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Blackburn family raises money across the globe for children’s hospice hit by lockdown

Blackburn family raises money across the globe for children’s hospice hit by lockdown

A Neighbourhood Officer and a Repairs Team Coordinator have linked up with their family across the Atlantic to complete a marathon walk for a children’s hospice that has been hit hard by lockdown.

Lee and Andrew (1)

Lee Riding, 26, and Andrew Kennedy, 39, who work for Together Housing set off with family and friends in the rain on a 26-mile walk to raise money for Derian House Children’s Hospice that has, due to lockdown, lost an estimated quarter of a million pounds in fundraising.

The walk was also part of a bigger challenge for the Kennedy family, who have relatives living across the country and in the USA. They aimed to complete the marathon on the same day no matter where they live. Andrew’s nephews completed the 26-mile route on bicycles in Oklahoma, other relatives completed a similar marathon route in London, whilst Andrew and Lee’s walk went through Blackburn, Darwen and Bolton.

Andrew And Lee Screenshot

The family named this challenge the 3-2-1 challenge which stands for 3 marathons, 2 continents 1 family. They hope that this challenge will not only raise money for a good cause but will happen again next year with more families wanting to take part. So far, their Just Giving page has raised £1300 for Derian House Children’s hospice.

Andrew Kennedy said, “We chose to raise money for Derian House as my sister Lisa works there providing respite activities like massages and meditation for the families. The work the hospice does is amazing and the work she does supporting families and children with life-limiting illnesses are really important to her and our family.”

Andrew and Lee were joined on the Lancashire leg of the walk by Andrew’s parents and sister Lisa. 

Andrew added, “We tried a practice walk a few weeks before to try and see what we were letting ourselves in for! None of us thought it would be as hard as it was, but the feeling of pride and satisfaction when we finished was definitely worth it.”

Lee Riding said: “On the actual day of the walk the weather was shocking! The poor weather didn’t stop us though and actually made it more special as it became more of a challenge that we had to overcome.”

Derian House Children’s Hospice is based in Chorley and supports families across Lancashire and South Cumbria. The hospice aims to provide a place of support and care for children with life limiting conditions, so they can make happy memories with their families. These respite breaks (before lockdown) would include massage and meditation so families could recharge their batteries, or simply spend time together as a family without worrying about the medical side of their child’s care.

Throughout lockdown the hospice has continued to provide support remotely and emergency help to families. Derian House relies heavily on donations to continue providing support and care to families in need. Due to lockdown many planned fundraising events have had to be cancelled as well as charity shops closing. As a result, the hospice has lost a quarter of a million in fundraising.

Lisa Kennedy, who works with Derian House providing respite treatments like massages and meditation, said: “I work for Derian House providing activities for families to take part in during their respite. It may be a hospice, but it is the most cheerful place I’ve worked. I think that it is because every moment counts there. This is why it was really important for me and my family and friends to try and help raise money during these strange times when a lot of funding opportunities stopped.

“We’re delighted with the amount we have managed to raise given the current situation. Despite people’s individual circumstances they really have pulled together to raise as much as they could for a great cause.”

For more information about Derian House Children’s Hospice you can visit: https://www.derianhouse.co.uk/

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