boots for Pilgrims Hospices’ brand new fundraiser, the Folkestone Downs Challenge.

The 36km course was specifically designed to showcase the spectacular scenery of Kent’s south coast, including breath-taking views over the English Channel, Folkestone and Romney Marsh beyond.

September 3  proved to be extra special for couple Sophie Thompson and Naomi Lengyel, who crossed the finish line engaged after popping the question as the sun was setting over Sandgate beach.

The day was a huge success and early estimations are that more than £50,000 has been raised for local end-of-life care services in east Kent.

Over 11,500km were collectively hiked by Pilgrims supporters on the day – the equivalent of walking from London to Bangkok, Thailand.

READ MORE: Moot horn announces upcoming sponsored walk in Hythe

Event organiser Robert Grew said: “We are absolutely delighted that so many supporters joined us in hiking for hospice care, and to have smashed our anticipated fundraising target is brilliant.”

The money raised will help provide specialist palliative care services for the people of east Kent on Pilgrims’ wards, therapy centres and within the community.

Supporters were advised to train to take on this tough and hilly challenge, and their preparations and determination paid off as they were welcomed back to applause and a well-deserved medal at the Folkestone Harbour Arm finish line.

Robert added: “Our team of staff and volunteers work really hard to ensure we have plenty of support along the route and well-stocked refreshment stops to keep spirits up throughout the day. I would like to thank all of the volunteers who help to make our events so special, we couldn’t do this without them.”

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This year, Pilgrims Hospices has to raise £11million in order to run its full range of services.

Sponsorship raised through events like this help the charity to continue caring for those near the end of their lives at their hospices in Margate, Ashford and Canterbury, as well as in homes across east Kent.

Get all the latest news, updates and things to do in the dedicated InYourArea feed for Folkestone, Kent.