Funeral directors’ 100-mile walk

Two funeral directors have completed their gruelling 100-mile stomp across the Sussex Downs in six days in aid of St Michael’s Hospice.

And there were smiles all round when it was revealed that their mammoth charity effort had been generously backed by supporters.

Ian Fishwick and Ewan Walder, from Arthur C. Towner’s Bexhill branch, put in weeks of training for the September venture and Ewan injured his leg during the closing stages of the scenic walk from Winchester to Eastbourne.

Ian said that the trip did not start too well either as they had to stand on the early morning commuter train all the way from Bexhill to Brighton but once they eased into the routine it all went well.

Ian is a seasoned walker, and Ewan less so, but they both listened to music which had the effect of powering them across the landscape.

Ian said: “Although I had done a fair amount of walking I had never done anything like this before, so from that point of view it was quite daunting. But after the first couple of days we settled down to a rhythm and thoroughly enjoyed it.”

Last Wednesday (November 12) the intrepid pair were able to hand over a cheque for nearly £6,500 to the St Leonards-based hospice.

Marcia Dart, the hospice’s fundraising team leader, visited Towner’s Albert Road premises in Bexhill to show her appreciation.

She said: “Ian and Ewan have done incredibly well, not only with the challenge of walking 100 miles but also in raising nearly £6,500.

“We are very grateful for this level of support. St Michael’s Hospice needs to raise around £3.5 million every year and could not do this without the generosity and help of people like Ian and Ewan and their sponsors.”

Ian and Ewan said they were ‘delighted’ to be able to help the hospice and thanked businesses and individuals for their fulsome sponsorship.

St Michael’s Hospice provides in-patient and out-reach palliative care to people with life-limiting illnesses across Hastings and Rother.

Its specialist care and clinical teams deliver supportive care, symptom control and support to patients and families through a 30-bed hospice, Day Therapy centre, Hospice at Home service, Bereavement Support and Hospice Neighbours. The hospice runs a donation Centre in St Leonards and 10 retail shops in 1066 Country.